Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Tuesday 16th February: Perranuthnoe & Marazion

Today was a mixed day which started well but ended up being somewhat frustrating. We awoke at around 8 a.m. today to nice calm conditions though it was rather overcast. As before we planned to crack on with some DIY first thing before heading out later morning for our main outing of the day. We made excellent progress as far as the DIY was concerned and so it was in a buoyant mood that we finished off at around 11:30 a.m. and got ready to head out. The plan today was to head over to Perranuthnoe to walk the coastal path a bit and with any luck catch up with the over-wintering Hudsonian Whimbrel at last. We'd got as far as Penzance when I realised that I'd forgotten to put in the car our rucksack that had our packed lunches. Doh! Rather than go all the way back we decided to do the walk first and then nip back to Marazion to pick up some lunch. So this is what we did.

I'd never actually been to Perranuthnoe before and it was a pretty enough place as well as seeming to be very popular with walkers, judging by the number of cars in the car park. As we were getting ready I spotted some returning birders and hurried over to quiz them. It turned out that they'd not seen the Whimbrel in several hours though they'd met some birders who had seen it that morning. That wasn't very encouraging! Nevertheless we were there now so at the least this would be a reconnaisance of the area for a return visit. We headed off along the path enjoying the views of Mounts Bay from this different perspective though the stiff south westerly rather spoilt things. The cliffs were rather low and crumbly here and one could peer down onto the rocks where the Whimbrel was supposed to hang out though as we walked along there were actually no birds to be seen at all. After a while we got around as far as Trenow Cove where we met another birder who'd not seen the Whimbrel either. At this point my VLW and our son decided that they were getting hungry and with no sign nor news of the bird at all we turned around and headed back to the car. On the way back I finally spotted some waders. There were a total of four Curlew, about 10 or more Turnstones, a couple of Oystercatchers and a single Redshank. Sadly though, there were no Whimbrel of any description to be seen.

Boat Cove at Perranuthnoe
We headed back to the car and back towards Penzance. There we nipped into Sainsburys to pick up some lunch and drove to Marazion to eat it in the car whilst staring at the sea. En route I got a text from Dave Parker saying that the Marsh Harrier that had been seen at Marazion yesterday had been reported again. So whilst the other two munched on their lunch, I took mine with me and wandered over to the railway line which offered a good vantage point over the whole of the marsh. I stood there braving the cold for about half an hour in total though there was no sign of the bird and I met a local who had been parked up there for the last half hour without seeing it either.

After that it was time to head back to the cottage to crack on with the DIY. This turned out not to be as fruitful as the morning's session as it emerged that we'd run out of Stain Stop (a staple requirement given our exposed location!). What's more we'd discovered earlier in the week that our trusty B&Q at Eastern Green had closed and the nearest store was now in Cambourne. I spent some time trawling the internet trying to source some. Tesco's Direct would deliver some the next day for me at a good price but by the time I came to place the order it was after 5 p.m. and suddenly the earliest delivery date was a day later. Grrrr! In the end I gave up and did some other tasks, resigned to a trip further afield tomorrow to pick up our DIY essentials.

I was just starting to wind down my DIY tasks when I got a text from Dave Parker saying that the juvenile American Herring Gull had come into roost on St. Clements Island at Mousehole again. To the incredulity of my VLW, I scrambled the Gnome Mobile in a wild panic and sped off down the road though by the time I got to Newbridge, I realised that it was already far too dark and I was never going to make it so I turned around and returned to base with my tail between my legs. So all in all a rather frustrating day without really seeing any of my target birds. One of these years I'll finally connect with a Cornish smithsonianus!

Perranuthnoe flowering Winter Heliotrope


  1. Great to give your blog a read and I live for next August when I will be down your way. Staying in a cottage in Perrinporth...See you perhaps near a lighthouse down your neck of the woods.

  2. Hi Gus, thanks for your comment. I'm sure that you'll have a great time down here & maybe we'll bump into each other.