Sunday, 4 November 2012

Marazion and Lands End with my Family (3rd November)

My family were down in Cornwall for the weekend kindly going through all the effort to drive down from Hertfordshire (thanks family).  On Saturday we decided to make a casual afternoon birding outing to Marazion and Lands End.

As my family take so long to get up and going (no offence intended) I decided to get up earlier and walk Theo along the footpath along with my trusty bins and scope.  We headed SE along the coastal path not seeing much other than a male Blackcap, a few Grey Wagtails and the highlight, 4 female Red-breasted Mergansers.

a row of 4 Red-breasted Merganser

We eventually arrived at the Marazion, around midday.  My brother and I began walking along the beach searching through the Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis and Rock Pipits Anthus petrosus in hope of something more exciting when my brother suddenly came across 2 PURPLE SANDPIPERS Calidris maritima feeding with the Turnstone Arenaria interpres  (well done Ephraim by the way).  We watched them feeding together at a very close range allowing some reasonable photographic opportunities before continuing down the beach.   Further down the beach, we met up with my parents again.  Our dog was with them and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed him walk up to something on the ground and sniff it, as I walked over, I was astonished to find that it was a dead washed-up GREAT-NORTHERN DIVER!  A very sad sight.  There was no clear evidence as to the cause of its death and it was still fully intact.  A stunning bird especially when we were able to admire it from such close range.  I went straight for the feet, an amazing adaptation to a pelagic life as they are set far back and their squashed appearance is another way ingenious solution to reduce drag through the water.

 Purple Sandpiper on Marazion Beach

 both of them

 St Michael's Mount

 dead Great-northern Diver, a very sad sight

the amazing adaptations displayed by the tarsus

Lands End was less productive and the limited time we had left, along with the dwindling light meant we could only see the Gannets Morus bassanus out to sea and the magical Scillies way in the distance.

Lands End!


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