Sunday, 17 August 2008

Cornish Pasty

Spent the last week in Northern Cornwall at a little village called Delabole. Very wet and grey for the most part but had a corking time. Visits to the Eden Project, Newquay and Rock/Padstow were interjected with 3 days of birding. Last Sunday I spent the morning on Gwennap Head. Scored a lifer in the form of Balearic Shearwater, infact quite a few of em. On the walk up to the watchpoint flushed a Peregrine from the path at a distance of some 10 yards which made me jump. A couple of bonxies went through nose to tail, as did an Arctic. A slow stream of Manxies went through with one every few minutes but with the strong SW'ers that had been running for a few days I was hoping for something better. A couple of Sooty Shearwaters went past but we were getting hungry. Nipped for a pasty and upon coming back found out a Cory's Shearwater had gone through. This was to be the theme of the week. An afternoon trip to the Hayle Estuary produced up to 20 Little Egrets and many gulls and Curlew. Nothing good amongst the gulls unfortunately. A Common Sandpiper and Oystercatcher were the only other waders on a falling tide. Rain forced me home. Various Ravens and Buzzards were seen throughout the day.

On the tuesday I got late word of a pass out and it was too late to travel a great distance so I made a trip to Trevose head. Initially it was very quiet but had a glut of small shears pass through on the back of a shower including a single Balearic - my first self found. 3 Peregrines duelled overhead dive bombing each other as close as you like. A Kestrel was acting like a hobby giving very vigourous chase to House Martins on the headland - i didnt know they were that good at flying. That said it was unsuccessful. Families of Wheatears buzzed around the headland and Id had my fill as the sea became very quiet.

On the Friday I made an early start and headed back to Porthgwarra. Scored and early Balearic followed by a slow stream of manxies with the odd sooty and balearic. A Bonxie went through hassling gulls and gannets and a sleek looking dark phase Arctic was nice but the biggest bonus was an adult pale phase Pomarine Skua - another lifer. A couple of basking sharks at distance were cool and a very distant large Shear was no more than a shape at about 1.5 miles out in the haze. Harbour Porpoises gave sprodic appearances. I dived off for a shot at Dartfords on the lizard and dipped those. Whilst I was away a Cory's went through. I returned to see absolutely nothing save a few manxies. Rubbish!

ps begging for a pass on the thursday failed as I had to hold my mates baby as the girls went shopping. 40 Cory's and 10 Great Shearwaters went passed Pendeen that day, my intended destination. Dammit!!

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