I spent the morning yesterday on Peninnis Head – it was very breezy and cold.
The ‘lighthouse’ on the point
Thrift by a rock
White horses out at sea
A Ring Ouzel
A well marked male was very skulking and elusive – the best photo I could manage
A cracking Wheatear
The islands are fully of wheatears at the moment – amazing that none stay to breed – all the birds are migrants on their way to the uplands
Out to sea the Royal Marines were battling the waves on their way to the Islands – must have been an uncomfortable crossing
They finally arrived – four landing craft in all – with their valuable cargoes – 4 gigs ready for the weekend
Two smaller craft were moored up by the Quay
A section of photos from our meanderings around St Agnes and Gugh today.
A nice Ring Ouzel from Gugh
Another fabulous Black Redstart
A calling Starling
An interesting hare weather vane
The Nag’s Head on St Agnes
‘Queen Victoria’ at the entrance to St Agnes Quay
An interesting rock on Gugh!
Dartmoor comes to Gugh
We found this short – beaked common dolphin spine of Gugh – Steve gives a sense of scale
Another cracking sunset – this time from Gugh showing the Hermitage and the Bishop Rock Lighthouse
The same but this time including the St Agnes Lighthouse as well
We spent the day on Bryher yesterday – it’s an island which is really growing on me.
The view from Shipman Head Down looking west
Looking north to Shipman Head
Across to Bishop Rock
There were quite a few stonechats on Bryher including this attractive male
And a flock to six snow buntings on Shipman Head Down including this female in autumn plumage
We saw at least two ring ouzels – they were very flighty and this is the nearest I could get to any of them
A grey heron feeding among the seaweed
Bryher has undergone a lot of agricultural change in the years that I have known it – it has been described by my supervisor Professor Michael Winter as a ‘post agricultural landscape’. In due course I will write a short piece about agricultural change and the future for farming on Scilly.
We spent most of yesterday on Tresco where we saw the Hudsonian Whimbrel – see here. After coming back from Tresco we went round to Penninis on St Mary to see the Blyth’s pipit. My photos are not great because it was quite a long way off.
A blown up image of the back of the bird showing its covert feathers – black spots with tawny lower margins
On Tresco I found this hoverfly – Volucella zonaria – which is a large fly which mimics a hornet
Also found a prickly stick insect – they live in the wild on Tresco but are originally from New Zealand – It is about 6″ long and is quite impressive
A close up of the prickles
We found 4 ring ouzels on Penninis – here is one of them
And this smart little stonechat
Sunset across to St Agnes from St Marys
A book written by Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss has just been published to celebrate the cult Radio 4 programme ‘Tweet of the Day’. To get a feel for the radio programme listen here to Bill Oddie talking about the ring ouzel.
The book ‘ Tweet of the Day’ is well written and contains lots of interesting anecdotes but for me it is made by the illustrations by Carry Akroyd – she has done 248 ‘pied vignettes’ and 36 colour pages. Here are a couple of ‘Dartmoor’ examples from the book.
The cover of the book
The peregrine pages – a pied vignette and a colour page
The red grouse
In my opinion it is worth buying ‘Tweet of the Day’ simply for the illustrations!
I have been a big fan of Carry for years and when I left Wicken Fen for Dartmoor my colleagues asked Carry to paint a Wicken Fen landscape for me
– it is one of my most treasured possessions.
If you like Carry’s work I can also recommend her book ‘Natures powers and spells’ – full of her paintings