Birdman David Rosair….after 40 years, why I still love Tresco
Who would have believed that this year I would be celebrating forty continuous years of visiting my favourite island in the world?
Thinking back, perhaps I was still in proverbial short trousers, running around the island, utterly captivated by the sheer magic of the place, along with the rare birds of course! Forty years, and why you may well ask. Well I shall try and explain…
Back in 1973, I set foot on Tresco from one of the Association ‘launches’, maybe it was the Sea King, and immediately made my way along with the merry birding throng all the way up towards Cromwell’s Castle, where a very rare vagrant from America – a Myrtle Warbler (today know as Yellow-rumped Warbler) – had been found the previous day following a strong trans-Atlantic gale. Needless to say no sign of the warbler, so I made my way slowly back down to the Great Pool and went into the very old (even then) hide below Simpson’s Field and watched various migrant waders including Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper & Little Stint. Captivated by the birds, the Pool, the reeds and the autumnal colours, I thought to myself, ‘this is magic’! I returned the next day to the Great Pool with a small band of dedicated birders and yes, sure enough, there was the warbler flycatching amongst the sallows near the old entrance to the Abbey Garden. Well, I was getting hooked on this island Tresco.
Over the seventies I continued to visit Scilly, always favouring Tresco as a special birding destination, and began to meet up with some of the residents, pleasantly passing the time and slowly building up acquaintances as one does.
With the passing of time during the eighties I decided to commence Birdwatching Tours on a professional basis and boldly ventured into the Island Hotel, setting up the first ever Birdwatching Tour in the autumn with Ivan Curtis, which was quickly followed the next spring with “Birds, Flowers & Butterflies”, eagerly motivated and wonderfully spurred on by Mike Nelhams (thank you Mike!). And so it came to pass that every spring and autumn I was returning to Tresco, excited as ever when I stepped off the helicopter and immediately feeling at home, being warmly welcomed by Robin at the New Inn, passing the Tresco Stores and saying “Hullo” to Rose, popping into the Estate Office to arrange to see Alasdair, the list is endless.
Tresco (and don’t forget the sister island Bryher and the super Hell Bay Hotel with my long standing friend Philip!) is like nowhere else. It’s not just the splendid wildlife, unusual birds, fabulous spring flowers, puffins and seals; it’s far more. The atmosphere, the warmth, the super people, the walking, the lack of driving anywhere, the colours – the list goes on!
It’s not difficult to see why Tresco really is the “Jewel in the Isles of Scilly crown”. Don’t take my word for it – come and see for yourself.