Thursday, 27 October 2011


Sat (again) on Penninis Head when the pager alerted us to a REV near Porth Hellick. A quick call to Mark at the digs and we were on our way. Got great views almost immediately.
Scilly strikes again!!!

Scilly update

Things are rather slow down here but there's always the anticipation factor to key in. It's a weird situation when you still have great birds present but everyone has seen them! They are in no way de-valued however. While there's time there's still hope for another big one, right?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Finally managed to see the UPLAND SANDPIPER! Granted I'd not put in avoid shift due to the hip situation but this afternoon myuck changed an d it showed down to 20 feet just over the wall in the bulb field. I also got some excellent pics which I'll post when I return.

It seems I CAN add WILSON'S SNIPE having seen one previously and the general consensus down here being that the current bird is a "classic". So I will...

Monday, 24 October 2011


Popped across to Tresco and had a sit in the hide as the weather is grim today. Added a couple of Scilly ticks in the form of LESSER YELLOWLEGS and Pec Sand. Also had prolonged views of a Spotted Crake. Nothing developed regarding the "Nightjar" sp on Penninis. I still haven't seen the UPLAND SANDPIPER in the bulb field! Getting a taxi up there when we land back on Mary's.
That's all for now folks...

Sunday, 23 October 2011


Well, thought the plan was sound. Reached St Levan for dawn and waited. Not a sniff. Then just before 10 a sudden mass departure? "It's on St Mary's"!!!
Stranger than fiction.
Arrived on the Islands slightly early around 3.20 were I bumped into Andy Walker who'd cleaned up...nice 1 pal.
Taxi up to the site but no sign of the Tanager...
I still feel (know) I had the right strategy but I didn't have the right amount of luck!!
Luck improved with a further taxi to Lower Moors were I connected immediately with NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and the WILSON's SNIPE. Amazing and very lucky that the former has been there so long.
I'm VERY satisfied with how things went because there's no way anyone could have predicted the series of events...and it might still re-appear...although I doubt it now.
That's it for now. There will be daily updates due to my limited mobility. Mark at the digs has offered to transport me around the Island... result!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Mixed Messages?

As we approach Bristol with my expert driver at the wheel, I'm trying to make sense of today's events! What's certain is the bird is difficult to see!!! I managed to change our flight time to 3.15 so we have a shot tomorrow morning. Apparently it's OK to park at the Minack Theatre which is handy for yours truly (complete with crutch!).
So, tomorrow could be very special...or not...with the Waterthrush hopefully waiting for me on St Mary's.
Wish me luck...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Status Quo

Well, I got my X-Ray result on Monday evening and it confirmed that I have indeed got arthritis in my other hip. Obviously a consequence of playing football for 11 years in my younger days and being a PE teacher for 22. After a chat with my Doc he signed me off for a month with a view to a consultation with the specialist. Hopefully I'll get the same chap that did such a great job on my other one.
I have to say though that I'm not totally incapacitated. The Doc agreed that I should try to get out of the house within reason to keep the weight down and use the muscles...and stop going stir crazy! I can drive for a while and walk short distances but I soon start to feel the bones touching. It's got to be the weight of my upper body pressing on the hip.
I've talked it over with Louise and we've decided to still take the break on the Scillies. A combination of a crutch/stick support, taxis, some "Big Sits" and maybe the odd pain killer will enable us to hopefully enjoy a decent break. It's a pity for Louise who enjoys (as I normally do) lots of walking around the Islands. We booked (and paid) months ago so we'll just have to see how I go. If it doesn't work out we'll just have to return early...
I'm not going to mention the...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Worth a try

Made the trip to Norfolk with Haydn driving me down...thanks pal. Tony Dixon from Flamborough decided to wait for news. Unfortunately Haydn only has a 2 seater van so we couldn't take Andrew this time, sorry pal. He did make the trip with another mate however. We arrived at dawn with the journey passing swiftly due to the excellent company. We made the thankfully short walk to the site and joined the throng (c700). It was a superb crisp and clear October morning with the sky sprinkled with flocks of Pink-footed Geese...brilliant!
Unfortunately there was no sign of the RUFOUS-TAILED ROBIN and groups (too) soon began to drift away. I still feel it was worth the trip as I don't have to go very often these days. Another MEGA that's been seen on the mainland. Maybe next time?
ASAP always the way for me...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Holiday Yarns 5

Being laid up gives me time to complete my Grouse stories from the Summer. I'd been given some info' regarding sites for this reasonably common, but highly elusive species. I'd had a couple of tries over the previous two weeks with no luck, so it all boiled down to my number one site...Signal Mountain in Grand Teton N.P.

Made it up to the car park before dawn and waited. Unluckily a couple of cars joined me making quite a bit of noise...not good! Anyway they soon disappeared to enjoy the sunrise and I continued to wait. Then out of the gloom there it was, calm as you like, waddling around the car park, not a care in the world! 5 minutes later gone...only one I saw!

Dusky Grouse through the car window!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

New additions

Road test for the dodgy hip by the way of a hobble at Spurn...I can't keep Louise away! Bumped into a few familiar faces. Had a chat with Andy who informed me my Friends of Spurn membership was overdue and Nathan who informed me that a HAWFINCH was showing by Long Bank. A Spurn Area tick no less! Although the bird was deep in the bush it was possible to get decent views...just! Then up it went into the grey yonder...and then there were 2. Also managed a Spurn tick in the form of SCAUP...tarts tick! Also had a chat with Vince and his mate...not seen him down Duff for quite a while.

X-Rays due on Friday...hope it can be sorted...won't mention it again...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Scilly scores again!


Always a very special, enigmatic bird. 44 records but still a MEGA bird for me. Just checked my records...12 years ago since I saw a couple around the airport on St Mary's (26th October)...the last Scilly time flies.

Had a ride out to Spurn today and a short walk with the Budster. Not much around but there were a few groups of Redwings around...signs of Autumn/Winter. We bumped into a lady who recognised Buddy (not me!) which led to a conversation about my Blog. Sorry I forgot to ask your name... but this is a kind of mention I suppose! We'd just reached Patrington when the pager alerted us to a Common Rosefinch back up the road! We let it go but once again it shows the pull of Spurn.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Back online!

Finally got back online at lunchtime. It appears the problem was with BT not O2. Anyway it's sorted now. I went for my X-Ray this morning. It's still sore but settles down with rest. I'm OK for driving and short distances but it soon starts to ache...time will tell?

I've been hobbling down the first hide to stop myself going stir crazy. I managed to finally see the Green Sandpiper (106) on Wednesday. Elaine and Arnie had mentioned there'd been one hanging around for a while but I'd failed to connect until now. Buzzards have also been showing well with 5 birds in view yesterday, 3 over NDC and 2 over Bubwith Ings.

Another "WILSON'S SNIPE" on Scilly and a quicker conformation! I've seen a couple of "pending" birds over the years. It will be interesting to read the accounts on this individual.

Latest here and here

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Still here!

Just a quick post to explain my silence!

Unfortunately my right hip is playing up and very sore. I had the left one replaced in 04 and it's been perfect since. Pay back for all the Football in younger years. I've got an appointment on Friday for an X-ray...fingers crossed it's not too bad. Also our internet connection is down but I thought I'd just send one on Louise's I-phone.

Appreciate the amount of hits I've been getting despite the lack of posts...Cheers!