Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Monday 7th & Tuesday 8th August

Another quiet couple of days

The forecast for today was for rain so we planned to do some rainy-day stuff today. First off I had to make a trip to the dump at St Erth to get rid of some Tamerisk trimmings from the garden. Our younger daughter asked if she could come too and be dropped of in PZ and before I knew it the entire rest of the family wanted to do this as well. After the drop-off I went to the dump & then on to Hayle M&S to stock up on gluten-free bread. Next was the obligatory visit to the Hayle estuary though I had to endure a terrible traffic jam all the way there.  There was precious little reward for this suffering on the estuary with just the four (at least) Black Swans still about, a couple of Black-tailed Godwits and a surprisingly large number (at least a couple of hundred) Canada Geese. 

One of the Black Swans was reasonably close this time

I did nip over to Ryan's Field but the only bird of note was a Common Sandpiper. Then it was back to PZ to pick up the others before heading back to the cottage.

The Ryan's Field Common Sandpiper

In the afternoon we'd arranged to go for a swim at the Bosweddan Hotel pool - one of our classic rainy-day activities though in the end the weather was nice and sunny by the afternoon. Still we had a good swim and then headed back to the cottage to loaf about for the rest of the day.

As the wind wasn't particularly exciting today (albeit was a north westerly so at least in the Pendeen direction) I decided to have a lie in this morning. However at around 8:30 news came through on RBA of 6 Great Shearwaters having gone past Pendeen in the first couple of hours. "I'd better go and take a look" I thought and duly got dressed and headed over there. I found just two birders installed underneath the lighthouse who, upon enquiry, confessed that they were rather bemused by the RBA report as they'd not seen any. They did say that another couple of birders had been there next to them but that they'd certainly not called anything out. Anyway, I got set-up only to find things were remarkably slow. In fact during the one hour that I gave it there were only two small passing flocks of Common Scoter to break up the Manx Shearwater monotony. I was just getting ready to leave when a birder turned up with his daughter in tow. He told me how he'd had "thousands" of Balearics go by at Porthgwarra the previous evening. The explanation for this amazing count soon followed when he called the next two Manxies as Balearics and I realised that in the bright sunshine he was mistaking the brown-looking Manx backs for Balearics.

Back at the cottage I first unpacked the moth trap. Last night had been the first time that the weather had been good enough to contemplate putting out the trap. I hadn't had room to put the full moth trap in the car but instead had managed just my actinic and a few egg boxes. Still I rustled up a Heath-Robinson affair out of a plastic box which seemed to have caught and retained a few moths overnight though there was nothing of particular note.

Rosy Minor

After that, as the weather wasn't too bad we decided on a bit of exterior DIY and I soon really got stuck in and before I knew it several hours had passed and I'd managed to paint a fair chunk of the exterior walls.

In the afternoon we were going to go for a walk but a sudden and prolonged rain shower put paid to this so in the end we headed over to Mousehole for tea at the Rock Pool café. After this L (our son) scrambled about on the rocks whilst I sat and stared at the sea in quiet contemplation, rather enjoying the sun and the sound of the waves etc. Right in the very distance I noticed some bird activity and realised that there was a shoal of fish being attacked by about 100 Manxies and 100 Gannets and just occasionally I could see some Dolphins breaking the surface. This was all extremly distant though (it was only just below the horizon) and it was very hard to make things out.

Some of the feeding flock, so far away that they're only just below the horizon
Mousehole Rock Pipit
Eventually the others returned to break my reverie and we headed back to the car. Then it was back home via Sainsbury's for a spot of shopping. We ate a hearty dinner and then pootled around the cottage for the rest of the evening.

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