Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Cornish Coastal walk around Lizard Point (2nd October)

We started out at early morning from our accommodation but only really got going once we arrived at Cadgwith, on the south Cornwall coast, past 10:00am.  The picturesque town and natural landscapes and dramatic coastline were a continuous distraction from the other wildlife present as I started taking landscape photographs.

south-west Cornish coast near the Lizard

 A spectacular depiction of an arch at Cagwith

 more dramatic shots of the coastline

The coastal path lead almost entirely along the top of the cliff face, at times reaching treacherously narrow ledges on which loosing your footing was not an option, without dire consequences.  However, the long and tiring walk was filled with plenty of encounters with the local and passage birds including 19+ Stonechats, mostly male proclaiming territory, 3 Kestrels, a small migratory group of c.6 Swallows and 1 Buzzard.  Most spectacular of all was the largest movement of 70+ Wheatear I have ever recorded (all individually counted at different sections of the walk to minimise overlap in counting the same birds), they covered almost every available perch and were swarming through the pastured fields and footpaths.

A very confiding Stonechat

Wall Brown

 Wall Brown

 unknown species of  Mushroom (definitely not my forté) but a large and impressing fungus all the same

 a species of plant that looks distinctively Mediterranean

Wheatear, some unusual cropping to include the sea

 A nice background to a shot of a Wheatear

 The main lighthouse at the headland

unfortunately not a Yanky Warbler that I was hoping for, but a skulking Dunnock

Small Copper

 Small Copper (unsure about gender, any opinions welcome)

 Lizard Point itself!!!

 one of an exact count of 70 Wheatear at the headland

my Dad

 Dad (Stephen) with two Red Admirals

Me, it's as desolate as it looks

I even squeezed in a short period of sea-watching, however the calm and hot weather had little promise for any good pelagic birds turning up.  There were still marine animals of note including 3 Grey Seals in Polpeor and Polbream Cove as were 6 Oystercatchers.  Before I had set my scope up a Scoter flew relatively close inland past Lizard Point, it was most probably a common Scoter however, due to the angle of the sun and only viewing the bird briefly through my bins it was insufficient for confirmation as to the exact species.  After reaching Lizard Point we continued north west towards Kynance Cove were we planned to make the rest of the walk over land through the neighbouring nature reserve.  The highlights were 2 flypast Choughs (a year tick), followed by 2 Ravens honking low overhead.  Despite having a map we till got lost through the nature reserve and this accounted for adding to our lateness back at the car and a late evening trip back home together with amazing memories of our stay in Falmouth and the dramatic Cornish coastline behind us.  Despite resting most of the way back in the car I did sea another Wheatear in the RNAS airfield and Tawny Owl from the car due to further navigational mishap on the roads as well as passing the famous Stonehenge site on the A303.  A magical ending to a fantastic weekend spent in Cornwall.

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