Dates: 10-16 October 2023
Price: £1,695 (single room supplement £150)
The Isles of Scilly is the most southerly point of the British Isles. The archipelago is a magnet for birders in October because of the phenomenal list of scarce and rare bird species recorded.
The regularity of North American vagrants being recorded is quite amazing and unequalled by anywhere else in the UK. American Golden Plover, Upland and Solitary Sandpipers, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, Cliff Swallow, Grey-cheeked Thrush, Northern Parula and Bobolink are just some of the many wonderful transatlantic migrants that have turned up on Scilly. In 2022, the star birds from North America included Wilson's Snipe, Buff-bellied Pipit, Red-eyed Vireo and Swainson's Thrush, while the stunning Blackburnian Warbler was bird of the year for many admirers.
In addition to the tantalising prospect of American waifs, autumn migration normally brings avian gems from Europe and Asia. Warblers including Radde's, Dusky, Pallas's, Greenish, Yellow-browed and Barred are regular, while a southerly blow may bring a Pallid Swift or Red-rumped Swallow. Richard's Pipit, Short-toed Lark, Ortolan, Rustic and Little Buntings are all possible, while Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike and Red-breasted Flycatcher are annual.
A wide variety of commoner migrants is also an important feature and there are usually good numbers of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Firecrests at this time of year, with Pied and Spotted Flycatchers adding to the interest. There may be an arrival of thrushes, with flocks of Redwings and Fieldfares to scan through, and smaller numbers of Lapland and Snow Buntings are also regularly seen. Our days will be spent exploring these stunningly beautiful islands at a relaxed pace, as we look for and hopefully enjoy seeing some exciting birds.
All the islands have their own individual characteristics and charm and our base on the main island of St Mary's (St Mary's Hall Hotel) is ideally situated for catching the boats for the short ride to other islands (Tresco, St Agnes, Bryher and St Martins). Trips to two of these islands are included in the price.
Leader: Neil Glenn
Maximum group size: 9
The price includes return Scillonian Boat Journey (Penzance-St Mary's-Penzance), accommodation (based on twin occupancy), meals – DB&B; airport-hotel transfers on St Mary's, two boat trips and services of a leader. It excludes travel insurance, lunches, drinks and items of a personal nature. This tour is operated for Birdwatch and BirdGuides by Avian Adventures. For full details and to make a booking, telephone 01384 372013 or visit the Avian Adventures website.