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
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
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Another day on St Mary’s
Looking back to Porthcressa
A Scillonian post-agricultural landscape
Brightly marked starling
Iceland gull with herring gulls
The Iceland gull
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
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 smart male
Wrens are perhaps the commonest bird on the Islands
Bryher is well worth a visit – you won’t be disappointed.
This is perhaps a bit esoteric … but it is quite therapeutic …. 16 mins of gigs coming in after the Men’s Final
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
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)
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 ……
But none of this explains why 10 pints of Proper Job had to accompany me .. all’s well this morning
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
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 – a passage migrant on Scilly
A colony of fulmar
An unnamed granite outcrop on Castella Down
The Troytown maze
A rock pipit
Pretty much my favourite island
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
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
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)