Friday, 19 August 2016

Wednesday 17th August - St Ives

We awoke to the continuation of the really strong south easterly winds so none of us was particularly in a hurry to get out today. Instead we pootled around the cottage for a while doing the odd DIY task and I did a quick tour of Pendeen but in the wind all I could find were a few Stonechats in a sheltered spot down along the coastal path.

Pendeen Stonechat
Eventually after much debate we decided to head off to visit St Ives for the day. We always end up going here every time we visit as a family though I usually opt for something else instead as I'm not a great fan of either shopping or crowds. However, with the winds all wrong for sea watching and with nothing else of interest to look at in the end I decided to tag along. We drove the scenic route along the coast to St Ives before entering the bedlam that was the Park and Ride. There were countless cars there and even with two overflow parking fields there were loads of poor souls driving around helplessly looking for a place. We were lucky in that I chanced down one section just as someone was leaving so we were able to grab their spot. Rather than endure the hoards on the park and ride bus we decided to walk down to the town which actually took far less time than we expected and left us wondering why we hadn't always been doing that. We headed off to the main harbour area to buy some pasties for lunch and I even managed to find one place that sold gluten-free pasties.

Even in an urban environment there's always something to see: Common Calamint

In the car park I found one of the Canadian Fleabane agg. - probablu Bilbao Fleabane
Lesser Swine-cress by the path down the hill

After lunch we parted company with the others heading off to do some shopping whereas I wandered over to the island to look at the wildlife and to escape the crowds. It was relatively sheltered over by the island and I spent some time rummaging through the plants and watching the birds on the sea. There were ten or so Mediterranean Gulls including one juvenile as well as 3 Sandwich Terns. As I walked along the path a Wheatear buzzed over me and headed over the hill. I sat on a bench and took it all in, rather enjoying the relative solitude and the scenery. Eventually it was time to rendezvous with the others so I started to head back only to spot a swift species hawking rather low over the brow of the island hill. I tried my hardest to make it somethinng interesting but unfortunately it was clearly just a Common Swift.

Silver Ragwort
One of the many Med Gulls

Back with the others we headed off in search of a much-needed cup of tea. The wind was dropping now and it was instead becoming rather murky as we headed back up the hill to the car. We'd been invited round to dinner by my VLW's niece who lives a bit up-county with her husband and daughter so we headed off on the half hour journey to their house. There we passed a very pleasant evening eating and catching up before heading back home to the cottage rather late. As it was at last nice and calm at the cottage I put out the moth trap before we all turned in for the night.

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