Birding 18/02/12

Not had much time this week for Birding, but yet again 2 new species in a week for me ! – A Dipper, and Greenshank.

The Dipper was seen during a brief visit to Cotehele, near the Cornwall / Devon border at Plymouth. Cotehele is a great national trust property, with walks through a wooded valley leading to a mill.  I saw the dipper on the stream between the mill and and the entrance to the wood.  More information on the dipper can be found on the RSPB site here

Dipper in wood at Cotehele, Cornwall Feb 2012

Then  I paid a 30 minute to Hayle, walking round to Carnsew pool.  From a distance it looked quiet, but as I rounded the corner, I couldn't believe the numbers of birds near the waters edge, and all in photographing distance.   There were  6+ Grey Plovers, and at least 10 bar tailed godwits. There are both bar tailed and black tailed godwits at Hayle, out of flight, the easiest way to distinguish is that on the bar tailed there is a slight upcuve on the beak.

Grey Plovers at Carnsew Pool, Hayle, Cornwall Feb 2012

Bar tailed godwits, Carnsew Pool, Hayle, Cornwall Feb 2012

Shortly after I got some more shots, including this great in flight shot ( click on the picture to see it full size)  the birds got spooked by something, which turned out to be a Buzzard overhead.

Bar Tailed Godwits, Carnser Pool, Hayle, Cornwall feb 2012

Common Buzzard

Once things settled down, and walking back to the car, there was even more to see on the relatively small pool.  3 drake Goosander were having a rest in the wind :-

Drake Goosander, Carnsew Pool, Hayle Cornwall feb 2012

The final bonus, was another wader, which I've never seen before, a Greenshank :-

Greenshank, Carnsew Pool, Hayle, Cornwall feb 2012


So all in all, this short outing turned out to be a great day, showing what a treasure Hayle is for birding,  with some reasonable pictures for a change 😉



Birding 12/02/12

Thought today was going to be dissapointing, after a walk round Drift resorvoir, Sennen and Long Rock was uneventful. However I stopped off at Jubilee Pool on the way back, to a veritable army of twitchers. Upon enquiring I was told there was a Black Redstart around, unfortunately my miniscule lens wasn't near enough to produce a decent picture, neverthless I got a good view of the bird – another personal first.

On Saturday I thought I'd better get myself down to Newlyn Harbour, where there have been regular reports and pictures of a Glaucous Gull, and Iceland Gull.  I managed to get some decent pictures of the Glaucous Gull – note the white wingtips – that is apparently one of the keys to the ID.

Glaucous Gull, Newlyn Harbour Feb 2012

Earlier on in the week I stopped by Gwithian, and got a view of the resident Ring Necked Duck, and also just up the road at Hells mouth saw a colony of Fulmars – yet another first for me.

Ring Necked Duck, St Gothian Sands, Gwithian Hayle Feb 2012

Fulmar flying at Hells Mouth, near Hayle Feb 2012

Back down in Mousehole, I went for a walk Sunday PM along the front, it was low tide which isn't usually the best time ( I find 1/2 tide the best), however I spotted something in the distance, and clambered across the rocks to get closer.  As I got nearer it was the Grey Plover, which I'd seen the week before from a distance.  This time I was determined to get closer, however everytime I got nearer, the bug&*r skipped to the next rock, so this is the best picture I could manage.

Grey Plover, Mousehole Feb 2012

So all in all, another good week. 3 new birds for me, here's looking forward to the next week !






Birding 5/2/12

Another couple of birding firsts for us on our home turf of Mousehole the weekend. Nothing rare but always good to see something for the first time. After a very cold, but clear week the weekend was overcast with light rain. So I set out onto the sea front at Mousehole not expecting much, but saw this Grey Plover in the distance.

Picture of Grey Plover, Mousehole, Cornwall Feb 2012

As soon as I tried to get nearer, he flew onto rocks further out.  Interestingly enough I had a quick look round the Hide at Hayle on Sunday, took a picture of a Redshank, and when I came to look at the photo there was a Grey Plover very well disguised in the same shot ! .. so 2 in 2 days.

As well as the usual Turnstones, there was Curlew, and down in the harbour 4-5 Dunlins.

Picture of Turnstone, Mousehole Harbour Feb 2012

Rain stopped play on the Saturday. On Sunday had a drive out to Loe Pool, Helston, there had been reports of a Smew in Carminowe creek, but I couldn't see that. Did come across this Great Crested Grebe though :-

Great Crested Grebe, Carminowe Creek Helston, Feb 2012

I need to try and get sharper pictures of all the above now.  One thing I have found is that using Nikon D3100 with my "starter lens", (Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG Macro, NO vibration reduction) is that I get better results at distance by wacking up the ISO to 3200, and going for say F8, and just easing back on the zoom.  The pictures above were taken so far away, and in poor light that they're not really good examples.  I think I'm going to go for the Sigma 500mm zoom next, I'll start saving now 😉