August 2008

Our family holiday was on the Isles of Scilly. We were due to leave Bristol on Saturday 9th on the last flight, but that was cancelled due to bad weather. Because there is no way of getting to the islands on Sunday, we eventually arrived on Monday evening via a short flight from Land's End. I then missed a pelagic trip booked for Sunday. A suggestion - if you travel to Scilly check your travel insurance policy carefully - many policies don't cover travel within the UK. Despite missing 2 days of holiday, we were unable to claim on our Barclays travel insurance for this reason. Although I've travelled widely, Scilly is still my favourite place on earth. This year the summer has been dreadful with a conveyer belt of low pressure systems hitting the UK. There are usually some decent birds on Scilly, even in summer, but this year things were quiet apart from a good passage of shearwaters. Photographs can be accessed by clicking on the images below.

Landscapes Click left or on the elm arch below.

Porth Hellick

Pelagic birdwatching trips Click left or on the Cory's shearwater below.

Cory's shearwater

Other birds Click left or on the herring gulls and paper readers below.

Herring gulls

Other wildlife Click left or on the Sowerby's beaked whale below.

Sowerby's beaked whale

A bird's eye view of some Somerset birding sites. Click left or on Blagdon Lake below.

Blagdon Reservoir

A picnic on a rare warm day at Shapwick Heath on 30th. The osprey was still at Noah's Lake, and caught a large roach. Also present were 2 ruff, 4 ringed plover, 5 dunlin, lots of snipe and about 10 black-tailed godwits.

A little owl was calling near Nailsea RFC ground on 31st.

A moulting adult red-necked phalarope was at Weston sewage works on 24th.

red-necked phalarope

red-necked phalarope

Red Arrows over our house on 10th.

Red Arrows

Brief road stops at Chew Valley Lake on 1st resulted in sightings of a decent tern passage, with at least 14 black terns and 5 common terns. Also present were a 3rd-summer yellow-legged gull, little egret, and single green and common sandpipers.

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