Today was forecast to be the best weather of the week and so indeed it turned out with just a gentle breeze and good solid sunshine. Once again I had a good lie in in order to try and speed up my recovery from this annoying cold.
Mid morning I went down to the Watch for a quick look around. The large Manx feeding flock was still there but there was no movement through at all. Whilst there I met my usual sea-watching companion who had apparently actually been at PG yesterday but had somehow managed to miss all six of the Great Shearwaters that reportedly went through there. Whilst there he did apparently meet up with a visiting Gloucester birder who said that he'd seen a Fea's Petrel go past at 6:15 a.m. Apparently this same birder had been here at Pendeen at first light today as well and had seen a few good things like some Sooties and Bonxies. Perhaps it was possible to see some stuff go by early doors even on windless days then.
|I found this Painted Lady in the lighthouse enclosed "garden" area|
|The Pendeen Choughs were still about - today there were four|
Back at the cottage we discussed our plans for the day. I had originally been hoping for a return trip to the Cheesering Quarry at Minions to have another crack at the Common Hawkers there but sadly I wasn't well enough to do this. The others decided to do a coastal walk so we put together a plan whereby I would drop them off at St. Just and they would walk back to Pendeen. In the mean time I thought that I would go on a gentle stroll on the moors there just to explore a bit before heading back to the cottage for a rest. So this is what we did.
Having dropped off the walkers and with Common Hawkers still on my mind I'd been told that Bartinney Downs occasionally had sightings of them so I looked on the map for some suitable water nearby. The best that I could come up with was the old china clay quarry at Tredinney Common which was only a short stroll from the Chapel Carn Brea car park so I decided to explore. The moorland is looking lovely at this time of year with the Heather and Bell Heather both looking very colourful and making a lovely contrast with the brilliant yellow of the Gorse. I ambled along looking at the Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers busy doing their thing along the path. I eventually found and made my way (the hard way) down into the quarry which turned out to be a lovely oasis within the moor. Clearly the pond was quite large during the winter months but by now had dried up to the point that it was just a small pool.
|Tredinney Common quarry|
I settled down there and ate my packed lunch whilst I looked out for Odonata. There were several Common Darters and one male Emperor who was patrolling the area. Whilst I was there a female Emperor turned up and started ovipositing at the pond and another male also arrived though he was quickly seen off by the resident male.
|Male Emperor Dragonfly|
There was not much to report on the bird front with just a couple of Ravens, a Buzzard and a Willow Warbler seen whilst I was there. It was all very peaceful though - I could have stayed for hours. After a while I headed back to the car, noting a Wall Brown along the way.
On the way home I stopped off at the small pond at Pendeen to see if there were any dragonflies but all I could find was a single Common Darter. A year or two ago I'd seen a couple of Hawkers there which at the time I'd struggled to ID though with my greater knowledge now I'm pretty sure had been Common Hawkers. Back at the cottage I settled down for a nap whilst I waited for the walkers to turn up.
Later that afternoon after a cup of tea and with the rest of the party safely returned and now resting, I headed out to explore my favourite valley once again. Given the great weather I was hoping to be able to take some photos of the Golden-ringed Dragonfly there. I did manage to see it but it was predictably too elusive for photos. I did get a brief glimpse of a Dark Green Fritillary by way of compensation though. I passed a pleasant hour there rummaging around the plants and insects before heading back to the cottage for dinner.
|Cross-leaved Heath - a Heather that likes damper areas|
|Yellow Shell moth|