Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cornwall (mostly)

A cracking 5 days in Cornwall with wall to wall sunshine.
Headed down late afternoon, stopping off en-route at South Milton Ley for the Little Bunting.
In the last hour of daylight did hear it call a couple of times but just couldnt locate it.
Corn Bunting early morning Trevone Bay.

Next stop was for the Blue-winged Teal. Eventually found the correct footpath to Walmsley Sanctuary CBWPS. With all those capital letters after its name, I was expecting somewhere quite obvious to find but there were no signs at all indicating where it was, which seemed odd. After spotting the tower hide from some distance, managed to eventually find a path to it only to find it was locked and you had to be a member to get a key. Clearly they didnt want just anybody visiting their precious reserve. Shame this wasnt mentioned on the pagers really. There wasnt any other decent viewing areas so had to climb the scaffolding to get a look over the top of the roof. Unfortunately the bird wasnt showing.

Next headed for Kenidjack Valley where a Night Heron had been for the past couple of days. Unfortunately no sign today

Goldfinch in the Donkey field, a bit blurred but havent had a tick for a while

Iceland Gull near Sennen

Sennen Cove

Stopped off at the pond at Polgigga on the offchance the Night Heron was still about, but this one had gone also.
Did see a family of Moorhen though, which was nice!

Blackbird, species number 150 on the photographic list.

Was just about to leave when a goth turned up and asked if we were looking for the Hoopoe. What! What Hoopoe? Apparently there was one just up the lane.
Whilst waiting we were treated to a fly past by a very smart male Hen Harrier.

This actually spooked the Hoopoe and at one point both were in the air together. The bird then flew towards us, landing in the field next to us. It wasnt long before it was happily feeding again

My entry for the Turner Prize

Rare shot of the Cornish wild cat down one of the small lanes

Chough's eye view of Lizard Point

Farmers are busy around here

Not everybody was enjoying themselves though

Up early the next morning to try and see the Night Heron that had been in the vicinity of a small pond on the outskirts of St Ives. Problem was there was also a completetly unviewable lovely stream with lots of hanging willows for it to hide in, where presumably it spent most of its time.
Didnt wait too long as it was bloody freezing.

Buzzard warming up at Marazion

There were a few Heron nests here. This one in a small bush surprisingly low down. Note the reddening of the bill base and legs

Pleased with an early House Martin, flying around with a Sand Martin

Jubilee Pools, Penzance

This Scaup was the only aythya left at Drift Reservoir

Lamorna is definitely one of the most enchanting valleys in Cornwall.
Not sure I would be wanting to live below a large pile of boulders though

Didnt realise it was such a small place

Headed back north again and decided to try once more for the Blue-winged Teal. With the shenanigans of the last visit thought it might be worth ringing the CBWPS to see if they would let me in. Unfortunately there was no answer. On arrival my next hope was that there may be somebody already in the hide but alas it was not to be and I had to settle for my seat in the gods again

Good view from up here.

After quite some time I was just about to give up when it came out of hiding. These are the best shots I could come up with. Given that I was resting the scope on the roof of the hide, holding onto the coolpix with the other hand whilst hanging on with my legs, I think I did quite well. The light was also going.

Next morning headed further north along the northern coast road or Atlantic Highway as they like to call it.
Decided to visit Hartland Point as it seemed like a good place to find an Alpine Swift

Not today though
Sparrowhawk seemed an unusual bird to see hanging around the cliffs. The shot is a bit ropey but year ticks are the name of the game this year.

Confiding Chaffinch. I have noticed that these birds get very easily get habituated to humans particularly at places such as picnic sites etc

Next stop Exmouth where the Yellow-browed was encouraged to make an appearance

Stayed another night in our 'Camper to be' so we could do Portland the next morning. Dont think have mentioned this yet. Here is a pic of it at Sennen. You cant quite see, but Claire is making tea behind the door whilst the hunter gatherer ticks off Iceland Gull

Chiffchaff at Blacknor but no sign of Hoopoe seen there earlier

First time I've seen Wheatear in the hand.