Sarah, Tobias and I booked a return trip to the Isles of Scilly when we were there in August earlier this year. We decided to stop off at Exeter and Salcombe en-route to Trowan as we had not visited these locations previously. I didn't really do any birding on 20th and 21st but on 22nd a short stop at Copperhouse Creek, as a diversion to shopping, on the afternoon of 22nd produced a long staying Lesser Yellowlegs.
On 23rd I was up at 06:30 and after tea and coffee I headed to Porthgwarra. Arriving more or less in the dark at 07:45 I started with a seawatch on the headland until around 09:15 and then worked the trees and scrub at the head of the valley. During the seawatch highlights included at least 80 Great Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Pomarine Skua and Arctic Skua but birds were very distant. There was very little to be seen in the bushes. My eBird checklist can be viewed here. We then walked into St. Ives and had a relaxed afternoon where an Osprey in off the sea at lunchtime being a highlight.
My thoughts over the last few days had turned to a Blackburnian Warbler found on Bryher on 13th October and it was with a great deal of relief that on the day before we flew to the islands the bird was still present, so on the 24th the main quest on the day of arrival was to head to Bryher as quickly as possible after we arrived. We were up at 06:30 and by 08:30 we were at St. Just airport for our 09:35 flight to St Mary's landing at 09:55 after a bumpy flight in the strong SW winds. We checked into the Star Castle hotel and wandered around the Garrison waiting for the 12:15 boat to Bryher, there was no news of the bird as the 12:15 was the first boat across so we were on tender hooks. We boarded the boat and were soon making our way across to the west side of Bryher and to Popplestone Fields to the north of Great Pool. After a short search we were soon enjoying great views of this stunning bird as it fed in the Pittisporum hedges. Happy with our views we had lunch in the Hell Bay Hotel before heading out onto Gweal Hill and then back east to Church Quay for the 17:15 boat back to St Mary's. My eBird checklist for Bryher can be seen here.