Worst Birdwatching Season For Decades But Birders Still Love Their Scilly Trip

birdwatchers 2Birdwatchers who come to Scilly seem happy with their experience, even though it’s been one of the worst wildlife-spotting seasons in decades.

Those are the impressions of Sophie-May Lewis, who has just completed a four-week internship with the islands’ Wildlife Trust.

Sophie-May was brought in to work closely with visiting birders and find out more about their impressions of Scilly.

She spent days out spotting with them and attended most of the evening bird logs at the Scillonian Club. Sophie-May says this gave her plenty of time to hear about any issues they have and also to give them more information on the work of the Wildlife Trust.

And she says they were genuinely grateful that the Trust was being proactive and “coming onto their turf” to meet them.

Most had visited before, some coming regularly for almost 30 years, but she says there were also a few first timers on the islands too.

And they had very positive impressions of their time here.

It hasn’t been a good birding season so far. Sophie-May says it’s thought to be the worst since 1974 but they didn’t seem to be upset at spending so much money getting here.

Most saw this trip as a highlight of their year and don’t just come for the birdwatching, but for the atmosphere and social aspects too.

She says they seem to take the disappointment in their stride and accept it as part of being a birdwatcher.

“There’s always a chance to see something amazing the next day,” said Sophie-May.

Sophie-May was here to gain experience for a career in conservation and she says it was an incredibly useful few weeks for her.

She says it was good to see how our Trust interacts with the community and deals with working on an island.

And she says the “intensive birdwatching” that goes on here in autumn is very different from that back home in the South Downs.

She says Scilly lived up to her expectations and she had some nice surprises, such as seeing something that most islanders take for granted – her first fully-grown elm trees.