It was forecast to be windy today and indeed I woke up to a strong north easterly blow. In fact outside it felt stronger than forecast and I hurried around the lower part of my rounds to no avail at all with just a few Mipits being blow hither and thither for my troubles.
Actually I was feeling a bit under the weather myself so decided to take it easy today. Also, in this wind there was little point in bashing the bushes - it would be impossible to see anything anyway. So whilst L stayed at the cottage and amused himself I decided to head over to Hayle where I could sit in the hide out of the wind, hopefully watching the Great White Egret and Spoonbill that had been frequenting Ryan's Field the last few days. I arrived to find that this pair were obligingly indeed doing just that and in fact they posed together quite nicely on one of the islands.
|Great White Egret and Spoonbill posing together|
Having so easily seen my target birds I decided to pop over to the causeway to see what was about. I always like the Hayle estuary as there are so many birds to sift through: it's the perfect antidote to staring at birdless Sallows for hours at a time, as is so often the case with Cornish birding. There were reasonable numbers of Teal and Wigeon, a few dozen Redshank, good numbers of Lapwing, the usual Curlew and a few Golden Plover. I looked through the smaller gulls for Meds but they were all Black-headed. I was starting to think about heading back when I spotted a familiar face a few yards away. It was a fellow Oxon birder who, like me, comes down to Cornwall regularly. We chatted away as we scanned the flocks. Suddenly I spotted a relatively small white Egret fly in and land. However, rather than it being the Little I was expecting it turned out to be a Cattle Egret instead. Very nice!
|A bonus Cattle Egret|
However, after a quick wash and rush up, it stayed no more than a couple of minutes before flying up again and heading off low towards St Erth. I expect that it's in the same cattle fields over there where they over-wintered last year. Very pleased with my bonus find, I put the word out on RBA (not that anyone would be able to twitch it), said goodbye to my companion and then headed back to the car and then to Pendeen. A very successful trip with all three of the rarer "big white birds" in one go!
After that we had a rather quiet day pootling around at Pendeen before heading over the hill to PZ late afternoon to rendezvous with my VLW who was coming down today on the train having been away for the weekend with friends. After her arrival we headed over to Sainsbury's for a cup of tea and then some shopping before heading back to the cottage for the evening.