Sunday, 26 July 2015

Cornwall for a day

Work took me to Cornwall Thursday afternoon. A nice hotel on the coast with good food, drink and company as a reward "for doing well". So a drive down on Thursday for dinner and drinks was followed by more drinks on the Friday.....a little messy!

But Saturday came and the time was my own so I shook of the hangover and made the short drive down to Porthgwarra a place I'd wanted to visit for a while now. Timing wasn't great with clear skies and very little wind but it made for a nice walk along the cliff tops where the local deers watched as I plotted up and scoped the calm seas for a while. Hundreds of Gannets and thousands of Manx Shearwater along with Fulmars, Shags and gulls. Throw in a couple of Dolphin sightings along with the odd Seal and that was the sum of it really. A great place that I'd love to visit again when the wind was bringing a few rarer Shearwaters in. (Chough are supposed to be doing well here having spread from the Lizard point birds but I didn't see or hear any during my stay.)

View from Gwennap Head
I left and whilst driving back passed a sign for Hayle nature reserve so diverted to make the short trip aware that a Ring-billed Gull had been seen here on Friday. I parked up and walked out to the estuary where I quickly found the target sitting out on the river bank with a group of mixed Herring and Black-headed Gulls. A nice year tick that's finally moved the list again after a couple of weeks with no action.

Ring-billed Gull on the Hayle estuary
I just had the 340 mile drive home to manage now but broke it up with a stop at Stokenchurch where I enjoyed a) a break from the drive and b) over thirty Red Kites all flying over the common as the locals put out their BBQ scraps for them.

Red Kite Stokenchurch Common
Red Kite at Stokenchurch 
Red Kite at Stokenchurch
Red Kite Stokenchurch 

A long trip but it's wet the appetite for a longer visit with my good lady so she can see the sights and I can spend a little more time sitting looking at the sea.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Icterine Warbler at Reculver and my first POTW on Birdguides

So work took me to Kent today for a meeting giving me just enough time to head on down to Reculver in search of a life tick. The Icterine Warbler was on my dipped list having tried and failed before so it was high on my list going forward. A quick check that the bird had been seen today and I was on my way. I pulled into the Bishopstone Lane car park and walked down to side of the hedge to the left of the cars. After about twenty or so yards I bumped into three birders that had heard the target about half an hour earlier but said It had now gone quiet. Two of the three departed and I and the other guy moved into the footpath running inside the hedges as we'd been told that was the best place to hear it and sure enough within a minute or two the bird was singing it's little heart out and what a tune it delivered. Sightings were very brief but the song was fantastic and worthy of the tick it delivered.

Year list now 244 life list now 361

To top that off I got home to find Birdguides had awarded me my first PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Whilst at Bempton I'd managed to grab an image of a pair of Tree Sparrows and at the time thought I'd captured the moment well but didn't think for a minute it would be POTW...well chuffed with it!!

The photo and the comments form birdguides about it.