Sunday, 5 November 2017

Scilly Season Day 8 – Day of the sea duck

They love a Canada Goose on Scily
Surf Scoter

Close views of the Scoter
Common Scoter
Buzzard on St Martins
Drake Long-tailed Duck
Long-tailed Duck
Two birders enjoying the view over St Marys
Beach outside our digs
Stick insect sighting
Sun setting
Just a super place for Autumn break
Team photo taken in The Atlantic

Our last full days options were either to twitch the missing Grey-cheeked Thrush on St Martins, try Bryher & perhaps see the Bluethroat and walk St Mary’s to death or try the Joe Pender Saphire special on the hope to see the reported Surf Scoter & Long-tailed Duck.

I opted for the later, as thought it was a unique experience that would be difficult to repeat if successful.

A 9.30am departure took us out of St Mary heading directly towards Samsom where 2 Spoonbills were on rocks allowing excellent views. Close by I recorded my first 5 Shelduck on the islands whilst 7 Canada Geese were on the beach.

Next stop was the Surf Scoter that was just amazing to see, a couple of times the bird got within 6 feet of us.  From memory this is my third Surfie of the year.

As we headed towards St martins additional sightings included a faboulos Merlin, 30 Curlew, Great Northern Diver and a Buzzard, quite a rare sighting in the Scillies.

It was looking ever hopeful for another target bird but just as we were admiring a flock of six Common Scoters a shout came from the back of the boat the Long-tailed Duck was on our left. This stunning drake looked brilliant and whilst not as confiding as the Surfie it was a super sighting. I did try and take a few record shots but the light wasn’t ideal.

After a quick recharge I was back out marching around St Marys. Two new Black Redstarts were on  houses in Old Town & 12 Brambling were with a huge flock of Siskin & Chaffinch.

The final sighting of the day was Red-breasted Flycatcher in Lower Moors, a real sign of Autumn. The bird was viewed from the 1st bridge after the gate.

Thanks to a tip off we re-located a Sticky Stick insect at Porthmellon on the way home where I took advantage of the weather & wrote up my blog to save time when returning home.

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