Two days later than anticipated, due to flight-cancellation, Thor Veen, Arjen VantHoff and myself finally managed to board a flight to the Scillies. My first visit there – so I was quite excited. On Tuesday the 12th of October, Thor and I set off to circumnavigate the great Isle of St Mary’s (Arjen had already returned home by that stage). Avoiding crowds of people as much as possible, but nevertheless stumbling across the RB Fly and Little Buntings without really trying, we were reminded of just how much easier it is to twitch birds than find them yourself.
By mid-afternoon, the previous week of non-stop birding and a dose of man-flu were taking their toll on me and I stopped to restock on caffeine and food while the Thorminator continued his quest to scour every bush and blade of grass on St Mary’s. Perhaps inevitably if you believe in Karma, but certainly confirmation the expression “no pain no gain”, I received a phone call from Thor stating he’d briefly seen a possible Pied Wheatear on the Golf Course, but hadn’t been able to clinch it before flew off north towards the BBC mast. At that time, he was wholly unaware of the reports of a possible from the same area, although I’d managed to glean the gist of the story from a mate. At his request, I pegged it down in a taxi ASAP to offer help relocating it. Fortunately we were able to do so as, after half an hour or so, the bird obligingly popped up in front of Thor. After reeling off a few photos as the bird happily fed a few metres away from us, and offering scope views to some of the lucky birders who happened to be nearby but without scope, we phoned it out and anticipated the impending pandemonium with amusement. I was particularly impressed with the guy in the bright red jacket who waddled towards it as fast as his lard-arse would carry him and promptly re-phoned RBA in an authoritative voice confirming the identity and location. Evidently, young rapscallions such as ourselves, can't be trusted to impart such information correctly.
Cracking find and cracking photo by Thor. Good work fella!