Sibling holiday to the Isle of Wight (18th August)
My sister, brother and I organised a holiday together to the Isle of Wight for four nights at the western end of the Island at Totland. The YHA in which we were staying was ideally situated for some local birding. However, with my sister not being a keen birder like my brother and I, it would have been unfair to focus just on birding. Instead, we spent the time sleeping in late, playing cards and going out on walks literally every day. However, I'll narrow the posts down to the birding experiences. The first day started with a Black-tailed Godwit flying over the YHA before we left for a round-walk towards The Needles along the chalk cliffs. Most of the day was mild but dense fog severely hindered the number of birds we could see as we could barely see more than 100 metres infront of us. All the same the weather meant it had grounded dozens of Wheatears, preparing to make the jump across the channel along with a single Whinchat. Despite the lack of sun, the butterflies seemed to be a lot more hardy and resilient of bad weather than their inland counterparts as Chalkhill Blues, Common Blues, 4 Red Admirals and a PAINTED LADY were all on the wing (the last being a British lifer!). At least 3 Ravens appeared through the gloom whilst at The Needles a Peregrine made a close pass along the edge of the cliff line. Other birds of note included 3 Stonechats and 4 Rock Pipits.
chalk cliffs near The Needles, almost entirely disguised by the fog