Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Tuesday 4th August Pendeen, Hayle & Marazion

Today the forecast was for a strong wind though with the forecast direction actually north of south-westerly and verging on westerly I was wondering whether it might actually be a genuine Pendeen day though in the event it wasn't quite westerly enough. I did toy with the idea of heading over to PG to do a proper sea watch but the half hour travel time and the exposed setting in the end put me off (what a whimp I am!) and I elected to wander the few hundred yards down to the lighthouse instead. 

Today I found that I wasn't the first there with a couple of visiting birders encamped just around the first corner rather than sitting tucked in by the raised concrete platform where most people go. They had already had a Great Shearwater go by as well as a couple of Balearics so it looked more promising than yesterday. I joined them in their strange spot though it wasn't very comfortable sitting there. Another visiting birder arrived (the same chap that was there yesterday with me) and he too sat down with us. When yet another visitor arrived he chose to sit in the usual spot so at that point I went over to join him and the others soon followed.

As far as the birding was concerned, the stronger wind did mean that there was more of a chop to the sea today though of course given the direction it wasn't quite right. Through the haze there seemed to be a veritable maelstrom of Manxies out quite some distance in a feeding flock. I tried to look out for Balearics but the light was too hazy and they were too far away to do this with any accuracy. I did manage to spot a marauding Bonxie, following the flock around and trying it's luck though I soon lost it again and the others couldn't get on it. Apart from that there was a rather moderate passage of Manxies going by with the occasional Kittiwake but nothing else of note apart from the brief sighting of a Harbour Porpoise's fin. I left at around 9:30 a.m. as our eldest daughter's university friend (whose family were holidaying in the area) was coming over soon and I felt that I ought to be there to greet her. In the end I met them by the lighthouse car park and I took the friend back to the cottage to meet up with our daughter.

I found this Ruby Tiger outside the cottage, grounded by the wind and rather exposed so I tucked it away somewhere safe to roost
The plan for the day was that some of the party were going to do a brief spot of shopping in Penzance whilst our daughter and friend wanted to have a wander around Marazion so I duly dropped each party off at their respective location and then went on to Hayle to see if I could finally catch up with the long-staying Ring-billed Gull there. Worryingly, it had not been reported for the last couple of days despite some quite detailed reports from the site so I was fully prepared for it not to be there. In the event I needed have worried because I soon found the bird working its way along the near bank quite close to the bridge. Apart from this there wasn't much of note with just the usual gulls and a few Curlew and Oystercatchers dotted about the place.

The long-staying Hayle Ring-billed Gull

I had just enough time to pay Ryan's Field a quick visit and here I found a flock of 19 roosting Redshanks, 1 Whimbrel and 5 Med Gulls (2 of which were juveniles) in amongst the Black-headed Gulls. Then it was back to Penzance to pick up the shopping party and head over the Marazion to rendezvous with the other two. We did our usual wandering about on the beach and discovered a nice new tea shop within Marazion itself. As usual I had a rummage amongst the plants on the beach to see what I could find.

The Sea Rocket was in full flower now

Sea Bindweed
I think that this Orache is Spear-leaved Orache
After that we headed off home, stopping off en route for some shopping. Back at the cottage it was time for a second cup of tea and then some of us went for a local wander along the coastal path. There wasn't much of particular note but it was amazing to see just how much had gone over since my last visit a mere two weeks ago. Many of the butterflies were also gone though I did find one very worn Grayling still about. Then it was back to the cottage for our meal and to veg out for the evening.

Wild Thyme is actually very intricate when viewed close up

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