Zino's Petrel off Madeira - June 2018

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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Isles of Scilly - Cliff Swallow 7/9/16

A journey down west with Laurence Pitcher was very successful, and at times we were very lucky. We left Peacehaven at 2am and arrived at Marazion Beach at 6.45am where the juv. Buff-breasted Sandpiper and juv. Little Stint were all still present.
The Scillonian crossing was relatively smooth with the highlight being a very close Cory's Shearwater and a variety of Dolphins. Although the Cliff Swallow had been on view for around four hours this morning, it had now inevitably disappeared and was being searched for to no avail by birders already on the island.
Once docked, all birders headed for the taxis, whereas me and Laurence decided to walk to Porth Hellick hoping to bump into the Swallow along the way, and this is exactly what happened. Roughly ten minutes from Porth Hellick, Laurence briefly saw the Swallow though it had gone out of view before I could see it, but a tense five minutes later the Cliff Swallow was spotted further up the road. The bird stayed in the immediate vicinity for around forty minutes showing superbly favouring one of many pine belts, but all the other birders were ten minutes down the road. We had bumped into Phil Woollen after the initial sighting and Fred Fearn who soon joined us and together we tried to get the news out with very limited signal. Others soon arrived but the bird had gone, and wasn't seen well for the rest of the day, and some people didn't see it at all. The four of us spent the rest of the afternoon together visited Porth hellick Pool and had lunch at Old Town (Fred Fearn kindly paying for ours) before boarding the Scillonian for our crossing back to Penzance. The feeling on board was a bit tense with all other birders saying the views were 'un-tickable' and most wanted a second visit, so it's fair to say we were incredibly lucky. We didn't gloat too much!!
The crossing back was good with me finding a Grey Phalarope and Great Shearwater, and a few Dolphins were seen again.
The drive back was long and tiring, but I'm sure it wasn't as long and tiring as others.

Marazion Beach
Buff-breasted Sandpiper - 1 juv.
Little Stint - 1 juv.

Scillonian Crossing (PZE-St. Mary's)
Cory's Shearwater - 2
Balearic Shearwater - 6
Manx Shearwater - 10
Sooty Shearwater - 1
White-sided Dolphin - 2
Bottle-nosed Dolphin - 2

St. Mary's
Lesser Yellowlegs - 1
Temminck's Stint - 1

Scillonian Crossing (St. Mary's - PZE)
Great Shearwater - 1
Grey Phalarope - 1
Manx Shearwater - 2
European Storm-Petrel - 5

 Cliff Swallow

 Temminck's Stint

 Cory's Shearwater
 Porth Hellick, St. Mary's
 Hugh Town Bay(?) with Scillonian in the backround
another successful Scilly twitch over

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