Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Intermediate with flexible finish times.

Group Size:

Eight plus leaders

Melodious Warbler Northern Waterthrush Woodchat Shrike

Isles of Scilly - Autumn Migration

Date: Tour not currently running
Leaders: Ashley Saunders



The tour meets at Penzance harbour for the 0915 Scillonian crossing to St Mary’s. The crossing takes approximately 2.5hrs, and will allow for some seawatching en route. We will see common seabirds such as Northern Gannet, Northern Fulmar and Manx Shearwater, plus auks, terns and hopefully one or two skuas with Great and Arctic most likely. With fortune, we should also be able to observe European Storm-Petrel and Balearic Shearwater, with a possibility of rarer species too. After check in at Mincarlo Guest House, we will have time to pick up a sandwich for lunch before making our first foray out into the field. The plan will be to spend the afternoon birding on St Mary’s itself, but we will of course consider a trip off island if a rarity has been sighted and a boat is available. 
We will plan a daily itinerary each evening for the following day, but may not know until breakfast exactly which way we will be heading, as any up to date bird information available may alter our best made plans!  Most days we will venture off St Mary’s to one of the off-islands, and will aim to visit St Agnes, St Martins and Tresco at least once each during our stay, so that we get to sample all of the habitats available and see what each of the main islands has to offer. Great Pool on Tresco is a wader hotspot, and just the sort of place a rare sandpiper from America could turn up. St Agnes is a beautiful island with plenty of habitat for finding our own birds including the wooded grove at the Parsonage, and we could also end up visiting the island of Bryher if a good bird turns up there. Wherever we end up each day we are sure to enjoy our time exploring these magical islands, with an emphasis on finding our own birds as well as making an effort to catch up with as many good birds found by others as possible.
Today we aim to spend the final morning birding on St Mary’s and catching up with any new rarities present. We catch the afternoon sailing back to Penzance, which arrives about 1900 and here the tour will conclude.
**PELAGIC TRIP: We have arranged with seabirding experts Bob Flood and Ashley Fisher, for an afternoon pelagic on board MV Sapphire skippered by Joe Pender, for one afternoon during the tour. This remains an optional extra and you can decide at the time of the tour if you wish to attend as it is included in your tour cost. The trip will have to remain flexible due to the weather, but will depart from the quay around 1400 and so if you do not wish to participate, you will have the afternoon to spend as you wish. The trip offers an unrivalled experience for seeing European Storm-Petrel up close, and possibly also a variety of Shearwaters and Skuas, even Sabine’s Gull, Grey Phalarope and cetaceans. It may also be possible to see the rare Wilson’s Storm-Petrel in these waters. 
***Please note that travel plans may be disrupted at short notice due to adverse weather conditions and we therefore recommend that your travel insurance adequately covers any additional expenses that may be involved.


Additional Information


A fair amount of walking is required to get the most from your holiday. The terrain is mostly easy with much of the walking done on roads, but a reasonable level of physical fitness is required. Expect some potentially long days in the field and several inter-island boat trips.
Five nights en suite accommodation at Mincarlo Guest House on a B&B basis, return Scillonian crossing, services of leaders. Pelagic boat trip also included.
Transport to/from Penzance and any overnight stay that may be required [though a lift with Ashley en route from Norfolk via M6/M42/M5/A30 may be possible if arranged in advance], travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature. Breakfast is the only meal included in your tour cost, lunches will be sandwiches purchased each day from local shops and people are free to choose their own destination for evening meals, though of course may join the leaders if they wish. The various inter-island boat trips are not included, expect about £10 per person per trip. 
Binoculars, telescope [optional], camera, clothing for all weathers, walking boots, small rucksack, alarm clock, seasickness pills and field guide.