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  1. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    I was recovering from night shift, so I think we missed each other. Managed to get over yesterday and will detail my exploits here, anon. ;)
  2. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    It just so happens that I was up at the gold course randomly hoping to see something good. Now, for those of you unaware, birders are generally not welcome to walk around the course looking for birds without advance permission. The relationship between birders and the golf club is a somewhat...
  3. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    Yeah, normally I can't get onto flying birds with my camera, but it worked this time! I suppose herons are pretty slow fliers.
  4. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    Hot on the heels of the Crag Martin was a report of a Purple Heron that flew in off the sea at Porth Hellick. I couldn't get away to see it, but fortunately it not only stuck around, but made it's way to the Lower Moors, necessitating a much shorter trip from home. Having recently missed a...
  5. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    A curious thing happened the other day... A well known birding regular to Scilly was on Bryher and encountered a man whom he described as the sort one associates with a more casual form of birding; or perhaps a newbie. It was a snap judgement, and may not have been accurate, but that's not what...
  6. chowchilla

    Unknown Call at Night, Turkey

    That's what I can hear.
  7. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    You're very kind. I was looking at some of your pics only yesterday and they are very impressive! I struggle to get that sharpness in the images a lot of the time.
  8. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    Rising at dawn is something I'm getting better at. You'd think as a birder I'd have had years of practice, but in truth I've never been much of a morning person. In Australia, I was utterly hopeless at getting up early, or if I did, I'd be back in my bedroom by 09.00 to escape the heat. It was...
  9. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    Over the last few days I'd seen several continental White Wagtails amongst the sprinkling of migrants. There was a general feeling that migration might begin to pick up as we transitioned into April. It was still bloody cold at times, however. Scilly doesn't get windy, it gets WINDY. Even a...
  10. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    A Jack Snipe had been overwintering on the Lower Moors, and I was informed that it could be seen in pretty much the same spot most evenings from the main hide. And so I went to the hide and waited for it to appear. It didn't. I tried again. And again. And again. I think it was about the fifth...
  11. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    Thanks, everyone. I'm enjoying writing it! Several rarities coming up, including a self-found, so watch this space.
  12. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    Surely I've seen a Greenfinch by now? I added Greenfinch to my Scilly list as it clearly wasn't there. I didn't recall seeing any in the first week or two since arriving, so maybe I missed it that way? I certainly wasn't lacking for Greenfinches up at Spider's place behind Star Castle. I spent...
  13. chowchilla

    Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve

    I love Stodmarsh; often very good value for wetland and scrub species, and very scenic. My fave reserve in Kent.
  14. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    I was down at the quayside as the little boat drew in; the weather was mild, and the sea was barely ruffling itself. The sun thought twice about coming out, but at least no rain was predicted. We descended the steep stone stairs and found what seats we could. Most people made for the tiny cabin-...
  15. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    With meticulous plans made and ready for execution, I looked forward with excitement to going to Tresco to hopefully add some more exotic avian treats to my Scilly list. The weather ensured that on my days off the boats were all cancelled. So bad was it in fact, that we endured the worst storm...
  16. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    Three Redwings were feeding on the lawn outside the glass door. I could see them from my bed in the tiny shepherd's hut that I now called home at Watermill, on the far side of the island from Hugh Town. I crept out of bed, and immediately regretted it. It was freezing. For someone acclimatised...
  17. chowchilla

    Gluepot Birds in March 22

    I was in that vicinity in November 2019 too, Delia! Must have just missed you. We skipped Gluepot because we'd heard it was dry as a bone. We headed a bit further south, and just over the Vic border had the best morning's birding in the mallee of the entire trip- pretty much cleaning up on the...
  18. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    Thank you. For the first two months or so, I was by no means certain to stay on the islands. Accommodation has been a nightmare to find, and I have only just secured something long term. I was also by no means certain I'd stay in my current job. I'm resolving some issues there too now, so with...
  19. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    Indeed! There are many ups to living here, and a few downs, and I'm still weighing them in my mind, but it's hard not to be impressed with life here.
  20. chowchilla

    A Scilly Diary.

    I may regret this... As the last embers of January died, I found myself on Tresco, having been deposited there by a helicopter that was meant to be flying to St Marys. I headed down an unmade track, hoping I was going in the right direction. Tresco was certainly a little odd. Much of the...
  21. chowchilla

    Living and Birding on Scilly.

    What's that in centigrade? ;-) It's mostly the wind TBH. Once you get out of it, it's rather more bearable.
  22. chowchilla

    Living and Birding on Scilly.

    So I've been on Scilly nearly a week now. I am in a Shepherd's Hut at Watermill, a stone's throw from the duckpond. Most of my waking hours have been taken up with paperwork for my new job, trying to open a bank account (took five days but I got there), and trying not to freeze to death. It...
  23. chowchilla

    General question about birding travel, guides

    I've done tours with two well-established companies and had somewhat disappointing experiences with both. A newer company (well, several years' old) with a sole guide/owner taking you everywhere themselves was rather more successful.
  24. chowchilla

    Birds That Visit Your Garden Now That Didn't Before

    In the ten years I lived in Edge Hill, Cairns, several species appeared after the first few years and became regulars on my block: Common Koel, Shining Bronze Cuckoo, Rufous Night Heron, Pale-vented Bush Hen, Pacific Baza, Australian Hobby, Grey Goshawk, Blue-winged Kookaburra, Radjah Shelduck...
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