30th. An early start to travel from St Mary's from Penzance. On the calm crossing I saw the following from the Scillonian III: Manx shearwaters, 3 sooty shearwaters, 2 great shearwaters, 50+ Cory's shearwaters and a puffin.
At 10.17h (we left Penzance soon after 09.00h) I photographed this shearwater with white fingers in the primaries and a slender bill. A good candidate for SCOPOLI'S SHEARWATER, especially given the lighting. Bob Flood is including it in his BBRC submission.
I also saw a common dolphin, 2 harbour porpoise, and an Atlantic bluefin tuna jumped out of the water close to the boat. As soon as the Scillonian docked I boarded the Kingfisher to sail to Bishop Rock Lighthouse, where the red-footed booby has been resting. It was there as we sailed, but not when we arrived! We did have great views of Cory's shearwaters.
Many of the birds are moulting flight feathers.
One birder thought that he photographed a Scopoli's shearwater beyond Bishop's Rock. The closest to one I could get was this one. The light was not ideal however, and Bob Flood thinks the wing patterns are thought to result from water reflections with the bird being a Cory's shearwater.
A Somerset birder, Andy Mears, was aboard the Kingfisher, and asked if people would be interested in chartering a board in the evening, when the booby might return to the lighthouse to roost. We took a fast boat (The Raptor) at 18.15h with Andy, Paul Morris and another birder aboard, and we had great views of Britain's second RED-FOOTED BOOBY, after one was taken into care in 2016. Makes up for missing them in the Galapagos!
29th - I travelled to Sennen to see the putative third calendar year Azorean yellow-legged gull. It had moved from the field next to the church to a distant field near Trevorian Pool. Viewing was difficult in the mist, and I had distant but decent views. My photos aren't worth posting. The best photos of it from 2 days earlier are at https://cbwps.org.uk/recent-sighting/sunday-27th-august-2023/
28th- seawatching off St Ives Island in a brisk NW wind - 18 Cory's shearwaters, 2 Arctic skua, and a juvenile peregrine.
Our holiday this year was on the isles of Scilly, visiting for the first time in three years. On the previous trip people were wearing masks everywhere during the pandemic, and this time it felt like a real holiday. What's more, a high pressure area arrived the day after we did, bringing the warmest temperatures of the year. Martha joined us for the first week, Kiara and Dan for the second, and we stayed in wonderful Tregarthen's cottages Gweal and Gerwick, looking out to Tresco with great views. We stopped off in St Ives beforehand after the holiday, and had calm trips on the Scillonian III there and back.
24th. Osprey, hobby, common sandpiper at Chew Valley Lake.
21st. Some smart hoverflies in Bishopston today on a work break: first two are the superb dayglower Philhelius (formerly Xanthogramma) pedissequum, then common batman fly Myathropa florea and finally a hornet plumehorn Volucella zonaria.
19th. Very impressed with the Canon RF 100mm macro lens. A few shots from Bishopston, identification with help from ObsIdentify: a fly Anthomyia procellaris, cinnamon bug, spider Enoplognatha ovata-latimana with egg case, garden cross spider, hoverfly Helophilus pendulum, a speckled bush cricket and close up of the compound eyes of a southern hawker dragonfly (taken by Hetty).
16th. Five swifts still over Redland.
11th. St Ives Island, 09.00-10.00: Up to 200 Manx shearwater/minute, 2 Balearic shearwater, 5 storm petrel, 1 possible Wilson’s petrel. Hummingbird hawkmoth Barnoon Hill.
Lizard Point, 16.00-17.30: 18 Cory’s shearwater, 1 great shearwater, 5 sooty shearwater, 1 great skua. One swift over Marazion en route.
10th. St Ives Island 08.29-09.20: ca. 30 Manx shearwaters/ minute, 3 storm petrel, 3 grey heron, ca 10 common dolphin.
9th. St Ives Island (09.05-10.05): ca. 225 Manx shearwaters/ minute, 1 sooty shearwater, 1 storm petrel, 2 common tern, 3+ common dolphin, 2 harbour porpoise.
8th. Three common tern off Bamaluz. This tabanid was in the Jackson Foundation Gallery, St Just. Apps identify it as Hybomitra sp, and I'm leaning towards a female H. distinguenda (there are a few old records from West Cornwall).
7th. St Ives Island, 0730-08.30: ca. 250 Manx shearwater/ minute, 6 storm petrel, 1 possible Wilson's petrel, 1 Arctic skua, 2 Arctic tern, 2+ common dolphin, Atlantic bluefin tuna. Two wheatears on Rosewall Hill.
6th. We walked to The Island in the evening and saw a feeding frenzy of gannets. There were at least 3 common dolphins and a leaping Atlantic bluefin tuna too.