Cedar Waxwing twitch – St Agnes, Isles of Scilly 7 October 2017

Cedar Waxwing twitch, Isles of Scilly 7 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

During the week, we heard the news that a Cedar Waxwing had been found on St Agnes on the Isles of Scilly. This is part of a small island chain off the southwest tip of Cornwall, Southern England and my favourite place in the world, so I was really excited that I might be visiting again.

This was a bird that many twitchers had seen in early 1996, but dad missed it as he was busy in his new relationship with mum and then the day he did finally go up to Nottinghamshire, he missed the bird. It was one of those birds that Mum and Dad really wanted to catch up with and so I was really appreciative that they waited for the weekend to take me with them.

We were up in the middle of the night to drive down to Penzance, to get the boat to St Mary’s on the Isle of Scilly. We had a phone call from our great friend Rob Lambert who was staying on St Mary’s as usual to say that his wife was on the train, which had run into trouble on the way to Penzance. She was therefore in a taxi speeding to the quayside and could we look out for her and help her with her suitcase. Dad is great at that kind of thing and made sure Lucy [McRobert] got onto the boat. Mum and I were already asleep on the bottom deck of the boat, trying to avoid seasickness.

As soon as we arrived in Hugh Town on St Mary’s, a whole load of us rushed off the Scillonian to jump on the small boat to St Agnes, which was waiting for us. The boat was packed with people and it was later to be the source of online discussion about how most of the people on the boat were older white men. Some really were pretty old, which I thought was pretty amazing. I hope I’m still twitching when I’m 90 years old!

Cedar Waxwing twitch, Isles of Scilly 7 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Once we arrived in St Agnes, we had quite a walk to where the bird had been seen, on the path down from Coastguards’ Cafe. Once there, we managed to get to the front of the crowd, when we got the news that the bird had been seen but on the other side of a huge hedge. We waited for quite a while whilst others saw the bird, then eventually we cracked and ran around a big wall with Lucy to get to the bird. Somehow we managed to get to the front of the crowd again and see the Cedar Waxwing, as it pops up in the hedge. It was tricky to get onto and get others onto but eventually, I managed to set up my telescope at the front of the crowd, allowing other birders to take turns to see the waxwing.

Cedar Waxwing twitch, Isles of Scilly 7 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Cedar Waxwing is the American version of our waxwing and it was fantastic to see. It was also a new bird in the world for me, which is always a bonus and was 4,723 which feels like I’m on the downward roll to 5,000. I want to try and see 5,400 bird species in the world by the time I’m 18 years old, which would be half the world’s birds.

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