Well, I'm back home after my 9 day trip to my favourite British Birding destination. Yesterday was spent at my grandsons in Leeds taking it easy after all the travelling and excitement. It was a great extended week of typical Scilly birding.
Considering the excellent weather, some quality species graced the Fortunate Isles throughout our stay. I don't want to repeat what I've already written but I'd like to offer a few comments on my trip.
Firstly, I really enjoyed going "earlier". During my past life as a teacher my week was determined by half-term which occurred 7 or 8 weeks after the start of the school year. This meant my week usually started in the twenty somethings of October. A couple of years we were there after the clocks had changed which meant it was going dark at 5. This year it was light till 7ish...a big bonus. Don't get me wrong I've seen some great birds in teachers week including COMMON NIGHTHAWK and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, it was just an improvement to have a long afternoon.
I met a lot of different birders. The atmosphere was great and even though there were more birders present things were relaxed and convivial. I even received a few favourable comments on my blog! The 3 star birds were...
RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL -
BLYTH'S PIPIT -
HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL -
I managed to add 4 species to my Scilly list, taking it to a still modest 208.
We're well established now in our excellent flat and I appreciated these wonderful islands probably more than I have ever done before. The down side was my lack of mobility which wasn't helped by the substantial hills on the islands. I still managed to around, it just took longer! There was a lot more time spent at one location, which to be honest I really enjoyed.
Now about that bird in Scotland?
When the WILSON'S WARBLER broke on Tuesday I was a tad frustrated to put it mildly, after my previous years disappointments. It should have been here! Thing is, there's always a risk of this scenario occurring in October (obviously). In fact I'm getting quite used to it...in a masochistic sort of way! As we were travelling back on Saturday night along the M5, I was making arrangements for my attempt on Monday. I'd been offered a place on a charter for Sunday (academic now) but I declined as I was visiting my Grandson (as already stated).
I guess the BIG question for me is...would I leave Scilly?
I'm a loyal sort of chap and as you know I'm as keen as anyone to twitch a new bird. Splitting our holiday in half with a two day jaunt to the Outer Hebrides just wouldn't be the ticket, even though Louise later told me "You could have gone if you'd wanted". So...that's that. Still time for another before the end of the month...and hopefully still a few more years in me to get some of them back?