Sunday, 30 January 2011

Cornish trip - Porthgwarra and other places! - part 1

Well, it's been a while!
The other weekend I was invited to spend a few days birding in Cornwall by one of my best birding friends Jane (she'd got a freebee holiday (3 nights) from her sister for Christmas).
This first of three posts isn't in chronological order, just how the photos went together! (-:
Jane and I both love sea-watching (it's an acquired taste) and one of the best known places for this is at Porthgwarra on the extreme south western tip of Cornwall. The wind direction for sea-watching was probably the worst possible on this day, but that didn't really matter as it was a gorgeous blue sky day, if a bit chilly! Below shows a photo of Jane finding a comfortable position (we were here for an hour or two).
Before I carry on with Porthgwarra in this post. Jane and I were lucky enough to come across some Chough during this trip. Chough used to breed in Cornwall a long time ago before dying out, but just a few years ago they recolonised naturally from the continent and are here in small numbers. I can't reveal where we saw these birds, but it's safe to say that we were chuffed to see Choughs making a comeback! These two were happily digging away for grubs in the grass and then lifted off playfully (it seemed) to perform some aerial acrobatics.
I managed to snatch a couple of photos while they were flying above us. Their bright red slightly decurved bill and red legs can just been seen in these photos.
They also have a beautiful 'chow chow' cry which fits perfectly with their rugged clifftop existence! Beautiful birds!
Back at Porthgwarra and I left Jane to her sea-watching to wander along the cliffs to see what took my eye. I was in the mood to click with my camera! I loved the colours and textures of the cool sea and hot baked lichen on the cracked rocks in this shot (though it wasn't exactly hot on this day)!
I could never be bored watching a relentless sea crashing against immovable rocks. I could have sat watching this all day I think!

However, birds did 'call' to me after a while and I practised my actions shots on these Fulmars that were checking out the cliff face for suitable nesting sites.
They are such distinctive birds in flight with their stiff wing beats and are masters of the air. They are the closest we get to the Albatross in this country as they're part of the 'tubenose' family of seabirds.

As I make my way back to where Jane is still sea-watching (she likes to count when she's birding), I pass the coast guards house. What an amazing view from your workplace!!! (-:
There were some wonderful rock formations here. I'm not sure the camera does justice to this stunning scenery!
There'll be more from Cornwall in my next post...oh, and it's nice to be back! (-:


Frank said...

HA ha .. seawatching! Definitely requires dedication ... memories of strong winds and salt spray constantly in your face!!
Nice to see the Choughs doing well and some glorious shots along the coastline.

Roy said...

Hi Jen,
I bet you were choughed to see the Chough. (to coin a phrase) Wow what a treat.
Yes I love the crashing waves shots and you get such great light down there as well.

Red said...

Thanks for the fine tour. Since I've never been to England I appreciate the fine photos. Lots of variety too.

Mary said...

Good to have you back! I like watching the sea, too. There is something about an ocean that just pulls you to sit there and stare at it. However, I would probably choose a warmer day :-) Great find of the Choughs. Love the flying shots of all the birds.

TonyC said...

Welcome back to blogland Jenny!! I always used to sit just below the coastguards, and remember seeing my first Sabine's gull there!! looking forward to the next instalment.........

Celeste said...

Wonderful memories of home thank you. I too was fortunate enough to see Choughs a couple of summers back when I was back visiting my parents. Quite exhilarating to see such a rare species.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Welcome home, Jens! I've been missing your posts and am glad to see your return with such stellar images of a land that's new to me. I'm also "chuffed" that you found Choughs! Love the Fulmars, too. Never seen such a beauty! XO

Jenny said...

Hi Frank, I've had some sea-watches like yours down at Portland on occasion. Exhillarating! (-:

Hi Roy, yes I love Cornwall and would also love to get back up to Scotland one day. The light up there is amazing! (-:

Hi Red, thanks for popping in and commenting on my blog. I'm glad you liked the post, there'll be a couple more to come! (-:

Hi Mary, I had my thermals on so it was really quite comfortable and wonderful sitting on the cliff edge in the sunshine looking out to sea. Lovely! (-:

Hi Tony! Ha! I'd love to see a Sabines out at sea. The only one I've ever seen to date was a Farmoor Res on the way back from the Birdfair a few years ago! Not quite the same atmosphere! (-:

Hi Celeste. Yes, it made our day when we saw them there so unexpectedly! I'm glad you get to come back and visit your homeland occasionally! (-:

Hi there Debs. Hope all is well with you and hub! Those Fulmars are just lovely to watch. I could've stayed there for much longer!

Rural Rambler said...

Hi Jen! I been a bad blogger. It is so nice to see a post from you. Great shots and I am glad you got to get out and about on a birding trip with a wonderful friend! When we go to Florida, I swear I could sit at the jetty all day and just watch the waves, the dolphins and the birds. We all set to head to Florida last Sunday and had to cancel cause of this messy storm here.

Kelly said...

...looks like an incredible trip. Glad you spotted the Choughs. The rock formations are incredible! There's so much to see in this world...and it seems I've seen so little of it! I need to get up and get out! Enjoyed the photos of the Fulmars...another new bird for me!

Quiet Paths said...

I agree this is a most lovely place. To sit and watch the ocean is the best. Beautiful place and I'm happy you had a chance to get away.

Quiet Paths said...

Not sure what happened to my comment I left here quite sometime ago; oh well. Glad to see you are out and about. I would love to visit this area someday. It's lovely.

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

I love Cornwall. Such a gorgeous place. But did you see any cornish piskies! :)

Enda Flynn said...

great blog with some wonderful photography