Thursday, May 23, 2013

And Another......

I've been on a couple of ambles in the last few days and we've had some pretty good weather despite the Northerly winds. My first was to my usual haunting ground up by the bird hide near the island office, and my second down towards the end of Pentle Bay.

This year as we have had so much rain the water level in the pool is very high and therefore we have no muddy banks favoured by waders such as Greenshanks, sandpipers and sanderlings. Therefore its the usual suspects down there and no new arrivals. However its certainly worth checking out how they are all doing.....

The Cygnets are doing well despite the presence of our two resident Buzzards. These both live in the trees behind Racket town, towards the middle of the island and can often  be heard hawking as they scan the ground for prey. Due to the fact that they have such amazing eyesight they often float way too far up for my camera to get a good photo of them and have, as a result, been a bit of an ongoing challenge for me. I have been in their presence many times and have fired off
hundreds off shots trying to get a good picture of them. So far this is my best, although i'm determined to get a better shot of either of them.

It would be good to see if they breed too this year. 

On my way home I noticed that we were graced with what is called a 22 degrees halo. This is formed when the sun shines through hexagonal shaped ice crystals in the atmosphere and the result is this circular rainbow effect all around the sun. It is not the rarest of solar effects but pretty all the same. Due to the fact that I did not think it would come out on my camera I did not really try to capture it properly and therefore didn't get the whole thing in the frame. Next time.

Yesterday I decided to head down towards the South East end of the island to escape the wind and see what I could find. Yet again we have been having the quietest of Springs but still there were some things to point a camera at.

Oystercatchers are everywhere, on this island and now it seems, on the mainland. The bottom photo was of a rather upset parent warning me off with their irritating call  as I wandered too close to their nest. Usually this consists of an almost lazily dug out patch of sand at the top of the beach. Although they are stunning birds too look at, I think they are just annoying with their constant yapping at all hours of the night and day. I'm sure if they were rarer they would be highly regarded as they really do have a striking appearance.

There are also Turnstones all over the Scillies, you can see them on almost any large patch of seaweed or shingly beach. They get their name by the way they flip over small stones with their beak looking for invertebrates to feast upon.

They seem rather happy being approached by humans as long as you are slow and don't make any sudden movements. I was about twelve feet away from this adult and, what I believe were their offspring, were approximately twenty-five feet away but they didn't flinch.

As the sun was getting lower in the sky I came across a small gathering of little Ringed Plovers. They are nearly always present on the island but are very well camouflaged and can easily be missed. You can usually spot them at the point where the sea and the shore meet looking for a quick meal in the sand.

On my way home past the heliport I came across this fledgling thrush being looked after by a its parent. Not quite ready to fend for itself.

I love the fact that we have limpet shells as part of our 'tarmac'

I've drunk too much wine, goodnight....


  1. Oystercatchers are such lovely colourful birds and they take a really nice photo, so neat and tidy. Chicks again-the fluff factor's going up....but they are just magical to see.

  2. Lovely blog and gorgeous photos!

  3. Oystercatchers are my favourites .. but now you mention it I suppose their cry can be a bit annoying. But they always make me smile .. there is something comical about them.