Four Year Ticks

Not an early start, both of us reluctant to start the walking so necessary on Scilly. Spider drove us to Porthellick, offering to take us to the Airport en route. We turned him down as the birds had last been reported at the turning circle, the thought of the yomp up the hillside past Tolman's was not attractive.
Such a beautiful day, warm and sunny, we sat in the Stephen Sussex hide, overlooking the pool, for over an hour, loving the view.

 We were well rewarded. A Kingfisher flew through - and back again five minutes later, Swallows buzzed the pool surface and the Spotted Sandpiper was just visible on the far seaward side of the pool. I'd carried my camera to-day rather than the scope......wrong decision?
No, it wasn't. Just us left in the hide and the juvenile Spot Sand flew the length of the pool, landing on the grassy edge to our left. I took many photographs, this is one of the better ones.

It stayed for about ten minutes before flying back to its original feeding place, where it joined a Redshank, 3 Greenshanks and a Pectoral Sandpiper. Much too distant for even a record shot.
As we were eating lunch, a very pleasant and friendly couple joined us. Chatting away, they offered to drive us to the Airport where the birds had been all along , the CB message was wrong. Excellent. They were understandably secretive about where they'd managed to get a 2010 reg VW Golf. Acquiring transport other than taxis and bicycles is impossible on the islands.
Neither wanted bird was in view from the terminal building, having disappeared 5 minutes before our arrival. The field is not flat. Time for a cuppa.
Ten minutes later, the American Golden Plover and one of the two Buff-breasted Sandpipers were in view under the tailplane of Skybus. This is the record shot of all record shots.....

Happy, we walked back via our favourite seat looking over Old Town Bay, chatting to a couple we'd met at the airport. Next along were Reston and Pat on their way to the terminal - after a lengthy chat with us - Pat is deafer than ever. Spider then pulled up to tell us about a small accipiter cruising the island. He'd seen it perched and thought it might be a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Watch this space.
Pam had noticed building work in the Carngwavel school playing field as we flew in. Not only on the playing field, it's huge.  Excavation and major building in the two large fields on either side too. The new 'Five Island School' the notice said. Is it an all age school I wonder. A shame for the small island schools and for the young ones having to travel daily, especially in the winter. However, the numbers have been falling drastically. Will they all board Monday to Friday as the seniors always have. We'll find out.
A very sturdy path has been laid around the side where the skate ramp is, ending at the school gate.
More than enough of a walk for our first day.

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