Isles of Scilly

9 to 19th October 1999

All photographs copyright Paul Gale Bird Photography

One of the great years on the Scillies. News of a Siberian Thrush on Gugh came on the pager the day before I arrived. On the Scillonian, news came over of a White's Thrush on St Agnes. On arriving at St Mary's I got the boat to St Agnes, and went straight to Gugh to see the male Siberian Thrush. The underwing pattern is clearly visible in flight. Then back to Agnes to see the White's Thrush which I photographed in flight. I'm on Tresco, when news comes out of a Short-toed Eagle over St Agnes. From Tresco we can see it as a distant dot over telegraph on St Mary's. On getting back to Mary's I get on a boat to the Eastern Isles, following the eagle, which has landed on the rocks. Later that day, there's an Upland Sandpiper on St Mary's. Most of the week is spent on Agnes trying to get better views of the White's Thrush, which proves impossible, although there's a Monarch butterfly outside the Post Office. While looking for the White's Thursh, the short-toed eagle is seen circling. It goes higher and higher on the thermals until a distant dot it heads off south east towards France. There must have been 500 birders watching it go and willing it to make it across to France. Also on Agnes is a Siberian Stonechat. On the final day there's a yellow-billed cuckoo on Tresco, and a Raddes Warbler on Mary's. Also seen, Blue Rock Thrush St Mary's.

White's Thrush, St Agnes Radde's Warbler

Short-toed Eagle, Eastern Isles, Isles of Scilly

Upland Sandpiper, Isles of Scilly

Monarch Butterfly, St Agnes

Siberian Stonechat, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly

Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Black-necked Grebe, Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Ring Ouzel, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Wednesday 6 Oct, Gugh, Siberian Thrush in plantation, Garden Warbler, White's Thrush, Raddes Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Swallows, Redwing

Thursday 7 Oct, 8:30 - 11:30 St Agnes, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Greenfinch, Blackbird. 11:30 - 4:30 Tresco, Song Thrush ate my lunch. Short-toed Eagle, 2 Whooper Swans or Great Pool, 2 Black-necked Grebe on Abbey Pool, 8 Little Egrets. St Mary's Upland Sandpiper, 2 Wheatear.

Friday 8 Oct. 7:20 am Upland Sandpiper on St Mary's. St Agnes, Siberian Thrush, Blackcap, Peregrine, Arctic Skua from boat. Boat trip around Eastern Isles to see Short-toed Eagle, mobbed by Ravens, landed on rocks. St Mary's Upland Sandpiper.

Sunday 10 Oct 1999. Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Meadow Pipit, Wheatear, Goldfinch, Greenshank, Grey Heron, Monarch over airport, Upland Sandpiper, Golden Plover.

Monday 11 Oct 1999. 8:30 boat to St Agnes. 4 Monarch butterflies flying over island, Siberian Stonechat. Departure of the Short-toed Eagle - left Ganilly at approximately 10:45 am went over St Matin's and started gaining height while over the sea between Martin's and Tresco, went over St Agnes very high and then over Mary's - last seen over the airport and high out to sea heading south-south-east, presumably to France.

Tuesday 12 Oct 99. St Agnes Song Thrush, 2 Reed warblers, chiffchaffs, Monarch roosting.

Wednesay 13 October 99 - Tresco, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-necked Grebe, Goldcrests.

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