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Scilly Birds

Shags Northern Rocks

Northern Rocks

In October, the Isles of Scilly are invaded by twitchers keen to spot all manner of vagrant birds that end up getting blown on to the islands.

In June however, the hides along the nature trails on St Maryʼs stand empty, apart from the odd over optimistic picnicker sheltering from the rain.

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

House Sparrow
(Passer domesticus)

Out at sea there are resident populations of Razorbills, Puffins, Shags and Cormorants. There is also a good chance of seeing Gannet which, although not resident, fly hundreds of miles to fish in these waters. A pair of juvenile Osprey have recently set up home on one of the Eastern Isles.

What struck me most, however, was how tame the garden birds were. That and the abundance of sparrows. It quite took me back to my childhood, and made me wonder what on earth we are doing to our environment to drive these birds to the point of extinction in many parts of the country.