Saturday, 9 March 2013

Cornish birding trip - Day 2

Our first stop today would be at Penzance on the extreme southwest tip of Cornwall. This was an hours drive from where were were staying and so involved a reasonably early start to catch the falling tide. The small island of St Michael's Mount in Penzance bay is always photogenic. At low tide there is a causeway across to the island. The sky was dull and overcast (not conducive to exciting photography) and there was a freezing easterly wind.
On the beach there were several Rock Pipits. They differ from their Meadow relatives in being a colder brown colour and the breast streaks are more smudgy and diffuse.
On rocks surrounding the Jubilee Pool we soon found our target species. A cold looking Ruddy Turnstone.....
......and several Purple Sandpipers. These birds always seem to be found on rocks close to crashing waves. It always seems a perilous place to spend time!
One of them decided it was time for it's early morning and very chilly bath!
With a thorough preen afterwards.
We saw more than birds at Penzance. This Grey Seal kept popping up to check us out.
 Our next stop was further north towards St Ives. While eating our lunch at Copperhouse Creek, we were joined by various Corvids (members of the Crow family). In fact it turned out to be a Corvidfest! (-: First up was this striking leucistic (abnormal pale feathers)Carrion Crow. It also seemed to have a slightly deformed bill. That didn't stop it from picking up scraps from our lunch however! (-:
Next up was a Jackdaw. A smaller cousin to the Crow with a startling white eye.
The chance of scraps soon brought in a couple of Rooks. I normally associate this corvid with a very rural setting of large trees and fields. Rooks differ from Carrion Crows in their more shaggy/scruffy appearance and that bare area around the bill.
Last but not least of the corvids was a shyer Magpie. It sidled in after the larger corvids and various gulls had left.
Not to be left out of the scrum for scraps was this pair of Herring Gulls.
Our final stop for the day was inland at Rosenannon Downs. We were hoping to watch the evening raptor/owl roost which had been reported regularly here. The area looked promising. Unfortunately for us, it didn't turn out that way on this occasion. It was a lovely scenic area to end the day however.

 There'll be more from Cornwall soon.


ShySongbird said...

Some nice observations there Jenny. Good to see the Corvid family turning out in force. It's a very long time since I visited Cornwall but it is a beautiful area. Love the pic of the Herring Gulls.

Jenny said...

Hi Jan, yes, we had every single British corvid on this trip. More of that in the next post. Cornwall is a lovely place to visit. I wouldn't want to live there I don't think. Too far away from 'things'. (-:

Pix at Under the Oaks said...

Everybody in your pictures look like they are ready for Spring Jen! Brrrrrrrr.

Jenny said...

I know Pix, we all had several layers on. I can't wait for spring!!!

Mary said...

That sandpiper is very neat! and you have so many different blackbirds from what I see. Would love to see a magpie some time.

Jenny said...

Hi Mary, do you not get Magpies where you are? I'll have to check in my USA bird book.