Sunday, 20 October 2019

St.Mary's, St.Agnes and Gugh

We headed round to The Garrison before getting a boat over to St.Agnes, at least that was the plan. On the way along Porthcressa beach, we passed Dick Filby and Tim Vaughan who were on their way to Peninnis Head. Not long afterwards - while we were on the Lower Broome Platform - Dick radioed out that they'd had a Chestnut-eared Bunting fly from one of the lower fields on Peninnis! We wasted no time in charging over there, but it soon became clear that they bird had moved through as quickly as it reappeared. We figured our chances of being heroes in relocating the bird were comparable with our odds of finding a new mega on St.Agnes - and there were British ticks on offer on that island for some of the team - so at the last moment we decided to resume the original plan. We were of course the only birders on the boat to St.Agnes, but it turned out to be a good move!

A productive day on St.Agnes saw us connect with the SUBALPINE WARBLER and the SPOTTED SANDPIPER, while we spotted two Lapland Buntings and a Merlin. Other stuff noted included a Spotted Flycatcher, a Whinchat, a Greenshank, a Willow Warbler, 35 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, good numbers of Redwings - with a few Fieldfares mixed in, three Wheatears, a Grey Wagtail, three Siskins and a Skylark. Stepping a few feet onto Gugh paid off with a big Scilly tick when a Yellowhammer flew east over us!
1cy Spotted Sandpiper on St.Agnes

1cy Spotted Flycatcher on St.Agnes

The only birds of note seen and heard on St.Mary's before/after our trip to Aggy were a juvenile Hen Harrier over Peninnis Head, two Ravens over Porthcressa Bay and a Water Rail at Lower Moors, plus a Wheatear on Porthcressa Beach, scores of Redwings and a Grey Wagtail. A Lapwing flew from St.Agnes to St.Mary's while we were on the boat.