Saturday 7th - Saturday 14th October 2017GOLDEN ISLES OF SCILLY – AUTUMN MIGRATION
The Isles of Scilly, an archipelago lying 28 miles southwest of Land’s End is famous for being Europe’s top location for migrant and rare birds.
They consist of 5 inhabited and around 50 uninhabited islands which offer birds the first and last landfall for thousands of miles. Over 400 species have been recorded on the islands, more than any other single site in Europe.
Tour Leader: Steve Grimwade
Maximum Group Size: 8
Days 1 - 7
At this time of year depending on weather, almost anything can appear from all points of the compass. It is not unusual to see birds from North America alongside birds from Asia.
Common species on the islands in October can include Firecrest, Black Redstart and Northern Wheatear, although it is the rarities that keep the adrenaline going.
From North America recent visitors have included Northern Waterthrush, Wilson’s Snipe, Upland, Buff-breasted and White-rumped Sandpipers, Hudsonian Whimbrel, Black-and-White Warbler, Swainson’s and Grey-cheeked Thrushes, Scarlet Tanager, American Robin, Red-eyed Vireo and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
From the east Pied Wheatear, Citrine Wagtail, Jack Snipe, Red-flanked Bluetail, Pallas’s and Paddyfield Warblers and Olive-backed and Red-throated Pipits may appear, whilst Yellow-browed Warbler, Richard’s Pipit, Common Rosefinch, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Wryneck and Red-backed Shrike are annual visitors to these beautiful islands.
There is a huge variety of habitat, from sea cliffs, reedy pools, coastal moorland, sandy beaches and both deciduous and Pine woodlands, so it is not difficult to see why this wonderful place is so popular. There are few vehicles on the islands, which makes birdwatching and walking relaxing and enjoyable. There is also a tearoom or two that we will definitely be visiting!
Temperate conditions on the islands attract some interesting species including the Prickly Stick Insect. Monarch Butterflies from the United States are recorded some years, whilst Common Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise are frequently seen and the occasional whale offshore.
Our superb accommodation is on the largest of the islands, St Marys and just a five minute walk to the quay. From here inter-island launches take birders to other inhabited islands, Bryher, St Agnes, Tresco and St Martins. After a good day’s birding we will enjoy a hearty meal at a local restaurant and later take a stroll to the local club, where it is customary to take part in the nightly log-call whilst enjoying a drink in the bar.
Our tour includes the crossing on the Scillonian III from Penzance to St Marys. The two and a half hour crossing will give a good chance to see seabirds such as Gannets fishing in the Atlantic with maybe a skua or petrel. On previous tours we have seen Fea’s Petrel, Grey Phalarope, Balearic, Sooty and Manx Shearwaters plus Common Dolphins on the crossing. Fine food, fresh air, exercise and beautiful scenery are in store for all on this trip, the birds being merely a bonus!
Overnight: St Mary’s
Ferry from Penzance to St Mary’s
Half board accommodation for 7 nights
Luggage transfer from Quay to Guest House
2 Inter-Island boat trips
Full guiding throughout
Drinks and items of a personal nature
Moderate with four to five miles walking per day
Expect around 100 species
Tour Price: £995
Single Supplement: £90