Thursday, May 27, 2004

Early morning low cloud gives way to brilliant sunshine by the time we make our way to the quay to take the boat to Tresco. We land at New Grimsby, and after a quick look around the gallery, we head on towards the Great Pool. Four Swifts circle over Abbey Farm and a Goldcrest sings at the junction with Racket Town Lane. We walk slowly along Pool Road seeing Chaffinches, Linnets and Goldfinches feeding in the trees and fields. At the turn for the hide a Blackcap is singing but it is in thick cover and we fail to locate it. From the hide we see Mute Swan, Gadwall and Shelduck, but it is wader-free and we continue along Pool Road where we come across our second singing Blackcap. We eventually find him, but he proves extremely difficult to see and a Dunnock adds to the confusion. We continue down to Rowesfield where we are greeted by another singing Blackcap. A full-scale search ensues and most (but not all!) eventually get a glimpse of the songster.

We have lunch in the sun by the southern end of the Great Pool in the company of a family of Shelduck. As we finish lunch all the gulls, ducks and Oystercatchers take flight noisily from Abbey Pool. We search the sky but canÂ’t see what has put them all up. We make our way round to Abbey Pool which now holds far fewer birds, but a single Grey Heron and a first-summer Black-headed Gull are among the few birds left on the pool. Ray then picks up a raptor to the north over Lizard Point. It's a male Marsh Harrier and we all get scope views as it circles before heading off low towards St Martin's.

At the Abbey Gardens we split in to two groups. Ray goes in to the gardens with Sylvia, Ian, John and Alison while Steve continues the walk around the island with Pam, Phil, Margaret and Graham.

Ray's group enjoy the gardens (complete with Blackcap) before visiting Appletree Point to look for terns before walking back along the beach to Plumb Hill and back to New Grimsby for the

Steve's group walk along Borough Road, through Borough Farm and down to Old Grimsby. It is very quiet and apart from plenty of very fat Pheasants and a Red-legged Partridge, little else is seen before we take a break in the Island Hotel garden for a drink before joining the others at the quay.

The return trip to St Mary's is brightened up with a quick visit to Samson to pick a couple of day-trippers to the island. Just offshore Puffin Island, a Grey Seal is receiving a lot of attention from the gulls. The boat cruises within meters of the seal and we see it is feasting on a Conger Eel! Fantastic! The seal rolls on the surface with the half-eaten eel but the gulls donÂ’t look too keen on getting too close to the action and keep a respectable distance.

We return to St Mary's, and after freshening up head up to Juliet's Garden for a splendid evening - our last all together as we lose Sylvia, Ian, Graham and Ray in tomorrow afternoon.

No comments: