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Isles of Scilly - 2012 : page 1
So here I am again. The trip started off well with a lifer in the form of a Sykes Warbler which seemed to be pretty much what it said on the tin but it didn't quite match my expectation of a Sykes and, despite its long spiky bill and clean white under parts, often exhibited Booted Warbler traits. After this bird on the first day it returned to usual Scilly birds, Grey-cheeked Thrush, Blackpoll Warbler, American Golden Plover etc and I really struggled to get any decent shots of some of the birds. Fog hampered photographing Grey-cheeked Thrush, Dotterel and Buff-bellied Pipit, I only saw the American Golden Plover well on St. Agnes for a short while and then distantly on Porth Hellick, failed to get any usable shots of the Sykes Warbler, record shots of the Blackpoll, none of the rather contraversial Humes Yellow-browed Warbler whilst Solitary Sandpiper on Bryher made up for the lack of quality images. Yellow-browed Warblers and Firecrests were thin on the ground whilst three Ring-necked Ducks mid way through my second week should have been something so much rarer from the west.

The final throw was me finding a very brief Olive-backed Pipit on Bryher and showy but poor photos of a Booted Warbler on St. Agnes on my last morning. However on my return home I downloaded the final images from Bryher from the Friday and found I had photographed a Buff-bellied Pipit at Droppy Nose Point when photographing Rock Pipits just before I headed back to the boat!. As it was Friday and my last night we went out for a meal and I had to pack instead of me downloading the days images as would normally.

The Saturday afternoon was a long drive home and the Sunday was sorting out things at home after not being there for nearly 4 weeks so on Monday I was some what shocked and annoyed to see that in between Rock Pipit photos was a series of Buff-bellied Pipit photos. I actually remember the bird. It was close, not overly dark but as it was confiding I concentrated on getting the shots and made the fatal mistake of simply concentrating on that and not the bird itself in the view finder, I will 'never' make that mistake again. At least I have correct my error in identification but I apologise to the birders on Scilly, and especially to those on Bryher that day, for not clicking to what the bloody things was.

The weather was generally not up to much, to much fog, drizzle and only a few days on lovely weather. Not the best year I've had on the islands but not the worst.

Whooper Swan, Great Pool, Tresco, 18th October 2012
Six birds were present during the week, these images were taken from the David Hunt Hide as they were directly into the sun from the Swarovski Hide at the other end.
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UK Rarities
 
 
Ring-necked Ducks, Porth Hellick, St. Mary's, 17th October 2012
First year drake and two females arrived in Porthlow the previous evening before relocating to Porth Hellick later the same day. I took these images there first morning from the Seward Hide. For more images of these birds click here.
Dotterel, Peninnis Head, St. Mary's, 9th October 2012
This fine juvenile was present on the end of Peninnis for sometime however the constant fog meant getting decent shots was on the tricky side with these two taken during a short break in the murky conditions.
 
American Golden Plover, Periglis Beach, St. Agnes, 8th October 2012
This bird was seen on St. Agnes during a break in the fog whilst I was over for the Grey-cheeked Thrush. It was only present a short time before it relocated to the Airfield on St. Mary's. I saw it subsequently a week later on Porth Hellick Beach. Note the fresh lower rear scapulars that contrast with the rest of the juvenile plumage. Further images of this bird can be found here
 
 
Solitary Sandpiper, Bryher, 12th October 2012
I was over looking on Bryher looking for a Blackpoll Warbler with Ian but was sat in the cafe when this bird was found a short distance away. It favoured a small manure heap between the Hell Bay Hotel and the island dump and showed well for a few days. more of this highlight of the season can be seen here
 
Greenshank, Lower Moors, St. Mary's, 7th October 2012
Lower Moors has got to be one of the best places in the UK for getting close shots of Greenshanks.
 
Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Peninnis Head, St. Mary's, 7th October 2012
October Buff-breasted Sandpipers on Scilly are usually pretty scarce so I was pleased to get this bird early morning on its last day.
 
Little Stint, Abbey Pool, Tresco, 6th October 2012
I've not seen many Little Stints on Scilly, most have already gone through by October so this bird was good to see despite the angle of the sun making photography difficult.
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Blackpoll Warbler
Coal Tit
Booted Warbler
Greenshank
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Little Stint
Buff-bellied Pipit
Grey-cheeked Thrush
Solitary Sandpiper
American Golden Plover
Dotterel
Ring-necked Ducks
Whooper Swan
Video Clips