I wasn't sure whether to write a "mopping up" section now or to leave it until after my second visit as I'm due back down at the end of the week, this time en famille for the half term break. In the event I decided to wrap up the first visit which is my official Cornwall October birding one. Sadly, as predicted it was a rather quiet affair and whilst it looked like it was all kicking off just as I was due to arrive, it just fizzled out again just as quickly. Have Cornwall and the Scillies had their hay day now and should one now be going to Shetland as a matter of course? Who knows, but I do love it down here and have every intention of carrying on with my visits.
There was just enough on the bird front to keep me occupied whilst I was here but I'm glad that I left when I did as there were no new birds in and I freely admit that I really don't like slogging around in strong winds when there's nothing around. The most interesting bird was of course the now-departed Porthgwarra Subalp. Sadly it was never heard to call so the rarities committee might well not accept it as a Moltoni's though apparently the tail pattern certainly rules out Eastern and I don't think that anyone has mooted Western as a possible ID.
I was pleased to catch up with the supporting cast of the Rose-coloured Starling, the Ring-necked Duck and the Roskestal Hooded Crow. At Pendeen a fly-over Lap Bunt and a Brambling were both nice birds as well as good views of a Merlin. Once again I never managed to see a Yellow-browed Warbler (not that I tried particularly hard) nor even a Firecrest and my Cornish bogey bird, the Ring Ouzel, once again managed to elude me. I didn't get a chance to go sea-watching in the end either which was a shame.
|Marsh Pennywort at Porthgwarra|
On the moth front I had a couple of ticks in the form of a Vapourer Moth and the much rarer Palpita vitrealis. I've not really done my "moth du jour" posting this time so here's a selection from the moth trap all in one go.
|Rusty Dot Pearl|
So all in all a rather low key affair though still enjoyable. I leave you with another photo of the bird of the trip: the putative Moltoni's Subalpine Warbler.
|Bird of the trip|
I've just been told that actually the Subalp was heard to call, making a weak "chekk" call and that the general opinion now is that it was a washed out Western Subalpine Warbler, which is of course most disappointing.