Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Cornish bird trip - day 3 a day of two halves.

It really was a day of two halves in that it started out mizzerly/drizzerly grey and icily cold. By the time the afternoon and some sunshine had come along it seemed positively balmy!

We started out by having a sea watch at Portscatho beach just up the road from where we were staying in St Mawes. We were after the recently reported Red-necked Grebe, always a tricky bird to see each year. We weren't successful on this occasion but we enjoyed watching several Mediterranean Gulls flying across the bay in front of us. This species has recently undergone a marked increase in Britain. It is a lovely 'white winged' Gull similar in size to the more common Black-headed Gull. Unfortunately they were all too far out to get a photo. 
 After our sea watch we headed west again to Marazion near Penzance. This is a lovely area with reed beds on one side of the coastal road and the sea and beach on the other.
It wasn't a morning for photography but I managed to take some photos nonetheless. Here, one of my favourite waders, the Oystercatcher.
 A pair of Greylag Geese flying over the Reserve.
A Grey Heron flying in to land amongst the reeds.
 In the afternoon, we headed north again towards St Ives and then east to Godrevy. This is a wonderfully scenic headland where we had our lunch looking out over the ocean. We didn't envy all the people at work on this Monday afternoon! Miraculously, the sun peeked through the clouds and shone for the rest of the day. Lovely!!! (click on the image to enlarge).
 Me enjoying the wonderful view. Excuse the geeky hat! (-:
 A pleasing rock formation.
 Our target bird to see was an unringed Chough that had been reported here in recent days. After a short walk along the headland, we were pleased to find this one bird feeding on the cliff edge. It was quite a distance away, so these record shots are heavily cropped.
This is a real success story. A few years ago, there had been a program ready to re-introduce Chough to Cornwall. Just as they were about to start the re-introduction, Choughs from the continent recolonised by themselves. They are still few and far between but are steadily recolonising which is great! Chough is a member of the corvid family and seeing this bird along with both Jay and Raven on other days meant that we'd seen every species of corvid in Britain on this trip.
We were so busy watching this Chough that we nearly missed looking down into the inlet below and discovering a colony of Grey Seals and their pups! 
They looked like elongated pebbles strewn along the beach! This was as close as my camera could get.
 Our last stop of the day was at St Clements along the Tresillian River near Falmouth. We stopped here to try and find me a Spotted Redshank for the year and it also had the added bonus of being a beautiful walk! 
 As you can see the tide was low and we soon found the reported Spotted Redshank, another tick on my year list! (-: The walk along here was lovely and we were accompanied by the sounds of Redshank, Greenshank and the beautiful bubbling call of the Curlew.
 This particular Curlew had a juicy but wiggly worm to deal with!
On the way back to the car and home, we came across this Little Egret, another great success story of recolonisation in Britain. 30 years ago they were a rarity but now it would be weird not to see one on an estuary.
I'll post about our last day of our Cornish trip shortly.


Roy Norris said...

Wonderful to see the Choughs Jen and I have to say it, "Where did you get that hat".

Jenny said...

Yes, they're great to watch. Er.....all I'll say is that that hat is great for keeping out the wind! Yes it is........(-;

Pix at Under the Oaks said...

Jenny I think you look really cute in the geeky hat!.. :) Those seals are something else!!

Mary said...

Wow..what a neat place! I love all those seals. I would have snapped a million shots. That curlew is interesting. Such an unusual bill. These are great!

Jenny said...

Hi Pix, well that's very kind of you to say so. A true friend! (-:

Jenny said...

Thanks Mary, yes it was a lovely place to spend a few hours, specially as the sun had come out at last!!! (-:

Chris said...

Welcome back Jen... A long long time without seeing you around! Great post today and I love the grey seal and curlew shots.. They are cool... I happen to see a bearded seal here last week end and it was only the 7th record of this species in Iceland. I'll post some pictures soon... I'm really happy to read you again...