Wednesday, 2 November 2016

1st November: Looking Back

Reflecting on the week, it was a reasonable enough one. However,I realise that I need to recalibrate my expectations somewhat for coming down to Cornwall in October. When I first started, I had a very modest life list and lots of the birds that I'd see down here were new for me. However, as a wise relative of mine once pointed out: "listing is a law of diminishing returns" and these days I've now seen many of the birds that in the past would have been "champagne birds" (UK lifers which I'd celebrate by buying a bottle of champagne). At least I can still get my "tick kicks" with my Cornish list, which is sufficiently small that there is still plenty of scope for getting something new. Indeed, I had three Cornish ticks this week with Cattle Egret, Barnacle Goose and Franklin's Gull all new for the county. Given these diminishing returns, I'm also starting to understand why many of the visitors who come down to Cornwall each autumn are focusing so much on finding birds for themselves and in fact this week I did concentrate far more on trying to find birds on my Pendeen patch. Indeed I had a modest amount of success on that front with a Black Redstart and a Cattle Egret both found on the patch. In between it was rather tough going however, with several days of slogging around the same bushes and fields and seeing nothing at all. That is of course patch birding for you and I'm more than used to it back on Port Meadow in Oxford. 

This week, the mothing was really at the end of the season with just Feathered Ranunculus to fill the trap. There were of course plenty of nice arable plants that I saw on this trip - there's always something of interest to see. So with three Cornish ticks and a few new plants, all in all it was a modestly successful trip down. I'm already looking forward to my next visit!

One of the resident Ravens on its usual perch. I realise that Pendeen can pretty much count on the entire set of corvids with Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Rook, Raven, Magpie and Chough all see every day. A Hooded Crow was seen within the last month or so and I'm sure I've seen a Jay at some point - so the complete set!

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