On the 15th October:
The start of a 4 day trip to the Isles of Scilly, beginning at Trehoweth where in a large field by the road we saw a Rustic Bunting, a new bird for us. After a brief wait the bunting flew in and landed about 20 feet away, so we had great views. Also seen in this area where 2 Whinchats, a Tawny Pipit, a Black Redstart and a Redstart.
Then we went to Watermill Cove where we saw an immature Rose-coloured Starling on telephone wires, another new bird for us. Also here was a Spotted Flycatcher, a Hobby, a Siskin, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 6 Redwings, 2 Fieldfares and 2 Merlins.
From there to Pelistry where there was a Pied Flycatcher and a Lapland Bunting, at Lower Moors the best were 2 Water Rails and finally on Porthcressa beach we saw c40 Turnstone, 5 Ringed Plovers and a Sanderling.
Rustic Bunting, drawings by Laurel Tucker.
We started today at Salakee seeing a Whinchat, a Redstart and 3 Turtle Doves. Then we caught the boat to St. Agnes and around the island we saw 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Pied Flycatchers, a Red-breasted Flycatcher, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Black Redstart, a Red-backed Shrike, a Scaup, a Curlew Sandpiper, the Semipalmated Plover again, a Merlin and a Scilly Shrew.
Our last morning on the Isles of Scilly, an early start on St. Agnes seeing a Firecrest, then we spent some time watching a warbler which proved to be a Marsh Warbler and we saw the American Golden Plover on the beach again.
Back in Cornwall we went to Marazion Marsh which was quiet, then to Stithians Reservoir where there were lots of Golden Plovers. Then we went to Black Rocks, where this time we did see the controversial Kestrel/Lesser Kestrel, we watched it for over an hour at quite close range, it appeared to show features of both species, but, in the end decided that it was an odd male Kestrel.
Drawings of odd Kestrel by Laurel Tucker.
A cold, dry, windy morning on St. Agnes, where we saw the Booted Warbler again, also 2 Firecrests and 2 Redstarts. Then a boat to Tresco seeing a male Ring-necked Duck, a Brambling, a Black Redstart, a Pied Flycatcher, a Firecrest and a large influx of Redwings.
We left St. Agnes, on St. Mary's there was just time to see a Pectoral Sandpiper before catching the helicopter to Penzance. Then we drove to St. Just to see an immature male American Redstart.
In Tennessee on a BBC sound recording trip, no new birds seen today.
A visit to Chew Valley Lake where I failed to see the Spotted and Pectoral Sandpipers although they were still around, did see 6+ Little Egrets, a Greenshank and lots of duck. Also, watched a Water Rail feeding on a freshwater snail, holding it down and tapping and pecking at the snail's entrance, it tapped too hard and pushed the snail into the soft mud and then gave up.
Later, at Shapwick Reserve saw c100 Black-tailed Godwits, 26 Knot, c200 Lapwing, 2 Bitterns, 6+ Little Egrets and a Great White Egret. Also seeing lots of dragonflies and butterflies.
In the garden in Portishead there was a Jay and at the feeder a female Brambling with 6 or 7 Chaffinches.
A good start to the day with a Nuthatch at the feeder at Elm Lodge. Then a drive to Purton arriving around midday, and, a walk alongside the canal to the boat graveyard, an area new to me. On the walk I saw 2 Buzzards, heard the alarm call from a Little Owl, but could only see a male Kestrel. On the way back saw the Little Owl out on a fence. This section, between the bridge and the houses was best for fly-over birds, and I saw at least 200 Redwings and 180 Fieldfares, also 6 Siskins. The river was at about half tide and held mainly Black-headed Gulls, also seen were 2 adult Great Black-backed Gulls.
Boat Graveyard at Purton.