Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Road trip to the end of the lands

The Safari continued the road trip all the way down to bottom of Cornwall. Not so much of a wildlifing trip more a 'normal' sightseeing tour with Wifey. Not that we saw many sights as the Cornish mist and drizzle came down for the duration.
This road is supposed to be one of the most scenic in England with extensive views over the sea, cliffs, moors. Scenery? What scenery?
There were odd patches of mistless road.
We visited St Michael's Mount were there's been an American Hudsonian Wigeon running around the beach.
We spotted a Whimbrel down by the water with about a hundred gulls
We tried to get close but got a very wet foot sinking into quick sand and almost got it stuck. In the ensuing hoo-haa freeing our trainer from the ooze, (it didn't look like the ooze we know to avoid on our beach!) we managed to flush it with our antics. Foot extracted and planted on firmish ooze we fired off a few shots
No it wasn't the Hudsonian Whimbrel.
Once back at Base Camp we learned that a Bowhead Whale (only Britain's second ever) had been seen from the very spot a couple of days after we were there - Now that is bad timing!
The plan was to get up early every morning and go out to either Pendeen Light 
or Cape Cornwall
Lands End in the distance, Land Rover on the slipway
for a seawatch before breakfast but both the weather and our bed conspired against us and we never made it.
A very wet trip down to The Lizard saw us brave the rain at the stunning Kynance Cove where the drizzle dried up but the sun didn't come out and we apparently walked passed an Eastern Subalpine Warbler although to be fair we only heard a Wren singing, saw a couple of Stonechats and a Blackbird at the car park.
From there we headed back to our digs when the rain set in again making us not stop at Porthcurno and Porthgwarra. The road back took us towards Lands End but on the way we passed a group of birders stood at a farm gate. We pulled up and asked 'owt about?' to be told the Dalmatian Pelican was on a pool over the hill but on private ground and out of sight and hadn't been seen for ages. We'd forgotten about that and thought they might have been looking at something else. Driving off by chance we looked in the rear view mirror to see one of the lads standing in the road waving and pointing frantically skywards. Wifey has never been so far so fast backwards. We screeched to a halt jumped out grabbed the bins and saw something like a pale Pterodactyl going way from us high over the fields, not the best views but Dalmatian Pelican (153) is now on the list, a World Lifer, many thanks guys if your reading this.
At Lands End more birders were stood in another farm gate. Again we stopped and learnt there was a Serin hiding in the nearby garden. We didn't see it but did find them a Barn Owl. Later we found out there was also a trio of Turtle Doves nearby and a Nighintgale in the same garden as the Serin.
Lands End was cold, wet, windy and very commercialised and not really our cup of tea and we couldn't find Wifey a Chough. She did add Guillemot (as did we (155)) and Shag to her year list there though.
A misty wander round St Ives was a very pleasant way to while away a few hours

As you can see the sun did eventually come out and an ice cream had to be had. A walk down the jetty in the bottom pic came up with a nice wildlife surprise.
Two big Spider Crabs were having a barney but by the time we reached them they'd settled their differences and gone their separate ways.
From there we made our way to Drift Reservoir where a Great White Egret has been regularly seen. We stopped at the Hayle estuary dipping the regular Spoonbill there, probably hidden in one of the low tide creeks.
Drift Reservoir
We saw the Great White Egret (154) distantly, but it did a disappearing trick before we could get the scope set up for Wifey to have a look at it. A real shame as it would have been a lifer for her.
Our time in the furthest corner of this isle was at an end and it was time to head back to Base Camp in the morning.
The return journey gave us five Buzzards, two Kestrels, no Red Kites and the trips only Sparrowhawk. The roads were very much death free, fortunately just two Badgers and two Hedgehogs.
Once back at Base Camp we looked at the number plate again.
After our total of 1250 miles there were still not many bugs splattered which says something about the state of the English and Welsh countryside, no wonder some of our birds are struggling.
A great trip and one that's going to be repeated next year.
The following day we had a shopping trip to restock the cupboards and decided to go to the nearby docks rather than the local shops. Why? Because we saw many Common Terns (156), 11 Black Terns (157) and a pair of Arctic Terns (158).
Where to next? Hospital for another hand operation tomorrow but we did have a bit of a safari last Sunday to tell you about in a couple of days when we feel up to tapping away with one left hand finger.
In the meantime let us know who's avoided the quicksand in your outback.


1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Hi Davy Man,
Got a message from ''Rafa roo'' in Pembrokeshire a couple of days ago. He asks that if when I'm in wales next month i can get in touch. Let him know I'll do that if we visit his way. I have no e-mail address for him to do it myself :-)

Cheers mate!