Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Sunday 22nd July - Mostly Pendeen

We awoke this morning to another day of bright sunshine and little wind. Both my VLW and I have remarked on how strange it is to be down here in Pendeen in such conditions: we're normally used to strong winds and lots of "weather". It's also one of the first times that we've been down here on a family hol;iday and I haven't got up early in order to get some birding in before the rest of the family have woken - with nothing being reported in the area at all I'm very much in a "taking it easy" frame of mind.

The first task today was to head into Penzance for some food shopping and we decided to combine this with a morning coffee break on the beach at Marazion. There was nothing of note on the Marsh apart from a Little Egret and a few Moorhens and the Bay just held a few of the usual gulls. I bought a new rock pool net for the evening's mothing (the handle of the old one was rather broken) and we headed off to Tesco's for our shopping.

This afternoon we just spent time pootling around Pendeen. We went down to one of the quieter local headlands and I looked for butterflies whilst the children scrambled around the rocks and my VLW elected to stay at the cottage for a nap. I was looking for Silver-studded Blues and Graylings. I found several of the former but none of the latter. There were also several Silver-Y's kicking around. The children found a path down the rocks to the sea where we came across a lovely "secret" cove which looks great for swimming. Daughter 2 did some beach-combing and came away with various "trophies". All in all it was a very pleasant and lazy afternoon.

 A couple of rather mediocre shots of a Silver-studded Blue...

 ...and a Silver-Y moth - it's amazing to think that these migrate across the channel

After dinner we had a stroll down to the lighthouse to watch the sunset. There were some dolphins rather close in shore and I spotted this little chap sitting on a rock.

It took me a while to come to the conclusion that it was a Wheatear moulting into 1st winter pluimage (please correct me if you think I'm wrong!).

That night the girls and I did some more Pro-active Mothing. The tactics are to put on the outdoor moth light and then to try to catch anything that flies by. The cottage is right next to a field where tons of moths seem to roost because at dusk you see them coming out and then zooming off somewhere to do their mothy business. In general the moths are far too quick to catch in flight but ones that get lured into the patio area where the "moth light" is can usually be netted and taken off for photographing. My two daughters really enjoy all this despite previously mocking my new-found interest in moths and we've been having a great time catching stuff. The highlights for them have been the huge Drinkers which come crashing into the patio area and I've enjoyed catching some different species from the ones back in Oxford.

 The Drinker - a really impressive looking beast of a moth!

True-lover's Knot

Buff Arches

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