Saturday, 13 October 2012

Local Patch Success (13th October)

Maybe the title is a big over exaggeration but I found a brilliant relatively local patch today 5 miles south of Penryn.  Rosemullion Head.  It certainly seems to have the potential to draw in a few migrants with its attractive hedgerows and surrounding pastoral farmland surrounded by the occasional rocky wall.  Most importantly, from a migrants perspective however  is the fact it's a headland that juts out a fair distance, a little further south than Pendennis Point and Pennance Point.  Despite my first good impressions of the place there weren't a great deal of good birds of note but I'm sure the area will have its good days.  Only 1 Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe to report along with a few Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita accompanying 1 Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla (the first one I've seen in a long time).  Also a few Buzzards Buteo buteo flying about around the coastline whilst 2 Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus passed the point.  Best of all, however, is the fact its isolated from most of the tourists and it seems the perfect spot to find ones own rarities, scarcities and what have you.  Also of note were a few remaining Red Admirals, Speckled Wood and 1 Large White.  My excuse for not turning up any better birds lies in the fact the weather was brilliant with blue skies making migration irresistible to the would be tired migrants from the continent.  The occasional flyover Skylark Alauda arvensis and dozens of Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis  pay testament to my hypothesis.  A westerly wind didn't help improve the situation so the only signs of continental migrants were in the form of Jays Garrulus glandarius, and plenty of them too!  Most surprising was an individual with an upper mandible almost twice the length of the lower.  Further more, this large difference in size had evidently caused the beak to become skewed as the longer upper mandible bent subtly to the right (from the birds perspective) and visa versa for the lower mandible (almost like a Crossbill), a rather unusual malformity I have never seen before, have you?

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