A second visit to St Agnes

I am now back in Exeter but here are a few pictures from my visit to St Agnes last Thursday.

One of the first birds we saw after landing was this marsh harrier

A little bit later it re-appeared

A cracking male and female turnstone on the beach

A starling by the church

Fabulous stained glass windows by local artist, Oriel Hicks – the St Agnes Lighthouse

The original use of Pilot Gig boats

Two crosses

This is one of my favourite places on Scilly – Gugh Bar

But this is my favourite spot – full stop – having a pint at the Turks Head on Agnes looking over to Gugh and St Marys

This tweet has nearly 49k impressions and 78 likes – seems I’m not the only one who likes it!

 

 

St Mary’s – more landscapes and birds

Another day on St Mary’s

At Peninnis

Looking back to Porthcressa

A Scillonian post-agricultural landscape

Yellowflag

A  cormorant

An Oystercatcher

Brightly marked starling

Herring gull

Iceland gull with herring gulls

The Iceland gull

Again

A peregrine

 

A trip to Bryher – landscapes and birds

Went to Bryher yesterday – it is such a beautiful and rugged island – here are a few pictures.

This is Shipman Head at the north end of the island

And this is Hell Bay – it takes the full unimpeded force of a westerly gale

Thift flowering beside Popplestone Bay

A maze beside Popplestone Bay

Rock sculture

Steve enjoying the view and snapping a few shots

There was a flock of four Dunlin on the Pool

They were very tame which implies they hadn’t seen people before

Birds from the wilderness

Smart bird in summer plumage

A whimbrel amongst the thrift

On its way to breed in the far north on the tundra

A stonechat

A smart male

Wrens are perhaps the commonest bird on the Islands

Bryher is well worth a visit – you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Gig Rowing Champs Day 3

The morning after the day before …….. big time sea mist

Can’t even see the end of harbour

Through the mist an ocean liner appears

Getting better – soon be time to start racing …

Rodney Bey heads out for the Finals

Followed by Shelly Maid

Rodney Bey weaving her way through the boats in the harbour

Followed by Shelly Maid

 

Like butterflies over the water …

Still a bit misty half way over

But it has cleared by the time racing begins. On the way back …. Rodney Bey holding off Ella Rose

 Shelly Maid – looking good

 

 

And now the liner appears! Shelly Maid being edged by Energy

Glorious spectacle

End of the Men’s Race – all the Crews raise their oars to the Champions

Nothing quite like it in UK sport

158 gigs with their oars – amazing

Well done all and thanks to the organisers….. lets do it all again next year.

Congratulations to Looe (Mens champions) Caradon (Ladies champions)

 

 

Gig champs day 2

The weather yesterday was idyllic! I can’t remember a World Champs Day when the weather was so perfect.

It all starts at a leisurely pace….

Standing around and thinking

It’s a busy beach now

The sunlight was perfect …

On the way out to the start

And then the racing begins

Shelly Maid in the middle of it

Coxing in action ……

All done

But none of this explains why 10 pints of Proper Job had to accompany me .. all’s well this morning

 

 

A quiet day on St Mary’s

Lots of people now arriving for the World Gig Rowing Championships ……

The Islands are busy with people but very quiet for birds at the moment as the winds are from the north and there is no migration happening.

The Scillonian arrives for the first of its two trips

The Royal Marines have arrived and have parked on Porth Mellon beach

The mist has risen and the planes are flying

The Truro gig Royal has added the historic sails that were once used on gig boats – you dont often see that

Oars a plenty

A good selection of gin at the Scillonian Club

One of the resident Song Thrushes has a mouthful of snails

All’s good on Scilly

A day on St Agnes

Spent the day on St Agnes yesterday

On the tripper boat …

Gugh Bar joins At Agnes with Gugh – the most famous tombolo in the world!

Pleased to see a small colony of kittiwakes surviving on Gugh – Britain’s most endangered seabird as a result of climate change and rising ocean temperatures.

Looking over to Gugh

The Devil’s Punchbowl on Wingletang Down

Cuckoo on Wingletang Down

The Nag’s Head

Male wheatear Р a passage migrant on Scilly

A colony of fulmar

An unnamed granite outcrop on Castella Down

Male Stonechat

The Troytown maze

A rock pipit

Pretty much my favourite island

Another day on St Mary’s

Lovely sunshine but a bit of a wind today – had a 16km walk around St Mary’s.

Across from St Mary’s to the daymark on St Martin’s

Watermill Cove in the sunshine

The uninhabited island of Sampson

Out to the Eastern Isles

How about that for a view from the green

Oystercatchers on Porthloo beach

Solitary bird

Whimbrel on the beach – there must be 200 of these migrants on the Islands at the moment

Showing off its crown stripe which distinguishes it from a curlew (well at least one of the features)

A rather nice stonechat

And an obliging linnet

 

 

St Mary’s birds and landscapes

Spent the day yesterday wandering around St Mary’s, lovely sunny day and lots of swallows and martins migrating through the Islands.

A swallow on the wire in Old Town

House martin at Kitty Down

And in amongst a flock of a 100 plus swallows, house martins and sand martins was this red-rumped swallow – a spring overshoot from southern Europe. Also saw my first swift of the year today.

Looking from Kitty Down back to High Moors and Porthellick

And then this at at Higher Moors ….. the Wildlife Trust have coppiced all the willows next to the hide and as a result there is absolutely no cover when approaching the hide, so no birds at all at the southern end of the pool. Surely this could have been planned and executed differently? It will now take several years before the cover regrows and hide becomes usable again. I really hope next autumn doesn’t see the same treatment up to the next hide……

The beach at Porthloo

Which hosted this 1st winter Iceland Gull – note the bird is all white and has no black tips to the wing. A rare visitor to the UK, but this year has seen quite and influx.

From Porthloo back to the harbour at Hugh Town

The sun setting over the Atlantic (pub and ocean)