When we were walking on St Mary’s the other week this Black necked Grebe swam into Porthcressa Bay. What a confiding individual it was; enjoyed by my guests and myself alike. The 2017 Tour is open for bookings – see http://www.wildlifetoursandeducation.co.uk/tours/longer-tours-pelagics/
Walking around the beautiful Island of Bryher in the Isles of Scilly last week we decided to leave early and return to the island of St Mary’s. It turned out to be a good decision as we chanced upon one of those birds that is the epitome of the Scilly Isles in October; the thing that drives every bird watcher that goes there to search every field corner and each sycamore tree. A Nearctic bird … a bird from America. On the 10th October this year that Nearctic visitor manifested itself in the form of a splendid Red-eyed Vireo.
Just down the road from the Siberian Accentor was this little chap. Sat at the edge of the car park this Shorelark was feeding for the main part in short grass. Having recently arrived after a long flight over the sea he was no doubt trying to recoup energy before moving on.
Siberian Accentors have been occurring throughout Europe in small numbers this Autumn. It was almost inevitable one would turn up in the Northern Isles. When one was found on Shetland I was pleased for the people that found it; finding a first for Britain must be a wonderful feeling. However I was tinged with a little sadness that I could not get to see it. So it was with some relief that when I was driving back from our trip to Scillies on Thursday I heard one had been located on the Spurn peninsula in Yorkshire. All it had to do was stop until the next day and I could give myself a quick turnaround and get to see it on Friday morning.
I arrived at Easington in Yorkshire after a four hour drive to find a tame, Siberian vagrant that had drifted down on easterlies feeding avidly on moss covered tarmac at no more than three metres distance. I was completely blown away. The visualisation of an enigma. The Holy grail of bird watching.