Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Scillies - Day Three

Same balmy weather - different day.

Felt a bit battered by the exploits of the previous day but was really satisfied with the effort.  I was able to ramble today so started off with a stroll through Lower Moors where a Jack Snipe was seen feeding at the back of Shooters Pool but partly obscured by the vegetation.  However, the views from the ISBG hide were exceptional with at least five birds there.

A Greenshank also flew onto the scrape which would be a regular sighting throughout the trip.

From Lower Moors, an attempt was made for the Little Bunting on the standing stones field but there was no sign of it so I headed instead up to the airfield where the Short-Toed Lark had been present for the last few days but there was no sign of this either, apart from a female Merlin that dashed through low by the terminal building briefly sitting up on the brow of the slope, and a group of around ten Skylark all but disappearing behind the long grass.  I headed back to the standing stones field and right on cue, the Little Bunting appeared which was a little fortuitous I must admit.

Making tracks up to Penninis Head I once again bumped into @birdingprof and @notquitescilly, where a group were searching for the Red-throated Pipit that had again been present on and off for a couple of days.  It didn't take long to track it down in the corner of a field with a group of Meadow Pipit.  The light wasn't particularly favourable in direct sunlight, and the long grass made viewing a little tricky, but the bird did appear out in the open, the dense black upper-front streaking clearly visible contrasting with pale underparts, as well as the dark parallel lines on the mantle.  These were exciting times - four new British birds in two days.

We headed back up the path from the Old town cafe toward the airfield to find the Greater Short-toed Lark feeding close in near to the turning circle.  This wasn't boring for sure.

A little further on, this elegant Snow Bunting sat obligingly on a rock on Giant's Castle.

We continued round the path toward Porth Hellick, enjoying the conviviality and the wonderful views beyond the rocks and onto the sea.

At Porth Hellick, the main pools held at least one Jack Snipe, but this individual wasn't following Jack Snipe rules, instead feeding openly directly in front of the hide.  Not entirely sure what was wrong with it.

There were also squealing Water Rail here, Swallow flying overhead, and five Greenshank roosting at the back of the pool.

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