As this year we are not letting out our cottage to the wider public, but instead just allowing friends and family to use it, this has meant that we've had more opportunity to come down and stay in it ourselves. Whereas in the past we'd never have come down for the summer half term week, partly because of our two daughters having to revise for exams and partly because it would have been booked anyway, this time with the two daughters both being off at University we thought that we'd take advantage of the situation and come down for at least some of the week. L, our son had just been getting over a really nasty cold and I had work to do so in the end we didn't head down until Tuesday. As usual, general family inertia meant that we didn't even leave Oxford until well after 11 a.m. though the roads were reasonably quiet and at around 3:30 pm we arrived at the Hayle roundabout. Here I dropped the other two off at the shops so that they could visit the café whilst I sped on to the next junction and on to Ryan's Field at Hayle. The reason for this was that a Temminck's Stint had been frequenting this spot for the last few days, a species that I needed for my fledgling Cornish list. Now this isn't that rare a wader nationally and in fact I've even found them on my local patch at Port Meadow but it seems much less common in Cornwall so I was keen to see it. I'd been sent a suitably gripping photo by P&H this morning so I knew that it was still around. On arrival I didn't have to guess as to where it was located as there were three people on the road-side, looking over onto Ryans' Field intently. The Stint was indeed located here and what's more was nice and close enabling me to take some reasonable photos both with my superzoon and via some digiscoping.
|The Temminck's Stint|
I was just crossing the road to have a quick scan of the estuary (nothing of note) when I spotted this rather striking Easter Gladiolus growing in the central reservation.
I hadn't seen this species growing in the wild before but after return to Hayle to pick up the others and then resuming our journey I noticed quite a few of them along the road-side so it's obviously a local speciality. Indeed, in general I was really struck by the great collection of wild flowers growing on the verges. I even spotted a Pyramidal Orchid by the Hayle roundabout.
We nipped into Sainsbury's for the usual shop and I took the opportunity to catch up on a quick cup of tea which I'd missed out on whilst twitching the Stint. Then it was over the hill to Pendeen to boot up the cottage. As we drove down the Lighthouse Road I was once more struck by the wonderful flowers and started to realise what we'd been missing out on by not coming at this time of year. We had a quick wander down to the lighthouse to stretch our legs and then settled in to the cottage for the evening. I noticed that I had a rather ominous sore throat which had been coming on during the drive down and I very much hoped that a good night's sleep would see it off.