Friday, May 28, 2004

Overnight the islands have been lashed by wind and rain and we wake to an overcast and drizzly morning. We take a taxi mini-bus up to Pelistry and then a gentle meander along Pelistry Lane to Green Farm and down Green Lane to the coast. It begins to rain and most move faster than they have all week to reach for their waterproofs from their rucksacks! By the time everyone is zipped and hooded up its stopped raining! Still, everyone (bar Ray and Steve) are ready for the next shower.

At the coast we find the usual array of residents including Wren, Greenfinches, Linnet, Oystercatcher and two Shelduck. A Grey Seal bobs in the bay below us, trying its best to look like a buoy. The view across to St Martin's and the Eastern Isles is fantastic, even in the mirkiness of today.

We walk along to Watermill Cove and up to the burial chamber at Innisidgen where we take in the 3000-year-old tomb and again enjoy the views across to the other islands. The Scillonian III sails past, bringing another boatload of holidaymakers to the islands. A lone Kittiwake wanders in front of the boat and a huge flock of Shags fly low across the sea in front of us.

We walk through the pines towards Trenowerth and come across a lone Swift feeding low over the trees, sweeping back and forth on its sickle-shaped wings. Two Turtle Doves take off from a nearby tree and fly around before landing back in one of the large pines. One bird is viewable, and Steve soon has his scope on the bird and most get a good look before it takes flight.

The walk down to Telegraph is peppered with fine showers, but the trees at the Brant's Carn provides shelter for lunch - with yet another astounding view, this time overlooking Bar Point on St Mary's pointing out across to Tresco. A Stonechat and a Blackbird provide bird interest while we feed our faces.

We take the path around the seaward side of the golf course which is dotted with more Linnets and a couple of fine male Stonechats before arriving at JulietÂ’s Garden for a welcome hot drink and slice of cake.

We bid farewell to Ian, Sylvia and Graham who are leaving early to make haste to their newly arrived grand-daughter (or niece in Graham's case). Ray is also leaving early to get back home to Scotland to begin his own holiday with wife Anne and friends.

The remaining six of us head off in the mizzle down along the Lower Moor trail to the hide (taking in Porthloo Duck Pond and its collection of exotica. No you can't count the Wood Duck Phil!). The continued cool and dampness of the day is having its toll on the wildlife, with virtually nothing seen en-route. At the hide we do at least get good views of a Grey Heron stalking the reed fringe in search of prey.

With little sign of the drizzle lessening, we head back to town for a spot of prezzie-purchasing and early return to the guesthouse. After dinner the checklist is forsaken for the men's Pilot Gig race. We wander down to the quay in the brightening skies to join the race goers and enjoy the atmosphere of the being at in the thick of the action as the boats battle round the triangular course, with Golden Eagle taking first place. We wander back to the guesthouse in good mood and to prepare for our final day and departure tomorrow.

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