Thursday 8 November 2012

Scilly scarcities

Even during a quiet week for rare birds on the Isles of Scilly - and last week was by no means a classic - it's a place where you seem to get exceptional views of a range of scarcer species which would normally defy a close approach. Some may not be used to people, some may just be exhausted, but whatever the reason it makes for a rewarding experience for the photographer. In reverse order of proximity last week were:

Brambling - I flushed this bird from the coast path near Old Town Church so found a place to sit and waited.

Within a few minutes it returned to perch on the seawall and feed on the path again just yards away.

Several beaches on Tresco and St Mary's held 2 or 3 Black Redstarts last week.

The most confiding were this one just over the seawall at Porthcressa...

...and this one just over the seawall at New Grimbsy. Too close to focus at times.

Another confiding bird - a Snow Bunting at New Grimsby. Flushed by my 5-year old son when it strayed into his 'long jump pit' on the beach unfortunately.
The New Grimsby Snow Bunting was surpassed for boldness by this one at Rushy Bay on Bryher.

It hopped up to my eldest son George, let him stroke it and nuzzled into his hand. I managed not to get a photograph of this, as I was trying to prevent the other son from flushing it!

'Too close to focus' doesn't do it justice - this bird had me shuffling backwards in the sand to get it in the frame as it hopped towards me.

Shame about the light, but still some compensation for the absence of the Buff-bellied Pipit which had been present and showing very well on this beach the previous day.

These 1st winter Waxwings were feeding at ground level three feet beyond a garden gate in Porthcressa on our last full day on the islands.

I waited for them to perch up for these shots, and then tried to find an angle which eliminated messy window frames, gutters etc from the background. The perils of photographing Waxwings...
Closest of all though was this Firecrest. We just missed a Little Bunting being released by the same hand having been caught earlier in the same net, but this was the next best thing.

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