For the third year in a row it was time to head for Scilly for the first two weeks of October. Good birds and great company once again, though the hoped for second wave of migrants never appeared. There's always the Turk's Head, the most southerly and perhaps the best pub in Britain.
The first afternoon we caught up with the Immature Subalpine Warbler, a really interesting bird which threw a few people. A nearby Whitethroat was mistaken for it quite a few times. On the way to see the Subalp we found a Red-breasted Flycatcher at The Fruitcage and later caught up with the sunbathing Barred Warbler near the Church.
The juv Rose-coloured Starling was seen next day and daily thereafter, a very pale individual, missing feathers at the rear of the crown, it headed off to St Mary's for a day or two before returning to its usual spots around St Warna's Cove.
As always the huge numbers of tame Song Thrushes make quite a spectacle, always great to see as are Yellow-browed Warblers and there's usually a few around the island.
This Pied Flycatcher was always around The Parsonage, usually showing well and sometimes in company with a Yellow-browed Warbler.
Kathy missed seeing a Ringed Plover on the first day so when I heard one calling as we crossed the Gugh Bar, I called to her and turned to see it fly over the bay. Unfortunately she was a fraction slow so this turned out to be her first view of the bird.
Two special moths were visible on the school for a couple of days, both huge but the Convulvulous Hawk Moth was definitely eclipsed by the ultra sinister Death's Head Hawk Moth. I was blown away by it.
There were plenty of Wheatears present and Whinchats were regularly seen. We also bumped into a couple of Lesser Whitethroats. All great birds.
It was really nice to catch up with Short-toed Lark in Britain after a long gap, it hung around all trip and was great to see most days.
A Lapland Bunting showed well in the pig field at Castella but the biggie was found in the Marram grass on Gugh though the Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler was never seen very well and not at all by most. It certainly brought the St Mary's hordes - even though the Bar was covered it didn't stop them!
It's in there somewhere - maybe!
And so with a lack of real quality birds things ended with just a new Yellow-browed on the way to the boat (but they're always great). St Agnes will turn up mega birds in future years and hopefully we'll be here meeting up with a whole bunch of good friends and St Agnes regulars.