I have some groups booked for this season. As of time of writing these are booked for the following dates when I will therefore not be available for my usual walks. There will also be the occasional single days when I am not doing my usual tours.
2nd to 9th May 2014 Island Holidays
10th to 16th May 2014 The Traveling Naturalist
In the autumn at present I have groups on the following dates
20th to 26th September 2014 The Travelling Naturalist
6th to 13th October 2014 Island Holidays
I am planning to give my weekly slideshows every Saturday night from 29th March until early Oct. My tours will start around the same time and finish in mid October.
Although 2013 has not had the highs of last year there was still plenty to see. The only new bird for me was the Caspian Stonechat that was on St Agnes well after the season finished in late November.
Early in the spring a Little Ringed Plover showed very well in the Lower Moors Nature Trail where we found some of the Southern Marsh Orchid later in the summer.
Generally the flora was rather slow in getting started due to the cold spring.
This was counterbalanced by one of the longest warm settled spells we have had for some years during July and early August. This was certainly appreciated by our seabirds with the Puffins and Kittiwakes having a good year as did our two pairs of Peregrine Falcons. There seemed to be an abundance of food in the sea this summer as we had very large numbers of Manx Shearwaters present between the islands during daytime with the occasional Balearic Shearwater thrown in for good measure.
Spring rarities included a Pallid Swift that hung around for some days but was not easy to catch up with. As usual some of our local rarities are quite common on the mainland as was the case with the Jackdaw we saw on Tresco in mid May.
The good summer weather was ideal for butterflies with all our local species doing well and more migrants as we got into autumn with Clouded Yellows being particularly common.
The autumn bird migration began as usual with a scattering of waders such as Redshank and Greenshank in late July followed by Grey Herons and Little Egrets and a scattering of other species including a Short-toed Lark on Bryher. It was a good year for this scare species as we saw at least four during the season (and missed a couple!).
Having seen two Citrine Wagtails from Russia on the Great Pool on Tresco in late August it was nice to find our own grey and yellow adult on the Lower Moors Trail a few days later. This was our purple patch as we also saw White-rumped Sandpiper on St Agnes and a Wryneck on St Martins plus my first Kingfisher of the autumn. Our good year for the crow family continued with a Rook on Bryher in Sept a few days after seeing a Red-backed Shrike and Grey Phalarope. Lower Moors was a good site in October as we saw a Purple Heron and Bluethroat. However St Agnes was also rather good with a Subalpine Warbler near the church plus Yellow-browed Warbler and Rose-coloured Starling. The Tours season finished with a Sora Rail on Tresco along with many Migrant Hawker Dragonflies.
Roll on next year.