Friday, 19 August 2016

Friday 19th August: Pendeen & Marazion

Increasingly strong winds were forecast for today culminating in a proper storm tomorrow. The wind direction was South East veering around to South West so Porthgwarra would be the place to go but as I've mentioned previously, when I'm en famille it's rather hard to get away as it's a half hour slog down there in the first place plus the walk from the car park to the watching point all takes time as well. So, as previously, I went to Pendeen instead though in the conditions I wasn't expecting a great deal. 

It was one of those Pendeen mornings with bright sunshine behind me as I watched which meant that everything was brilliantly lit up. In these circumstances I often end up using my bins which gives a much wider field of view as you can see every bird really clearly. I soon got into the zone of watching the changing colours of the Manxies as they sheared away: brown or black above (depending on how the light caught them) and gleaming white below. One bird remained brownish below as well and turned out to be a Balearic Shearwater, which was nice. I also had a Ringed Plover and a Golden Plover go by but apart from that it was just the usual stuff. Later in the day I got various RBA reports of a good passage of Cory's at PG which made me a bit envious but then you can't see everything.

Back at the cottage there was a minor spot of DIY to do and some general pootling before we had lunch and then headed out for the afternoon. The others wanted to look around the shops at Newlyn and PZ which of course I wasn't really interested in. Instead I had a brief peer around the rocks at Tolcarne (five Turnstones and some loafing gulls) and at the bus station (a few Fulmars out in the bay) before giving up and listening to the radio whilst I waited for the others to return. Then we headed over to Marazion and parked up next to Jordans to watch a weather front come in while enjoying some take-away tea and cake. As we watched the weather went from bright sunshine to dark clouds and lashing rain before clearing again in about fifteen minutes. 

The weather front just hitting the Mount
After that I went for a stroll (if it can be called that given how strong the wind was) along the shore to find the usual Marazion beach wader flock. I caught up with them eventually: there were several hundred birds, mostly Ringed Plover and Dunlin with some Sanderling and a few Turnstone as well and I busied myself with trying to take some photos but the wind was so strong that the only way that I could do it was to lie on my belly and rest the camera on the edge of the concrete breakwater.

Ringed Plover
A mixed bag of waders

After we'd all had enough, it was back to the cottage via Sainsbury's to pick up some food. After dinner it was time to start packing the car and we were treated to the spectacle of the next weather front in the impending storm coming in. It was quite a sight to behold!

More weather - unfortunately the photo doesn't really do justice to it

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