Dates: 30 September-7 October 2024
Leaders: Neil Glenn and Peter Scholes
This tour consists of a leisurely week of exploring the stunningly beautiful cluster of islands that make up the Isles of Scilly. Situated around 30 km to the south-west of Land's End, they are a magnet for migrating birds and birdwatchers alike. Our experienced guides know the islands very well and will lead us through what promises to be a relaxing holiday with potential for some exciting birds.
Day 1: Meet at Penzance Harbour and then board the Scillonian Ferry for the crossing to St Mary's. Recent years have seen large numbers of both Great and Cory's Shearwaters feeding in these waters in autumn and if this trend continues, there is an excellent chance of seeing a selection of these and other pelagic species on the sea crossing. After arrival at St Mary's Harbour, we will head to the excellent St Mary's Hall Hotel, which is our base for the next seven nights.
Days 2-7: We will explore St Mary's and some of the other nearby islands. Daily itinerary and venues will depend on where scarce and rare birds appear. These islands always produce a selection of uncommon and rare species annually. Regular, almost expected sightings at this time of year include Jack Snipe, Eurasian Dotterel, Spotted Crake, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Wryneck, Ring Ouzel, Yellow-browed Warbler, Red-backed Shrike, Bluethroat, Greater Short-toed Lark, Rosy Starling and Common Rosefinch. The list of potential rarer birds that could occur at this time of year is too long to list but it is not inconceivable that we may move from watching an American warbler or vireo in the morning to looking for a rare Asian thrush or bunting in the afternoon.
Day 8: An afternoon return journey on the Scillonian Ferry to Penzance, hoping for views of seabirds and cetaceans on the crossing.
This tour is operated for Birdwatch and BirdGuides by Avian Adventures (ATOL licence 3367). The price includes the return Scillonian boat journey (Penzance-St Mary's-Penzance), 4* accommodation at St Mary's Hall Hotel based on twin occupancy, meals (DB&B), two boat trips to other islands and the services of leaders. Not included are travel insurance, drinks and items of a personal nature. For more information or to make a reservation, call on 01384 372018 or visit the Avian Adventures website.