Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Bryher - untamed beauty!

These next two posts are devoted to my favourite of the islands, Bryher. It is the smallest of the five inhabited islands at just 327 acres and has a population of only 81 resident people. For this trip my birding buddies split up. Jane and Dave went off to the island of St Agnes and in the photo below you see David and Geoff joining me on the boat over to Bryher for the day.It's always worth keeping your bins handy on these boat trips to the other islands. I was always a bit worried that I would lose my favourite birding cap. This was given to me by a very dear friend in Iowa and is irreplaceable to me. It's a Dallas County Conservation cap and fits my small head perfectly, well nearly perfectly! (-: Thanks Fred!This photo is taken from the middle of the island and shows some of the many uninhabited islands that are dotted all around the Isles of Scilly. The middle of Bryher has a nicely untidy cultivated look to it which is surrounded by the untamed beauty of the surrounding hills and headlands.As you can see the granite headlands offer shelter to these beautiful bays of soft silver sand and not another person in sight! It's wonderful!Before setting off on the coastal footpath, we enjoyed some of the flowers still in bloom on the island. These Red Hot Pokers were halfway over, but still made a wonderful sight.
One of the plants that thrives on all the islands is the Hottentot Fig, a kind of succulent I think.Here it is in flower. These are about 3-4 inches in diameter.I don't know what this tree was that was growing all over the island, but the Blackbirds, Thrushes and Starlings were crazy for these luscious looking berries. This succulent sticking out of a wall was about 16 inches across. Beautiful with the sunlight on it.We then left the cultivated middle for the footpath that follows the coastline of this tiny island. Here we're heading for the infamous Hell Bay.It looks beautiful and tranquil when the weather is lovely like we had on this day, but in a bad storm coming in off the Atlantic, there's nothing to stop the full fury and many a ship has been wrecked in this area in times past. I took a very short video here which can be seen by clicking on the youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ8jhDjih4U . We stopped to have our lunch up here. Probably one of the best lunch spots in the world ever!After lunch we carried on walking the coastline. Another lighthouse, I guess there is a need for lots of them here for safe shipping!At the top of the island, there were lots of Great Black-backed Gulls loafing around the cliffs and I wanted to sit and watch them for a while and try and get some flight shots. So, David and Geoff walked on down and again I was able to sit on the cliff edge and soak up the sights and sounds around me. This was the best of the shots I could get. They seemed to be very well aware of me and never came in close to where I was sitting.On the way back down to join my friends, I came across this pair of Small Copper butterflies flirting with each other. Eventually they settled down on this autumn coloured bracken which made a wonderful backdrop.This is the view on my way back down the eastern part of the island looking over to Tresco. The building you can see over there is Cromwell's Castle which was built in 1651 and is one of the few remaining Cromwellian fortifications surviving today.This photo shows the stretch of water between the island of Tresco and Bryher where during a low tide, it is possible to wade knee deep across from one island to the other. The second post on Bryher will be about our walk along Southward beach towards our pick up point for the boat back to St Mary's.


TonyC said...

Beautiful Jen. I lover Bryher too. It's where I saw my first Common Nighthawk many years ago.

sharon said...

Lovely photo of the Small Coppers, especially against the bracken. The whole place looks gorgeous, makes me want to book a trip away now!

Jenny said...

Hi Tony, Yes, it just has a special feel to it, maybe I like it cos it's so small! (-: I saw my first Baltimore Oriole on Bryher!

Hi Sharon, you would not be disappointed. If you ever get the chance to go, take it!

The Early Birder said...

Hi Jen. I just caught up with your wanderings so far on the Scillies. Great scenery, especially the coast around Bryer. FAB

Eve said...

Well that would be ankle deep for me wouldn't it Jenny!!
I beat Roy to it!
These photos and your post is just wonderful. Wow such great pictures and that one of the Coppers is just so surreal. I love it!
Are all these pictures from the G10Jenny? They are all perfect!
Thanks again.
Love the video too...brings us right there.

dog trot farm said...

Jenny did you bring the G10 along? What a lovely spot, beautiful weather, beautiful photos what more could you ask for.

Quiet Paths said...

Such a sublime and beautiful place; the flowers, the butterfly, the coastal elements, and you Jenny in your fave cap!

Chris said...

Hi Jenny,
Again a nice post of a beautiful visited area. I love the last shot and the coppers ones too, but the whole set i very beautiful and as Sharon said, give you the desire to visit this place.

Anonymous said...

More great scenery Jen.
About what Evie said, I couldn't possibly comment. {:)

Rural Rambler said...

All the pictures are a treat to look at but I love the third one when enlarged. The rocky landscape with the dainty pretty flowers and the butterflys, it is a beautiful place to be and sit down for a little lunch.

Mary said...

More wonderful shots. I love the scenery....very rugged and pretty. Such interesting plant life. Beautiful butterflies! I like the little castle in the one shot.

ascu75 aka Don said...

Hi Jenny I couldnt believe it we have just been talking to a friend about the Isles of Scilly and then I am on Mary's blog and end up here looking at what I have been talking about 15 minutes earlier. Looks like you are having a good time, my wife and I have been watching Island Parish on TV it looks nice thre have a good trip. XXX Don

Jenny said...

Hi Frank, thanks for dropping in for a looksee. Have you ever been to the Scillies? I can't recommend it highly enough.

Hi Evie, you couldn't resist could you! (-: True though! (-: The photos are a mix of my G10 (scenic)and the Nikon D40X with my 70 - 300lens on for detail shots and birds etc. This is the reason I bought the G10 so that I could do scenic shots without having to keep changing the lens on the Nikon. Works for me!

Hi Julie, yes I took both Cameras. This holiday was just right for me at this time. The right place, the right amount of time away and the right birding buddies.

Hi Christine, I can honestly say it was my best day on the islands and we didn't really see many birds that day! The weather was perfect and the scenery stunning.

Hi Chris, I'm very much enjoying sharing this trip with you all, I'm so glad you're enjoying it too. (-:

Hi Roy, thanks and....please don't resist on my behalf! (-:

Hi Pix, yes that third one is a beautiful scene. I should have takem much more video, but I wasn't sure how much I could get on my camera card and I didn't have a spare!

Hi Mary, I just knew you'd like the Castle shot. I bet you would have got your shoes and socks off and been wading over there to see that! (-:

Hi Don, spooky things like that happen sometimes don't they (-: Are you thinking of taking a trip there?

Quiet Paths said...

PS Jenny I watched your video and it gave an even better sense of this place. I loved the wind whistling into the mic!