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Wednesday, 11 September 2013


Found these in amongst some unwanted papers!!

What a year 1990 was!  For those who never visited Scilly back then, The Porthcressa log call and the sale of just about everything `Birdy`. It was there that  most birders purchased drawings ,books and photo`s.
It seemed every serious twitcher was there. We always chose the second week and most Glamorgan birders did also. Great times! Rarities like these are few and far between nowadays.
The Ancient Murrelet. Wow!, I can remember being collected from Heathrow by a friend having spent a long weekend at a wedding in Holland and being told about this which was in the Telegraph. That week was nothing short of phenomenal!! Tree Swallow on Scilly, Alpine Accentor on the Isle of Wight. The Pallas` Sandgrouse on Shetland which Alex jammed into having pre booked a trip there, which I also would have seen if I hadn`t had to go to Holland! Black headed Bunting at Marloes. Missed that one! But did see all the others.
OMG, Yellow throated Vireo. That twitch was immense, the bird performed really well, even managed a few shots! Not forgetting watching a Red eyed Vireo go to roost nearby, it was exhausted!
The Isabeline Wheatear was a real mega then, with Britain having just a handful of records.
Myself, Alex, Russ Eynon and Nick Bray stopped near the Golf course to watch a rather robust Wheatear and all of us trying to remember the features of Izzy.
 The reason for us and hundreds of others who walked passed the Wheatear was a Red throated Pipit in fields opposite. When the call of" Pipit showing" we legged it! That afternoon we left Scilly and it wasn`t until the next day we realised that the bird we had thought to be an Isabelline was infact an Izzy.
Big lesson learned there!
 Anyway, When I saw these drawings by Nik Borrow it brought back a few memories, no doubt for many Glamorgan Birders." Those were the days " as they say.!


Alex said...

Late May/early June 1990 - the greatest spring ever! Been checking my notes and between 28th May & 10th June 1990 managed to chalk up Alpine Accentor, Black-Headed Bunting, Ancient Murrelet, Pallas Sandgrouse, Tree Swallow, Red-footed Falcon, King Eider x2, Corncrake, Snowy Owl, Icterine Warbler, Common Rosefinch & Marsh Warbler. During this period, I seem to recall that JPH was enjoying the sun in Kenya. No mobile phones or Internet in them days." Been much about whilst I was away lads ?".... nope, it's been crap lol

Meehan said...

Thanks for these gripping yarns lads.

MauriceC said...

Missed most of those for various reasons though did catch up on the Yellow -throated Vireo. Older birders will recall Scillies 75 with Black & White Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Scarlet tanager. Sociable Plover on Mainland afterwards.

Hadyn Jones said...

Yep, you can't beat 1975 on the Scillies. 3 American landbirds (as above)in 1 day.