Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Cornwall & a bit of Devon 15-17 February 2015 1/2

Hi, this is the start of probably my favourite blog post I''ve done yet! We started off the journey down in Devon. I was again going to try and find those (now) famous Penduline Tits down at darts farm. Dependuling, I mean Depending on the person it is really affects who sees it. Some people have seen them over 5 times, after 10 or so visits, while I've been there 5/6 times and haven't seen them once, THEY HATE ME!!! However, some other birds managed to keep a smile on my face.
After many hours (it felt like) of trying to persuade my Mum & Dad to walk round Goosemoor RSPB I managed to make Mum go. We were in a rush, so speed walked to the bridleway. Just before I was informing Mum of my "Water Rail Magnet". 2 appeared round the corner, I wasn't that excited, I've seen far too many ;)
Further along, I found another Spotted Redshank, one other bird which loves me, also a Greenshank. My Mum carried on as I was helping the locals; I always enjoy pointing out birds to others and testing my knowledge :) I joined my Mum a few minutes fater who presented me with the official best bird in the world (I'll make it big to show it off)...
Due to the time I wasn't able to get world class images, but still happy with this photo. So great start and was raring to go down in Cornwall!

We arrived down and the next day went straight to the famous (Yellow-Throated Vireo) Kenidjack Valley. Not much was around except a Chiffchaff at the sewage works, oh can't forget the ridiculously underrated Grey Wagtail! Further along we started to climb the valley then came across a little (unique) gem. It was a Stonechat with a white head, at the start I thought it was a Whinchat! 

Quite beautiful really. This is a condition called Leucism, a condition that most believe is albinism. not every pure white bird is an albino (in fact most aren't), the easy way to tell is the colour of the eyes. Pink being albino, black being leucistic. Nothing much else, except for a female Merlin hunting ;) Yes only fleeting views but great to see one none the less :)

today was action packed and full fo birds and another unexpected creature! We went to Budock Vean first, close to Falmouth and by the Helford River. While my Mum, Sister and Grandma (not me!) were being manicured my granddad and I went down the valley. on the way we found a pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker and a few Goldcrests. By the river some action took place, one Redshank graced the water below while 4 Little Grebes were diving down to the bottom... A Kingfisher is always a nice surprise, so to see one flying right by was a nice treat. While scanning the river I found a Shag, or so I thought... My camera was at hand so took a few shots of the diving bird, finally realising that it was in fact a Great Nothern Diver!
To find it this far up the estuary I'd say is fairly unusual, the give away from the oultine shows an upturned, and thick bill. Following from an already impressive walk we turned round only to see a "Chiffchaff" but after looking through by bins for about 1 millisecond I new exactly what it was!
Fircrests are one of my favourite birds, so to capture this photo which is a good for me I was very pleased! We carried on up the valley after, and heard a really harsh shout, but no, it wasn't someone shouting it was a pair of Jays! I find them rather stupid, they are extremely shy but give themsleves away with one of the noisest calls in Britain!
A minute or so after a leaf flew over the tree tops! So I thought WHAT! I had a closer look, turns out to be this

Shocking photo, but still amazingly managed to photograph a minute Pippistrelle bat! Very, very unusual for it come out this early however, we know something must have disturbed out of its winter roost site. I really do hope the weather is kind for this little chap, it was so unbelievably cute... That happened to be the last exciting thing of the day, it turns out there was more to come!

Quickly (because I really should be going to bed!) we visited Maenporth in search for the 1w Drake King Eider. I believe this could be it but lighting wasn't overly good to show colouring...
We then quickly visited Falmouth to have a look around Swan pool. One Mediterranean Gull turns out to be the start of many e.g. 100s 
So prepare yourself for the next blog!  My Granddad went round to check the other side of the lake while I walked round. Just as I turned the corner he gestured to me with his arms flailing everywhere! I ran over like a right nerd! To be presented with a North American Gull. 

This if you may have correctly id'd (well done to those who go it) is a 1w Ring-Billed Gull. A man next to me who found it pointed to it maybe 3 metres away. it was special seeing something that rare within touch... Diving distance (although the water wasn't too appealing). I couldn't believe this day was getting even better! 5 Minuteas had gone by so we decided to drive back and pick up the girls, who were half asleep by then! Just in time to fit in another brist walk. Nothing was around unfortunately, until I got to the river. This awaited me...
Yes, a blurry smudge! No, a really short-tailed Common Sandpiper. I was able to spare 3 or so minutes to record it video's here:
I put this on a site which told me it has many features such as the short-tail, pink base to the bill etc. etc. So another possible American bird in one DAY, MAGICAL!!!!

Stay tuned for the next of Biff's adventures ;)

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