Thursday, 23 April 2015


News broke last Tuesday as we were nearly home from Dorset after collecting my almost vintage V70. I'd swapped my day off to allow us to do this. The combination of a long drive and no further days off that week made a journey back south impossible.

My mate Tony Dixon travelled down and went across on the Spewlonian Wednesday morning. Conditions weren't great as fog lingered throughout the day. Unfortunately it flew off from Old Town Bay at 11am before the boat arrived. I can imagine the mood was pretty grim by early afternoon with no further sightings!

2.41pm and a message saying the bird had been re-located in a weedy field in Holy Vale. Tony later told me that the scene was somewhat confusing with birders strung out along the path. Some gaining much better views than others in the still foggy conditions. Fortunately for Tony the bird flew close by him and he was able to confirm that it was indeed the GREAT BLUE HERON. Others weren't so fortunate including both his travelling companions!

Yours truly was working the weekend and through till Thursday (today) so hopes of connecting were slim. I then received a text of Tony saying he was thinking of returning on Monday to try and get some photos. Could I get a shift swap? Managed it at the third attempt!! Otherwise today would have been my first chance.

Tony picked me up Sunday evening and we drove down to Penzance for the Monday morning boat. I reckon there were 100 plus birders on the Scillonian. An inter island boat was waiting for us as we docked and we all piled on.

The journey across was a strange one as we moved very slowly and approached to the west of Bryher. This was obviously due to the tides. It meant however we couldn't land at any of the quays. The boat stopped around 50 metres from the shore. Surely not? Then we saw the dinghy! 

5 trips were needed before we all made landfall. The slow crossing and staged landing certainly added to the tension even though we'd received messages confirming it's presence. 

So, we're on Bryher but is it still there?

A tense 10 minute walk ensued before it became obvious the bird was still present. PHEW!!!

Glorious day with a MEGA bird showing well. Nice.

Some of the following pics in the sequence are not great but I thought it might give a flavour of the day...

There we are then. A great day. As fellow twitchers will know only too well, things don't always go as smoothly as this! The bird even flew by us on it's way to Tresco as we made our way back to St Mary's.

BIG thanks to my workmate for swapping shifts. Also to Tony Dixon for driving both ways allowing me to get some vital sleep.

No comments: