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On the 21st October:


At the start of a 5 day stay on the Isles of Scilly, staying on St. Mary's. We began at Holy Vale where in a bramble bush along the nature trail we watched a Rose-breasted Grosbeak feeding on blackberries, our first new bird of the day.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 02a, St Mary's, 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 01a, St Mary's, 2

In the same area we saw a Grey-cheeked Thrush, which after a wait of about half an hour came out of the bushes onto the track and fed in the open for almost an hour. Then further along the trail at the bottom of Holy Vale we had brief, but clear views of a Blackpoll Warbler, which moved incredibly fast through the bushes and trees, it would fly, calling, into a line of trees, vanish and then be seen a 100 yards away.

Later, at Porthcressa beach we watched 2 Spotted Sandpipers feeding on the beach, our 4th new bird of the day. The birds kept mainly to the seaweed covered rock pools, rarely visiting the open sandy areas. Later in the afternoon we returned to Holy Vale seeing the Rose-breasted Grosbeak again, also a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Scilly Shrew.

Gray-cheeked Thrush 02a, St Mary's, 21-1
Spotted Sandpiper 01a, St Mary's, 21-10-

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Spotted Sandpiper


We left the Isles of Scilly and back in Cornwall went to Marazion Marsh, but the best there was a Water Pipit. From there we drove to Stithians Reservoir where there were c1000 Golden Plover and 200+ Lapwing, amongst them was an American Golden Plover, a new bird for us.


A late afternoon drive to Weymouth at the start of a long weekend on Portland. We stopped at Radipole Lake seeing 3 Water Rails, a Spotted Redshank, a Curlew Sandpiper and 4 Dunlin.


In Virginia on a BBC sound recording trip, 1 new bird seen today.

Snow Geese. 

Snow Goose 06a, Maryland, 10_87.jpg


In Hungary, in the Hortobagy National Park on a sound recording trip. 

Steppe Tarantula. 

Steppe Tarantula 01a, Hungary, 10_96.jpg


A drive south to Treeve Moor at Land's End to see a Grey Catbird, a new British Bird for me and a 2nd British record. It hid in the bracken and low vegetation most of the time, seen 4 times in 4.5 hours, but clearly and in flight, quite vocal at times particularly before it flew.

Photo by Birdsonline. 

Gray Catbird by birdsonline, 10_18.jpg



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