Scilly 2013

A nice week on Scilly. As usual plenty of interest with some nice weather as well. The best birds were Sora, Purple Heron, Arctic Warbler, Bluethroat, Richards Pipit, Red Breasted Flycatcher, Short Toed Lark, Wryneck and Yellow Browed Warbler. Other good birds were a very approachable Snow Bunting, Lapland Buntings, Jack Snipes, Firecrest and a Spotted Crake. Balearic Shearwaters and a Bonxie were seen on the Scillionian crossings as well as lots of Common Dolphin, Harbour Porpoise and a Basking Shark. Some interesting moths were seen, Convolvulus and Death’s Head Hawkmoth and a Scarce Blackneck. I also saw a “scilly shrew”.









clouded yellow

convolvulus hawk-moth

death's head hawk-moth


snow bunt

snow bunt2





Scarce Blackneck




Spurn & Blacktoft Sands

Travelled up to Spurn at the weekend to see the Rock Thrush that had been seen there on the previous two days. Unfortunately it was not seen but as we were up this part of the country Michael and I got to meet up with Danny who is at Uni in Hull. We went for a curry and stayed in Hull the night. We popped into Blacktoft Sands RSPB on the way home Sunday. The Wheatear picture below was taken at Spurn, The Grasshopper Warbler picture and video and Tree Sparrow picture were taken at Blacktoft Sands.

wheatear227042013grasshopper warbler

Grasshopper Warbler video :-

tree sparrows

North Uist 9/4/2013

Today started with a lovely sunrise ( The picture was taken from the window of our room in the Lochmaddy Hotel).  The weather was sunny all day although still quite cold. We went back to Balranald RSPB to see the Harlequin Duck again. There are pictures of Twite, Corn Bunting and Rock Dove all of which are quite common birds around Balranald. We got the 4pm boat back to Skye and stayed in the Uig Hotel for the night.

sunriseharlequinaharlequinbbalranald1balranald2balranald3balranald4twitecorn buntingrock doveferry

Harlequin Duck 8/4/2013

Finally had a chance to see the Harlequin Duck that has been around since the 18/2/2013. As we had arrived on the boat the previous evening we were the only people looking for the bird this morning. It was spotted after about 10 minutes searching feeding about 200 yards offshore. It later came ashore on a rocky outcrop to preen and rest. Later we toured the Islands and saw 3 Golden Eagles, 8 Hen Harriers, 2 Merlin, 2 Short Eared Owls. There were 100’s of Greenland White Fronted Geese around the Islands along with 100’s of Redwings.


Scotland 6/4/2013

Spent most of the day driving up to Scotland. Our first destination for the day was Belach-na-Bah (The Pass of the cattle) which is the road to Applecross, Wester Ross. I had read that it was possible to see Ptarmigan here at the highest point by walking a fairly short distance towards the transmitter on the peak. This proved to be correct and I saw two Ptarmigan just below the transmitter. It was an exciting drive along the windy,steep road to the summit. We then stayed the night at the Kyle Hotel in Kyle near the Skye Bridge.I did about 600 miles and drove for about 12 hours.If you look closely there is a ptarmigan in the last photo.