Thursday, 19 February 2015

Tuesday 17th February: Pendeen

The weather forecast for today was for sunny weather with little wind so we decided that today I would finish off the exterior paint work that I’d started. Thus it was that I was soon back outside working away at the black masonry paint. Once again I managed to see the pair of Chough flying about and making their distinctive calls. In addition for the Pendeen day list I saw: 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk (unusual for around here) and a handful of finches in the horse paddock next to our house.

Daughter B found this baby Palmate Newt under a rock
I soon finished my painting task and moved inside to warm up (to be honest I was feeling a bit under the weather and being outside in what was still quite nippy conditions in February wasn’t helping). We pottered about doing various tasks, trying to get the place ship-shape for the coming season. At around midday we had a chaise longe delivered: our upstairs lounge is very small and we keep trying to come up with a furniture configuration that works there, this being our latest attempt.

Singing Pendeen Dunnock
At around 3pm we’d all had enough and decided that we should go out. With a plumber due to come round at around 5:30 we couldn’t go far so we opted for a local walk. I was just hanging around outside waiting for the others to get ready when I heard a bird call. Interesting I thought, that sounds a bit like a Wren though definitely not one. I did some exploratory pishing (not expecting it to work) and a small brown bird popped up, worked it’s way past me at no more than 2m distance and was gone again in an instant. I tried to put together what I’d seen – I could have sworn that it was a small brown phyllosc but I’d only actually seen it for a moment. The call was intriguing though. Hurriedly I navigated to Xeno Canto on my phone and played through some Radde’s Warbler calls. There was one which sounded pretty close and when I played it I even heard a single call in reponse from deep within the undergrowth. Could it really be one at this time of year? I gave Dave Parker a call telling him what I’d seen and heard though he was off up at the Roseland Peninsula so wasn’t going to be able to come over and check it out. Meanwhile my family was finally ready and I told them that I would catch them up. I wandered around the garden the best I could (it’s very overgrown) but the only birds I could find were two Goldfinches and a Wren. In the end I settled down to stake out the spot where I’d last seen it and waited. Time passed and my family returned from the walk and I’d still not seen anything further. Eventually I spotted something skulking in the undergrowth and it even passed right by me in the same spot as before. This time I could see it clearly and it was of course a Wren after all. Doh! A classic schoolboy error though I could have sworn that the call was different and that I’d seen a phyllosc the first time. It just goes to show how careful you have to be on a brief view of a skulking bird. One to chalk up to experience! I sent Dave Parker a “false alarm” text and went inside for a cup of tea. The plumber came round, he was very good and we hired him on the spot to sort out our rather strange plumbing that we have in the cottage.

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