Saturday, 21 March 2015

Friday 20th March: Pendeen & Hayle

Today it was all about getting down to some serious DIY. We divvied up the work so I would do the exterior stuff whilst my VLW would crack on with the various interior jobs. Before I knuckled down I did take a quick stroll down to the lighthouse just to see what was about. I'd been hoping for a Wheatear as a few were being reported in the county now but sadly there was no sign of one. In fact the best I could muster was a singing male Stonechat.

One of the perks of working outside at Pendeen is that one can get a good idea of what birds are around. During my travails I managed to see five Ravens (including a great sighting of all of them flying just over my head). Apart from that there was a single Buzzard and the usual commoner stuff.

I had run the moth trap last night and during my coffee break I did the trap; Not that it took very long with a total of 5 Red Chestnuts, one Common Plume and one Depressaria species (to be identified). I also found an Early Grey out in the open on a neighbour's wall.

Early Grey
Of course there was the matter of the Solar Eclipse to be watched as well. As the time drew closer to the 9:25 a.m. peak, an eerie half light fell over the area. Clouds were scurrying over the sky regularly though leaving gaps in between. This was actually rather useful as one could view the sun through cloud of the right thickness and even take some photos. Here's a shot at what was pretty near the maximum coverage. All pretty awesome (in the true sense of the word).

The eclipse
Late morning I needed to head into PZ to get some more DIY provisions and I managed to blag a very brief detour to the Hayle estuary. I wanted to look for the 2w Caspian Gull that had been loitering there on and off (more off than on by the sound of it) for the past couple of weeks. This would be a much needed Cornish tick for me though having asked M.E. for details, I'd been told that it was very much hit or miss and that lots of time would be required (something I didn't have on this trip) if it was even there at all still: the recent decent weather may well having pushed it off. 

I arrived to find the tide right out and the estuary pretty deserted: being used to seeing it crammed full of birds in the winter it was quite a shock to see it so empty. The gulls were all at the far end, facing away from me into the wind. What's more, in the bright sunshine it was very hazy and the combination of all these things meant that it was a near impossible task to pick them out. Had I had the time I would have gone over to the old jet wash though I could see that it was now being used as a hand car wash centre and so presumably it was not longer possible to park there. I didn't have the time to walk that far so did a couple of quick scans though in the circumstances it was useless even trying. Defeated I quickly gave up and headed back home.

The rest of the afternoon was spent cracking on with the DIY and by the end of the first day great progress had been made both inside and out though we were both exhausted at the end. We retired early and with the local Tawny Owl serenading us briefly, we were quickly asleep..

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