This spring has been off the Richter Scale, ball bag earthquakes a daily issue. But the feeling of utter disbelief, standing in the fog, watching a Great Blue Heron exceeded even the most abstract thinkers predictions. Needless to say I got fully off my tits on this Nearctic nomad, brilliant bird and always pleasurable to my gooch when Scilly grabs the birding headlines.
After soaking it in at Old Town, getting confused bewildered and aerated by the fogs crazy effect on its plumage - looking dark through bins and greyer via the telescopic cock accessory, I left happy but wanting more. Obvs blates blud.
So with the bird relatively pinned down on Bryher I took the trip over and had some epic views with minimal birders, which when you're used to having birds relatively to yourself, was most welcome!
All in all a brilliant bird and after looking at the fucking 2007 bird report cover photo all these years I finally got the 'un-gettable' back. Though to be honest screw lists up their bum. Birds are way more than a tick or bragging right. Have some arty pics cos they're my favourates.
The final stage in the heron saga brought me to Lower Moors, lurking in the hide with wood and all the trimmings, it put on a great blue show even dog-fighting with a Grey!
Before the heron mentalness the spring had force fed us a psychedelic array of oesophageal bilging birds.
A Hoopoe influx virtually unrivalled in recent times meant after struggling for so many years getting by on meagre views of T1 and P1 as they flew away I finally got some truly inverting views of two sets of two on Penninis before scoring some of my own at Longstone and Mount Todden. Below are a selection for your delectation, lactating.
Two Hoopoe together as you do. BAZINGA.
The other two...with one out of view...barely a minute after seeing the previous duo! Scilly at its best.
Finding Hoopoes is easy if they do this! Megatroned views of my first truly self-found bird (after locating/relocating another behind my house that was presumably a bird seen at Sunnyside the day before). Agiliation for the nation!
And here's said Hoopoe that almost worked its way onto my house list. Wish I'd working into my ass list!
Finally the Mount Todden bird. Frantically cycling around in a catatonically frenzied state is usually how I roll during falls and influxes, so it was unsurprising when I found this beauty out in the open just beyond my bike after returning out of hedge near some 'good looking' fields!
Going further back now, breath deeply, there's plenty more sub-optimal pics and prose to come. Ha. To come. Anyway this spring has been wave after wave of influx and fall with everything being in relative abundance, and of course the mental wave of Ring Ouzel was incredible. Every rough field or pine was veritably oozing ouzel. Rattles from the heavens saw birds dropping from the ether with around 17 seen in a single evening!!
The same evening I checked Bant's Carn as I often do, it always feels rare and is often sheltered and sunny in the evening during easterlies. After sweet foxtrot alpha in the upper section a wee broon bird flicking off the path a million miles away screamed 'scope me!' and thus I did revealing a lovely Wryneck! With another Wryneck type thing flitting round the corner then suddnely there were two together on the deck. Which rapidly became the poop deck!
God knows how I noticed it, being in a catatonic state is perhaps not dissimilar to being a bird, attuned to every miniscule change in your surrounding environment. Or luck.
Around this time an Osprey was around too! Seen here being mobbed to buggery by a Raven!
The day before the Hoopoe influx I was out at what was to be the epicentre, Penninis, it felt uber mega triple rare squared, hot and light winds. A pair of Fieldfare in the end fields indicated shit was about to get weird, and it duly did!
After scoring a Ring Ouzel and approached the 'wryneck' stretch of upper coastal path thinking looks nice for one of them thar funny four-toed ground hippy peckers and put my bins up to find a canny groveler munching on some ants!
Fast forward back to the Hoopoe influx, not the Night Heron or Ring Ouzel or Golden Oriole influx, got it? Cool. Having just seen the Todden Hoopoe I wandered over to Deep Point quarry and caught some swans out the corner of my eye coming I off the sea, a slight face adjustment led to a pants adjustment as they were Spoonbill coming in off! Their typical frenzied wingbeats caused illegal frenzied beating that I shall not describe here, fifty shades of spoon shiz. They continued round toward Pendrathen and dropped out of sight, clocked them two time with my lens ting tho. Can you find them?
It's beginning to dawn on me how good this spring has been. Super intestinal flow! During a quiet period a stroll to Carreg Dhu featured rather incredulously, a singing Wood Warbler and male Pied Fly together! Bloody everything's together these days, all about the combo lists these days, extra points for species of opposing habitats in the bins view - like a seabird and a landbird, but I'll settle for arguably the best warbler and flycatcher on home turf. Needless to say some staining views were had.
WHAT. A. BELTER. Nuff said you get me?
Massively jammy pic of the male Pied Fly, didn't realise I'd taken this until I uploaded my pics! So. Rare.
Amazingly the male was joined by a female in the evening! Duly checked for being a collared cock ring ball-rotter.
Finally, lets not forget where all this is happening, on Scilly, some of the most inspiring places to get down and dirty with migrants and rares.
Vista for you mister!!
Best til last. Imperceivable male Whinchat with foreground Sand Martin combo. BOOYA.
It ain't all about birds, very occasionally I do something different like rowing a 200 year old pilot gig at the world champs, for giggles. Thank god no mega rares were found, could have been awkward.
Next up. HERONS. AGAIN.