On this day we took the early boat to St Martin's and spent the day there. The award-winning fish and chip shop was opening specially for birders so that was a sufficient lure for us!
A strong and cool northerly wind met us at the quay as we embarked on the Meridian but the gorgeous warm sunshine easily overpowered the cool wind temperature. Eight Common Scoters, a Razorbill and plenty of Shags and even a couple of in-shore feeding Gannets were seen en-route.
We landed at Higher Town and spent time watching the elms and other vegetation for any avian activity around the cricket pitch, nearby fields and Little Arthurs Farm. Then the coast walk up to the most northerly part of the island and a zig-zag course back to the fish and chip shop for the all-important 12.30pm rendezvous. Bits and pieces included a Short-eared Owl, a Snow Bunting, a Pied Flycatcher, a Ring Ouzel, a Merlin, a Raven and a Turtle Dove.
With bellies full and two rather already tired collies we birded the east shore and fields to the east of Middle Town and finished by circumnavigating the southern tip of the island and Lower Town. Additional birds included a Red-breasted Merganser, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart, possibly another Ring Ouzel, Siskin, common shore-line waders and the usual chats. The sun still shone and it was yet another particularly pleasant St Martin's memory to add to the archives.
Plenty of Redwings, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Goldcrests throughout the island duplicated recent experiences on St Mary's.
Back on St Mary's by late afternoon and another build-up Swallows was evident with a few House Martins and Redwings roosted in good numbers.
Eleanor and Neil
Gannet honing in on
breakfast! He/she was
successful but I wasn't
quick enough to capture
the contact with the water
and subsequent consumption!
Probably the last
Redstart I see this
One of many Goldcrests
currently on the islands.