This photo below was taken on the island of St Agnes. The plants here thrive in a mild almost semi tropical climate. It would be wonderful to visit these islands in May or June to experience the flora at its best. The succulent below seems enormous compared with the ones that grow back at home on the mainland.Here is a heavily cropped photo of a juvenile Rose coloured Starling on St Agnes. This bird is an annual vagrant to Britain from eastern Europe and beyond. It is a much more sandy coloured bird than our juvenile European starling with a striking yellow bill. In flight it was a very obvious bird. I think the shrub it is hiding in here is a type of Pittesporum, but please feel free anyone to correct me on that.Another bird on St Agnes was this Northern Wheatear posing nicely on a rock on the Wingletang area of the island.Again, a heavily cropped photo of this beautiful bird.The boat trip back from St Agnes was reasonably bumpy, but I did manage to stand up briefly and take this photo of a fishing Northern Gannet. Like the Oystercatcher, another bird that is ubiquitous to the beaches on these islands is the Ruddy Turnstone. I spent an hour on Thomas Porth beach on St Mary's trying to get close enough for some shots of these characterful birds.They're always on the move, turning over stones and seaweed looking for tasty morsels.
Also on Thomas Porth beach I was entertained by this White Wagtail flycatching.I'm not sure it was as successful as the Stonechat in my previous post!And so, as must always happen, my last day on the Scillies came around. It was a beautiful sunny blue sky day and the helicopter waited to whisk us back to the mainland and reality.I managed to get a good window seat right at the front and so got a look at all the mind numbing array of controls needed to fly this thing! Our lady pilot gave us a great trip.We had a pleasant surprise when we got on the helicopter. We were told that we would be taking a small detour to the island of Tresco to pick up some passengers from there. Here we are approaching Tresco to make the landing.Here you can see the Abbey pool on Tresco where earlier in the week I tried to photograph a Long-billed Dowitcher. I wish I'd had time to spend on some of those soft sandy beaches!Having picked up our passengers, we set off away from the islands, heading for Cornwall. The views of the islands from the helicopter were a real treat. I think this was the uninhabited island of St Helens or Tean, I'm not sure which.
The last island I saw from the helicopter was St Martins. I didn't get to visit it on this occasion, but will hope to maybe on my next trip over.After about a 10 to 15 minute flight we were approaching Lands End on the tip of Cornwall. The cliffs in the late afternoon sunshine were lovely. I should say that the window on the helicopter was filthy otherwise all these photos might have come out a bit clearer.Passing over Lands End.A Cornish village with the church at its centre.Our destination, the Cornish town of Penzance.The harbour at Penzance from where the Scillonian ship sails. My helicopter lands a little to the right of this picture a short way out of town.Well, thank you all for coming along with me on my first proper holiday for three years! I had an amazing time and I've really enjoyed sharing it with you all. I hope this has encouraged some of you to visit these amazing islands.