Monday, 1 October 2018

St Mary's - Golf Course - Lapland Bunting

How many times does something 'happen' late in the day on St Marys? With the pelagic done and dusted, a quick check of the local beaches revealed nothing of note and then the radio sparked into life with news of a Lapland Bunting, previously heard in flight now 'nailed down' on the golf course!

A good find too as it was tucked in the rough by a stone wall and despite being incredibly confiding was simply too close and often hidden from view a few feet away!

With patience and luck, it did reveal itself!




The occasional bare patch by the wall was rarely lingered in but a lucky moment here...







Still nicely marked plumage for the head on views as it walked towards us...


And quite alert, announcing a short flight was imminent!


Every day should end with a special moment like this and what a breathtaking view walking back...



Scilly Pelagic - Dolphins galore!!

Pelagics are not just about the birds with a variety of other creatures on offer! Common Dolphins are virtually always seen, sometimes distant, sometimes close... Today was one of those special days when an estimated 150 were showing really well and often close to the boat...

Someone was going to get very excited (although you would never guess it)



Never easy to capture them out of the water, you always need to guess where that leap may happen a second before it does!


The further away, the easier it becomes to keep them in the frame...


And some of the leaps can produce 2 or 3 images clear within a burst!




But a single Dolpin image doesn't tell the whole story...


Who photo-bombed who? With a glut of Great Shearwaters around too, I found two lucky moments when both Dolphins and Greats were in the frame!


Every picture tells a story - what a magic day!


Quite a lot of squealing going on from the rail...


And if you haven't witnessed Common Dolphins in action, here's a snippet of the action (which will go full frame)...


One more bird to feature on the run in, not a seabird but a wader...

Scilly Pelagic - Western Rocks - Purple Sandpiper

One bird that is almost impossible to see on a land based trip to the Isles of Scilly is Purple Sandpiper. They are present within the area though, secreted away on the small wind and waveswept rocks, well away from the inhabited islands, somehow managing to find food. Joe Pender has the knack of finding them too, disconcerting for newcomers as he weaves in and out of the rocky icebergs....


We found the first one, clinging to the almost sheer rocks like a limpet...




And 'relatively' confiding!




Another rock, this time another 2 Purple sands...


A 'must do' when returning from Autumn pelagics. Checking the Gulls out on the final run in is worthwhile too...

Sunday, 30 September 2018

St. Mary's - Lower Moors - Jack Snipe

One thing you can say about Jack Snipe is that they are small, cryptically marked and 'disappear' within their normal habitat. So, it's fair to say these are 'showing well' eh? Try as I might, there was always some vegetation in front of the little blighter!


Even when feeding seemingly in the open!!


The biggest surprise of the evening was when it disappeared and then scuttled across the grass (briefly stopping) below the hide!


It was sooo close but still managed to get grass in the way!


It was even close enough to record it with my phone, whilst merrily bob.. bob.. bobbing along....


Friday, 28 September 2018

St Mary's airfield - Tawny Pipit

I haven't hitched a lift for... well I won't say how many years but with a Tawny Pipit showing 'well' in a small field by the terminal and coming closer. I stuck out my thumb out to the first van I saw by the Health Centre. What a great guy... 'Dougie' took me all the way there but just as I was raising my bins to the bird... it flew!! Best not repeat what I said but all was not lost as it returned 10 minutes later :-)

The field with Scillonian in the distance...


The Tawny Pipit!


Quite distinctive with the sandy plumage standing out like a beacon amongst the Meadow Pipits!




The closest approach and starting to become a bit wary!


Before retreating and then eventally flying as another Helicopter landed!




 Walking through Old Town, I was reminded that if you park a bike against a wall covered in vegetation, you might not find it when you come back! It must grow at an amazing rate!



St. Mary's - Penninis - Ortolan Bunting take 2

The Ortolan Bunting was causing the customary blockage of pedestrians this morning and I got one or two opportunities to take some pics under delightful blue skies...


Never easy to pin down with a clean background...


But close-up crops keep clutter to a minimum...




And nice to get the lichen covered wall shot again!




Blue skies this time and with news of the Tawny Pipit showing well at the airfield, another good bird beckoned...

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Penzance - Eider reflections

I've sat in this same position many times, looking at the rocks and harbour wall for birds? This drake Eider paddled past on a couple of occasions amongst some 'interesting' reflections in the water!




I prefer the splash of blue...




9.15 and it's off to St Mary's...