Tuesday 19 February 2013

Finally, a rare bird! (16th February)

Having only been on my last twitch back in January (dipping), I treated myself to a trip up to North Cornwall.  This was also a chance to set the record straight for dipping the same bird in mid-December last year.  On the bike ride between Liskeard station and Colliford, a sharp-winged small falcon species shot across the road up ahead, Merlin came directly to mind but without bins it was impossible to be certain.  Rather surprise, it made a U turn and without much warning shot low across the road once again, only a couple meters from were I was stood.  Even more confident with my ID as a Merlin, I still passed it off as a probable, maybe I was being a bit harsh on myself with not accepting it.  Anyway, on to Colliford and this time, after about an hour or so searching I finally got the drake LESSER SCAUP I was hoping for and a nice lifer to boot!  It was associated with a three Tufted Ducks, so to be honest, it should have been easier to find than I first suggested.  2 female Goldeneye were also in the northern end of the Loveny arm as well as a couple of Teal.  It was rather quiet with only the Lesser for entertainment but 2 Crossbills and 10 Golden Plover did fly over during the wait so they were a nice addition.

 drake Lesser Scaup!

From there on-wards  I cycled to Sibylback Lake following the River Fowey, encountering several thermalling Buzzards on route.

My second visit to Siblyback, the last visit being the dip for the same Lesser Scaup last year (rather annoyingly missing it by only a few hours, following its initial stay at the lake for over a week!).  I did have partial compensation at the time with the RN Duck but I had only payed it a few seconds attention as I was still searching for that damn Scaup.  Anyway, the purpose for this visit was to set the second record straight again and give the remaining female RING-NECKED DUCK the attention it deserved.  This only took a couple of seconds to pick out so with most of the afternoon still to go I decided it would probably be best just to check out the local moorland.

female Ring-necked Duck

Obviously, I couldn't expect to see much, and indeed I didn't, but it was nice to find 2 male Yellowhammers (one of which was singing) at St Cleer Downs, along with an accompanying cast of Goldcrest, Redwings and flyover Ravens.

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