Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Off Island

Sunday October 20

An extremely heavy shower, pounding on the flat roof, woke us at 5.30.
Hughtown Harbour from The Mermaid

Pam on the quay waiting for the boat, town beach in the background.

Seahorse came in from her early Tresco run and......double parked outside Meridian! That meant having to board and cross two heaving boats.
Sitting on Seahorse, ready for our crossing to Tresco, thunder grumbled away as lightning flashed. Oh dear. The rest of the day was sunny, very warm but with an increasingly strong and gusting wind. The boat rocked and rolled across the Roads, the rollers were coming across us all the way. I enjoyed it though.

The next trepidation was landing at Carn bloody Near. Miles away from where we wanted to be, many steep steps to the quay, and a long trek through featureless, birdless heath. It’s the low tide landing place and the tides have been ‘wrong’ all 10 days.

We waited until last to get off the boat, steps are not good for me and there were many of them. I quite enjoyed our amble, seeing our first Stonechats and an over-ripe fungus which looked like a pansy.

The Abbey gardens are lovely.

Oh dear, the Abbey tea-rooms was closed. We met again the public school teacher with whom we birded in Brazil. We’d forgotten about visiting the released Red Squirrel feeding station and didn’t want to return the extra distance.

Fasciscularia flower growing wild on the islands
The south end of the Great Pool had three trip ticks for us. Mute Swans, Coot and a female Pintail. We heard a Yellow-browed Warbler at Rowesfield crossroads.News came through that the Sora was showing from the Swarovski Hide, too far for us, even if we rushed. A surprise Buzzard showed on the Borough Farm ridge and, at last, we reached the Swarovski Hide. Only three occupants, we sat with a view of the favoured area, later moving seats for a grandstand view. All to no avail, the Sora had made it’s daily appearance. We even waited two hours !
20 Greenshank, 6 Redshank, a female Shoveller, many Gadwall, Canada Geese, a few Teal added to the trip list - Tresco padders. A Kestrel flew past as did a Peregrine - I didn’t see the latter. Big excitement... a Dunnock along the small muddy edge.

Time to leave the wind tunnel, I was very cold by now, first time for months, it was much warmer outside.
Guess what? The Tresco Stores was shut. We’d shared a bag of peanuts for lunch but no drink.
A very confiding Wheatear appeared on New Grimsby beach wall as we walked to the jetty for the 3.00 boat.

I never get tired of photographing Wheatears
Lovely trip back, a myriad Shags disturbed from communal fishing by the boat, others clustered on sea foaming rocks.

 Many more Gannets plunge diving, most of them adults.

Not a good weather forecast. Will I ever get to drive a cart?

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