Saturday, 9 May 2015

GBH dipping

Friday 8th May 2015
A day trip to St Mary's with Paul and Brendan.
Leaving home at 12:40 am I met up with Paul and Brendan at Maple Lodge. A decent trip down to Lands End Airport but subdued mood due to the mega early start and unfurling general election result. Brendan had a phone call on Thursday warning him there might not be flights due to weather conditions. Arriving at the airport it was quite foggy and we were told there would be no decision about our flight until 08:00. We waited until 08:00 and it was good news our flight was leaving but there might not be any return flights. After landing on St Mary's we made our way straight down to the ISBG hide at Lower Moors. Only a couple of people in the hide and no sign of our target bird the Great Blue Heron. We sat in the hide for a few hours but no luck with the GBH. We did manage flight views of 3 Night Heron not great views as it was quite foggy. Then a Common Crane flew around the Lower Moors three times before landing somewhere near the airport. We decided to have a change of scenery with a walk up to Penninis Head. A Whimbrel in Old Town Bay, a few Wheatear on our walk up to Penninis Head. A brief sea watch; a handful of Manx Shearwater and a couple of  Bonxies. Back to the Lower Moors for more punishment and again no Great Blue Heron. A phone call to the airport and our return flight had not been cancelled but we were advised to use the Scillonian if we needed to be off the island. We trudged around to the quay and took the Scillonian back to Penzance. The crossing was pretty decent, not too rough and some decent birds. Manx Sheawater (100+), Bonxie (3), Pomarine Skua (8), a few Fulmar and a possible/probable Petrel. We stayed the night in St Just and this morning we had a quick look for the Squacco Heron, it hadn't been seen so we headed over to Porthgwarra. A pair of Chough were seen near the Coastguards and a few Fulmar and Manx Shearwater over the sea. Then the reason for our visit to Porthgwarra a Woodchat Shrike showed well. No time for any more birding as we all needed to be back.

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