The Isles of Scilly is famed for its autumn birding season, predominantly the middle two weeks in October, but in reality Scilly offers excellent birding all year round. Whether you’re looking to dust off your binoculars and enjoy some of the more common species or you’re sweeping up as many rarities as possible, there’s a great birding scene that will be happy to help you have the best experience…

Sightings – please see our sightings page for recent reports from the last few days. We also have Twitter and Facebook accounts and all local birders are excellent at ensuring news is distributed on national channels, like Rare Bird Alert or BirdGuides. You can help us by reporting your sightings, providing as much information as possible and by submitting your records.

Enjoying the islands – much of the land on Scilly is private, but during October we are lucky to work with several farmers to open up trails for birders to explore. Please be courteous to local residents and other visitors by sticking to marked paths, treating stone walls with care, closing all gates behind you, acting respectfully in churchyards, keeping dogs on leads and reporting any problems quickly. Many businesses are trying to limit their plastic consumption and be as ecofriendly as possible, so please try to support them by reusing, recycling and shopping local. Please treat all hides respectfully, by closing windows after use and taking litter home with you. Maps are available online and from Mumford’s Newsagents in Hugh Town. There are some sensitive wildlife areas, for example Lower Moors and Higher Moors.

Guided Tours – if you’re new to the islands, or would simply like a bit of expert help, you can take a guided walk with Will Wagstaff. Alternatively, if you’re interested in seabirds, cetaceans, sharks and more, then Scilly Pelagics offers trips out around the islands from June to October. There are round-island boat trips to enjoy seabirds and seals, too, with St Mary’s Boatmen’s Association.

The October Bird Log – there are two bird logs in October; one on St Mary’s, held in the Scillonian Club in Hugh Town, and one in the Turk’s Head on St Agnes. We love to see new faces, so please do pop along to hear the latest news and report your sightings, too! The log starts at 9pm, but the bars are open beforehand. There is also a bird sightings board in Hugh Town, by the Pilot’s Gig restaurant.

Supporting the ISBG – if you’ve loved exploring the wildlife on the Isles of Scilly and have found this website useful, please consider supporting the ISBG by becoming a “Friend” or purchasing a Bird Review.

Red-footed Falcon © Joe Pender