Monday, 16 September 2013

A Scilly Journey

As you read this I will have traveled to the most southerly point of UK soil on which I have ever stood.  I am on the Isles of of Scilly. From where I write this, it will be a train journey, a walk, a boat journey, another walk and another boat journey before I get to my final destination on the islands. For somewhere so far away, it's actually very easy to get to without a car or aeroplane!

I've never been before, but I've heard lots about it. A warm, tropical climate, palm trees and white sandy beaches are what appears on the official visitor guide website. While it might be a tad cold for swimming in the blue waters that surround the islands (they are basically part of the Atlantic Ocean after all) I'm looking forward to discovering the scenery and wildlife both on and off shore.

I've been told more than once and by more than one person, that September and October on the Scillies are close to a birdwatchers paradise. Rare birds aplenty are blown onto the islands from as far away as America and the Southern oceans if the winds are right. Birds that would normally create a stir are counted as normal autumn species is this special corner of the UK. I expect there will be at least a few new species for me.

It's not rare birds that I'm getting excited about though. Growing up in Northamptonshire gives you a certain livelong excitement about the seaside. So living on a small island and getting the boat to work everyone morning for a week is going to be an adventure in itself. On the journey over, or back, from Penzance there will be the chance of dolphins, porpoises, whales, sharks, and countless "common" seabirds. Maybe even a jelly fish, sunfish or turtle!

I hope, as you read this, it will be sunshine and a heatwave on the islands (although this normally means less rare birds) and not a hurricane and Atlantic storms (which would be quite good for rare birds). By next week I'll be back in Devon on dry (safe) land and will be filling you in with all my scilly adventures.
Photo by Tom Corser Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 England & Wales (UK) Licence:

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