Se­abird re­cov­ery

Bird Watching (UK) - - Bird The World -

at­tuned to their en­vi­ron­ment and at the fore­front of their game. As well as the dol­phin show and rash of se­abird sight­ings, the pelagic gave the unique opportunity to see a Blue Shark at ex­tremely close quar­ters. The sharks are mea­sured and tagged as part of an on­go­ing re­search pro­gram re­veal­ing in­cred­i­ble in­sights into the species’ ecol­ogy. No­tably, sharks tagged off Scilly have been con­firmed in waters off Cape Verde, a hum­bling re­minder of the global na­ture and im­por­tance of our seas and oceans. Back on terra firma, af­ter a quick cuppa, we got our land-legs back via a stroll around As I wrote in the March 2016 is­sue of Bird Watch­ing, since 2013 the Isles of Scilly Se­abird Re­cov­ery Project has seen the largest rat re­moval ef­fort any­where in the world, to greatly re­duce the num­ber of eggs and chicks pre­dated. Ev­ery house on the is­land hosted a bait box and du­ti­fully re­ported rat sight­ings to the project. Both St Agnes and Gugh are stun­ning isles and, on top of the se­abird suc­cess, are su­perb bird­ing des­ti­na­tions. Tes­ta­ment to this was finding a Wry­neck while in­spect­ing the nest­ing bur­rows! We were chat­ting, when I no­ticed a male Stonechat perched on a rock. We spent the af­ter­noon strolling around Agnes, en­joy­ing the rocky west side of the Isle and a rash of good wildlife; Whin­chat, Wheatear, Snipe and Turn­stone were all en­coun­tered on our loop round the is­land. Our trip was char­ac­terised by rock solid birdwatching in­ter­spersed with scarce sur­prises and nat­u­ral spec­ta­cles. To get Scilly, you just have to go there! Ju­ve­nile Dot­terel St Mary’s. I was keen to get back to Holy Vale hav­ing been so im­pressed the day be­fore. As we walked through Hugh Town, terns nois­ily crossed the rooftops, short cut­ting be­tween Porthcressa and Town Beaches. It was won­der­ful to see and hear them in the mid­dle of the most built-up area of the is­lands, a re­minder of how con­nected you are to na­ture at all times on Scilly. Walk­ing ad­ja­cent to the air­port, an as­sem­bled crowd alerted us to sev­eral La­p­land Buntings tak­ing ad­van­tage of the quiet due to a lack of flights on a Sunday even­ing. This re­ally is typ­i­cal of our Scilly ex­pe­ri­ence – good bird­ing can turn into great bird­ing at a mo­ment’s no­tice! St Agnes on the Isles of Scilly of­fers great birdwatching op­por­tu­ni­ties

Both St Agnes and Gugh are stun­ning Isles and, on top of the se­abird suc­cess, are su­perb bird­ing des­ti­na­tions

PEACE­FUL AND UN­SPOILT Nik­iban­field

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