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.
26th April to 3rd May 2013 A Private Group
4th to 11th May 2013 Island Holidays
I am due to be away for the first two weeks of July so there will be no tours or slideshows at that time.
In the autumn at present I have groups on the following dates
21st-27th September 2013 Travelling Naturalist
5th to 12th October 2013 Island Holidays
I am planning to give my weekly slideshows every Saturday night from 31st March until early Oct. My tours will start around the same time and finish in mid October.
Any year in which I add a new bird to my Scilly list is a good one and this year I managed two. The first was the Short-billed Dowitcher we found in September. this was the first record of this American wader on Scilly. I also saw a Sykes's Warbler on Tresco in October.
Having said that one of the events of the year was seeing the small groups of Coal Tits that were around the islands late in the autumn. Its been a long time since I have seen such numbers here.
The weather was not particularly kind anywhere in the UK this year and that certainly affected the number of days I was able to lead a walk as I see little point when it is tipping down with rain.
Once the wet weather broke at the end of April we had one of the biggest falls of birds I have ever seen with hundreds of Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Swallows over the islands along with many more of the common migrants. A few days later it was the turn of the more unusual birds to arrive when we saw several Golden Orioles including four together on St Martins one day and then a Red Kite high over St Agnes a few days later.
The calm sunny spell in late July gave us a chance to see some of the more unusual sea creatures with Sunfish and good numbers of Harbour Porpoise and Common Dolphin being seen.
Small numbers of waders and Little Egrets in the islands in late July was the start of the return migration during which we saw a wide range of birds, butterflies and dragonflies. These ranged from the aforementioned Short-billed Dowitcher to Citrine Wagtail, Baird's Sandpiper, Woodchat Shrike, Migrant Hawker Dragonfly and many more.
The islands flora appreciated the extra rain with excellent displays of our three orchid species as well as a long season for the Dwarf Pansy and Orange Birdsfoot. The Sea Pea also showed well this year although still only found in one site.
Now that all the islands pools have filled it will be interesting to see what 2013 brings in the way of flora and fauna.