In order that we could afford to escape from the 'Unfortunate Islands' we decided to raise funds by creating a bit of beach art. Needless to say it was not really appreciated by the posh, Scilly tourists.
After the hassle of packing away our camping gear and spending another small fortune on a 'Half English Breakfast' we decided to cheer ourselves up with a bit of birding. At this stage however I was in agony with my injured foot so progress was pretty slow. The first stop was at Lower Moors where the highlight was a couple of Willow Warbler.... yes it was really that bad. We did however scoop a News of the World exclusive when Wayne Rooney and his mystery lover were spotted in the Hilda Quick hide there.
Wayne Rooney (left) checks out a juvenile Moorhen at Lower Moors. Disturbed by the lack of good birds an angry Wayne took his frustration out on his new woman (right) by repeatedly slamming down the hide flaps on her fingers. Notice how her digits are all swollen and check out the blackened nails (Common Kestrel as opposed to Lesser Kestrel). Good luck for the rest of the season Wayne!
Growing tired of Lower Moors we then made our way over to Tolman's Point for a bit of a sea-watch.... when will we ever learn? Needless to say that it was just as mind-numbingly terrible as all of the other times we had tried it. Apart from the usual Gull species and Gannets we managed just a single Manx Shearwater. There were a nice pod of around 20 Harbour Porpoise to keep us entertained though as well as 2 Bottle-nosed Dolphins and a single Ocean Sunfish.
Bored by sea-watching notice how I fell asleep and tragically crushed an elderly lady in the process.... and Jesus how tight are my Craghoppers?!
And so we made our way back to Hugh Town where we boarded the Rustonian III as quickly as possible for our journey back to Penzance. As we approached Land's End our run of rotten luck continued, firstly a LESSER YELLOWLEGS had been found on St Agnes and secondly a Great Shearwater has been spotted off Penninis, St Mary's. Trying to block out the disappointment we decided to concentrate on the seabirds passing by the boat. In total around 25 European Storm-Petrel were seen along with 2 Sooty Shearwaters, around 120 Manx Shearwaters and a single Great Skua amongst the usual Gannets and Fulmars. The highlight however came as we were passing Tater Dhu lighthouse when I picked up three small Shearwaters flying towards us, one of which I quickly identified as a Balearic Shearwater. This was a lifer for Mike and a new year tick for Stevie. I am sure I detected a slight smile from them both. As we approached Mousehole we all then picked up a new year bird as a dark phase Arctic Skua flew west.
So to sum it all up the trip was pretty disappointing as the birds go but bloody hell did we have a great time! If someone else was picking up the bill I would definitely do it all over again tomorrow.... perhaps without the broken foot though this time.