Monday, 7 October 2013

Monday 7th October: Pendeen, Hayle & St Levan

Today dawned reasonably pleasant on the weather front with only a gentle breeze and sunny internvals. I decided to get out and do the Pendeen rounds as soon as it was light but was beaten to it by Ian K and Paul BT who had more or less finished by the time I was out. The wonderful Daurian Shrike was still about and a steady passage of birders came and went throughout the morning. I managed to get down to see the Snow Bunting this morning just above Boat Cove which showed down to a few feet in the morning light. I also took a little wander along the southern coast path just down to where the stream crosses the path and on the way managed to get nice views of a Wryneck for a couple of minutes. I even managed a crappy record shot. I was back home for breakfast when Ian texted from up the road saying that he'd had a possible fly-over Serin headed down to the cottages so I went out to take a look but couldn't see or hear it. There was a single Wheatear knocking about and a couple of Ravens cronking around but that was it.

The Boat Cove Snow Bunting

Wryneck Record Shot

The Stonechat - the photographer's friend as they pose very nicely

I returned to the cottage to finish off breakfast and to sort through the moth trap. There were about 30 moths in total, most of them Feathered Ranunculus, but with a few Autumnal Rustics, Square-spot Rustic, Black Rustic, a couple of Rosy Rustics, a Dark Sword Grass, a Setaceous Hebrew Character, Angled Shades and a Feathered Brindle plus some other bits and bobs. Nothing out of the ordinary but it's always interesting to trap away from home to see what turns up.

Feathered Brindle - thanks to John Swann for confirming the ID

I was wondering what to do next when a message came through on RBA about the Lesser Yellowlegs still being at Hayle first thing that morning along with the Osprey. With nothing else to tempt me I thought that I'd go to take a look and have another attempt at getting Osprey on my Cornish list. The tide was right out by the time I arrived and many of the birds were rather distant. There were two Med. Gulls and the dark-bellied Brent Goose still though no sign of either the Stilt or the 'Legs. Over on Ryan's Field there were a couple of Ruff and a Knot along with the usual suspects. There was of course no sign of the Osprey and I realised that high tide was probably going to be much better for seeing it as well as all the wading birds so I made a mental note to come back in the evening.

Hayle Med Gull

On the way back to Pendeen I stopped off to check out the churchyard (nothing), the copse by Boscaswell Stores (a Spotted Flycatcher) and the Calartha Farm copse (a probably male Pied Flycatcher). The latter bird was only "probable" because at that moment the Bonelli's warbler came up on the pager as showing again so I decided to give up on trying to nail down the Flycatcher and instead to head back to St Levan for another crack at the Bonelli's.

 Pendeen Stores Spotted Flycatcher

The journey down to St Levan was even more tortuous than usual: I got stuck behind a huge coach which had great difficulty down the narrow roads and then had to wait five minutes whilst an entire herd of cows crossed the road for milking. Eventually I arrived and hurried back to "the spot". It turned out that it had been seen a couple of times but nothing within the last hour. With nothing better to do I was happy to spend some time on staking out the bird and settled down for a long vigil. Gradually others arrived including Ian K & Jackie, John Swann and Lewis Thomson. After a while I managed the briefest of views of something which flitted down into a clear area and then straight back up again. It was the right size, shape and jizz but not enough to be certain of it at all and nobody else saw it. As time wore on with no further sightings gradually people started to leave and eventually there were just a few of us left. Finally between us we managed some more views - some people got enough to be happy with whereas I got the most fleeting of flight views which others assured me was the bird. Not really satisfactory as far as I'm concerned so I may well have to return a third time. This bird is proving to be a bit of a bastard. Grrrr!

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