Sunday, 27 November 2011

Saturday 26th November: Drift & Sennen Cove

I had a lot to do today as I was intending to return home tomorrow. Therefore birding opportunities would be rather limited. However, a long-tailed duck (a Cornish tick for me still) reported at Drift reservoir the previous evening seemed to offer a nice prelude to a hard day's work so I went to take a quick look. There I met up with Tony Mills (see his web-site Not Just Birds), who for a long time has been a "part-timer" such as myself, though recently he finally made the move down. There was no sign of the long-tailed duck though there was a female goldeneye in amongst the tufties by the dam. Down by the hide there was no sign of the recent water pipit and I managed to scare all the bird by letting one of the hide shutters come crashing back down but there hadn't been much to see anyway. Part way round to the hide in some thick cover I heard a "tick" which made me think of dusky warbler (I told you that it had done strange things to my mind!) but it didn't call again and I didn't have the time to stake it out properly. It was probably just a robin anyway.

A hard morning's work ensued and then after lunch I had some errands to run in Penzance itself and thought that I would go via Sennen Cove for a quick look around. I checked out the golden plover flock by Whitesands Lodge though there were no vagrants in amongst them before heading on to the cove itself. I quite like Sennen Cove: back home in Oxford I'm know for my gull obesssion and it's nice to have some of them to look through in quite picturesque surroundings. Accordingly I grilled the black-headed gulls for Meds and Bony's, the common gulls for ring-billed and the herrings for yellow-legged and Caspians though all to no avail. I did spot a purple sandpiper on the harbour wall and I was rewarded with my long-tailed duck tick after all as there was one diving actively out in the bay. I couldn't hang around as I had to get on but it had been a nice birding interval.

The bird life of Sennen Cove - I didn't bother trying to
digiscope the long-tailed duck as it was only spending
a few seconds above water before diving again.

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