On the 4th and 5th of February 2014 we were battered by Storms in the South West, below are some of the pictures from Mousehole, showing the power of the sea and wind.
On a stormy day at Mousehole on 20th December 2013 I was on the rocky beach seeing if there were any birds to be photographed, when to my surprise and privilege I saw an Otter in the distance with a large fish.
It was around 3.30 and the light wasn’t brilliant, to my amazement the Otter came nearer, i stayed glued to the spot rather than scare it off completely. Eventually it came onto the rocks nearby, and then disappeared into the rocks to eat it’s catch. The pictures below show the story .
2013 is the 50th anniversary of the Mousehole Lights. The switch on will be on Saturday 14th December at 7.30 pm. The lights are on between 5pm and 11pm until Saturday the 4th of January. Please see the official web site for more information. The lights add a special magic to Christmas time, so why not take a few days away in some of the local accomodation available. For full details click here
Been a relatively quiet Easter week for Birding down in SW Cornwall, there have been various reports of Ringed Ouzel around, but I've yet to see one. I did head up towards St Ives on Sunday, but as the fog got thicker I just turned around. So here's a round up of what we've seen for the last couple of weeks.. still managing to get in new sightings 😉
Down at Hayle I captured a solitary Knot for the first time, down on Ryans field.
Marazion provided lots activity over the last couple of week. I caught my first closeup glimse of a Wheatear, saw another on up at Portgwarra on Sunday.
Also at Marazion a week earlier, there was a little ringed plover ( apparently ID'd by the eye ring amonst other things and small build).
Over the last couple of weeks there have been lots of Sand Martins down at Marazion, feasting on the midges. I've yet to get a really sharp picture of one yet .. so watch this space for when I do. Also, I'm convinced I saw a little heron down at Marazion, which apparently would have been the first recorded sighting, it flew off before I could get the camera sorted out. There had been reports down at Polgigga, and since then up at St Ives.
We had walk up to Gwithian, late March, and managed to get this close up shot of a Skylark just as it landed, on the reserve at St Gothian Sands.
Spent a windswept day down at Porthwarra, didn't manage to see anything unusual, but had a challenging 30 minutes on a windy cliff ledge photgraphing Gannets.
Had a couple of brief trips up to Stithians reservoir, a from a distance saw a pair of great crested grebes, and near the bird feeders a reed bunting.
Highlight of the week has to be getting a new Sigma 150-500mm lens late on, but not really had the chance to get out and take many pictures yet.
Early on in the week I stopped briefly by Newlyn, and caught the Iceland Gull off the rocks behind the fishermans mission. This was with the old lens, so need to re-visit and get a sharper picture.
Mid week, stopped by Hells mouth, and got some interesting pictures of the Cormorants gathering nesting material.
On the weekend stopped by Marazion, and saw the Shoveler duck, and a new one for me Greylag geese.
Finally on the Sunday we had a loooong walk completely round Loe Pool, which is really a long way. Unfortunately we didn't really get close enough to get any decent pictures, but did see Eider, Goosander, Great crested Grebe, Little Grebe, and another first a Goldeneye, albeit from a long way away.
On the way back from Loe Pool., stopped off at Marazion to see if I could capture the Water Pipit, and from a distance there he was.
So on reflection not a bad week for birding, 3 new species for me. I can't wait for this grey weather to lift so I can get some decent captures. Here's looking forward to the next weekend 😉
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
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.
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.
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 :-
The final bonus, was another wader, which I've never seen before, a Greenshank :-
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 😉
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.
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.
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.
So all in all, another good week. 3 new birds for me, here's looking forward to the next week !
Near Godrevy lighthouse, Hayle, there is a resident population of seals, which we've never seen before, so this weekend we set off to see them. Parking at the car park near the cafe, it's only a 10 minute walk along the coast path past the lighthouse, until you reach the vantage point. Hope you enjoy the pictures.