Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Tuesday 28th October: Hayle

With no bird news from yesterday that had me wanting to twitch anything it was yet another quiet day. First thing I went out to do the Pendeen rounds though in the continuing strong wind there was predictably little of note with four fly-over Skylarks the highlight (!). I haven't even seen the usual Pendeen Ravens of late, it's been extremely quiet. I keep hoping for a rare Pipit to turn up in amongst the Mipits though so far no luck. 

One of our main tasks whilst down here is to take some good photos of the cottage as we are in the process of changing our letting agents and so needed some new publicity material. As it was actually quite sunny this morning we decided to take advantage of this and to do some interior shots of the rooms that got the morning sunlight. Thus we had a frantic session of trying to stage everything and take loads of shots before the sun went in again. Eventually we felt that we had enough shots in the can and with our 8 year old son beginning to get restless we starting to think about what to do today by way of an outing. My VLW wanted to visit St. Ives at some point and we needed to stop off at St. Erth again to dump the remaining shed items so we hatched a plan. We'd drive to St Erth for the dump and then I would drop the two of them off at Lelant Saltings where they'd catch the train to St. Ives. I'd pootle around the Hayle estuary complex for a while, to take a look at the Lesser Yellowlegs if nothing else, before joining them later. So this is what we did.

Having done the various drop-offs I made my way over to Copperhouse Creek, choosing to park up in the dog walkers car park to the east of the creek and to walk across the grassy meadow to the Black Bridge. From here a brief scan revealed that the Lesser Yellowlegs was half way along the Creek so I made my way over there. Apart from the star bird on view there were a couple of Greenshank, half a dozen Redshank including one with only one leg, two Black-tailed Godwits and the usual Curlews, Oystercatchers, Little Egrets and assorted Large Gulls.. Whilst watching the 'legs I had the pleasure of meeting local birder Laurie Williams for the first time. It turned out that he'd found the bird from the comfort of his house which overlooks the estuary - a very nice house tick! What's more I discovered that he was a fellow gull enthusiast and loves looking for Yellow-legged Gulls on the estuary though of course these are few are far between down here. I told him how back on my patch in Oxford I normally get between one and two Yellow-legged Gulls each evening in the winter gull roost as well as a few Caspian Gulls each winter. We had a very pleasant chat before parting company.

Lesser Yellowlegs are such lovely dainty waders
Laurie was telling me about counts of 150+ Med. Gulls over on the main estuary so I decided to work my way around there. I stopped in at Carnsew Basin where I found just a few Med Gulls, a couple of Godwits of both species, four Dunlin and three Little Grebes. On the main estuary were perhaps 20 Med Gulls, a Greenshank, a few Wigeon and the usual Curlew. 

Finally it was around to the Hayle bridge causeway where there were loads of birds to look through. There were just a couple of Med Gulls here, a tight flock of about 40 Redshank, 2 Shelduck and good counts of Wigeon and Teal as well as the usual assortment of large gulls, Curlew and Geese. It was just nice to have a lot of birds to look through, after the relatively birdless outings that I'd had so far.

Med Gull

Eventually I had my fill and headed off towards St. Ives. There was a certain amount of difficulty in communicating with the rest of my family due to the poor mobile reception down in St. Ives itself but eventually we managed to rendezvous and made our way to Porthminster beach for a nice cup of tea and a muffin. The sea here was amazingly calm and we couldn't help but notice just how mild it was for the time of year as we sat outside on the beach enjoying the view whilst L made a sand castle. Then it was back to the car, stopping off to pick up some pasties for dinner, before heading for home.

Moth du Jour: I found this Herald in the car - it had been hiding in some of the rubbish in our shed and was transferred to the car when we took the stuff to the dump. It was released unharmed in St. Ives

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