Thursday, 19 November 2009

Scilly odds and ends and farewell

First of all, I apologise for the length of this last post from the Isles of Scilly. The following photos are some odds and ends that didn't really fit into a whole posting but that I wanted to share with you, so I've stuffed them all in here along with photos of my journey back to the mainland.
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.

14 comments:

sharon said...

Jenny, thanks for taking us on such a wonderful trip!!
I love the photos of the Northern Wheatear and the views from the helicopter, I'm scared of heights so I don't think I would've been as brave as you!

Celeste said...

Thank you so much for all your wonderful Scillies posts. It reminded me of our stay on Bryher in June. I love the islands and was so happy to see you were captivated too. My husband and I actually had our wedding on St Martins several years back. It is such a magical place.

Eve said...

Wow that was great Jenny! I love the waves crashing behind the Turnstones. The Wheatear and Wagtail were just so sweet! LOVED the helicopter ride back! Great pictures!!!! That was so much fun!

Chris said...

Hi Jenny,
Wow that a very nice ending post! I love the northern wheatear shots, well maybe because I love this bird very much....but the gannet and the turnstone are beautiful too...
And the flight shots from the helicopter are so beautiful, it really gives the idea of the place you were! Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this nice trip with us!

Rural Rambler said...

Jenny thanks for sharing your vacation. So many beautiful photos. I loved Old Town Bay, St. Mary's. I am glad you got to take your vacation there and we got to share!

Roy said...

Jen, this has been a really interesting set of posts rounded off by some nice aerial shots. Thanks for taking us along on your trip. (Proper job me dear)

Jenny said...

Hi Sharon, the helicopter is really a pleasant (and fast) way to get over to the island, if you don't fancy that, then the boat might be the best option for you.

Hi Celeste, wow! How amazing to get married over there. I wish I'd had time to visit St Martins too. Glad you enjoyed the posts.

Hi Evie, yes, those little waves were a nice addition to the Turnstone photos. I thought you'd like the 'copter trip back! (-:

Hi Chris, I'm with you in loving those Wheatears. Not only are they beautiful birds, but they're so kind to photographers too! (-:

Hi Mary,yes, there are so many special places over there, but Old Town Bay holds a special place in my heart.

Hi Roy, have you ever been there? I can't recommend it highly enough. Glad you enjoyed the posts. It's a 'proper job' place! (-:

Roy said...

No not managed that far yet Jen. Went to Lands end once, it was shut. {:)

Steve Borichevsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Borichevsky said...

It was fun while it lasted. Thanks for taking the time to take us along.

Mary said...

I have really enjoyed your trip...almost like being there! Those final bird photos are all so good. You found a great bounty throughout your visit. The shots from the helicopter are wondeful. I love that name "Lands End" and the little village with the church. It looks like the village is laid out in the shape of a cross almost. What a great place this was to go! You need to do it at least once a year :-)

Quiet Paths said...

It's been splendid, Jenny! So many different kinds of birds and seas scape photos! Bravo.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Lands End and the Cornish village - magnificent! What a day for travel and in a helicopter, too. You are quite brave! I've heard it feels quite different than flying on a plane.

Jenny said...

Hi Roy, Chris and I went there once on our honeymoon, once was enough!!! What a horrible trashy place it was, the walk along the cliffs was nice though! (-:

Hi Steve, you're very welcome, I had such fun trawling through my photos for the various posts! (-:

Hi Mary, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I will definitely hope to go again next autumn, we shall see though.

Hi Christine, wouldn't it be fun to take a couple of days over there is you ever get over to Cornwall? (-: Expensive for just two days mind!

Hi Danni, lovely to 'see' you! (-: When we left the island of Tresco, the pilot lifted straight up about 20 yards or so and then we went backwards for quite a way and then sideways and up and off for the mainland! Quite interesting! Once you're up and flying along though, it's just like being in a bus (well not in windy weather, then it's more like being in a flying lift!!!) (-: