Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Local Rarity and a Bit of Drama (13th March)

Trefusis Point

I took a portion of the afternoon off and with Dans advice on twitching the local rarity, I made my way down to Penryn River, where I soon located the winter plumage Grey Plover!  Apparently this is quite a good bird for the area with an average of roughly only a single bird per annum!  Also about were several Little Egrets, 2 Mediterranean Gulls (including 1 summer plumage bird), a small flock of Teal and a small selection of waders, including GreenshanksRedshanksCurlews and an Oystercatcher.

Grey Plover

After working my way through Flushing and arriving at Trefusis Point, I came across a bird that was obviously in sever distress flapping and rearing up in the water.  It was only about a meter or two offshore but still a bit too far away to be able to catch it.  I was horrified to find that it was in fact an immature Shag with a fish hook pierced through both its beak and throat!  As a result it had its beak closely pressed against its throat, unable to do much except wriggle and attempt to pull the hook out, which would have torn its whole throat open!  Thankfully, a walker came passed and notified one of the other locals in Flushing who soon arrived by boat, took the bird out of the water and in 5 or so minutes removed the hook and returned it to the water, phew!!  Although it had obviously gained serious injury, it began diving but no sooner had it resurfaced, it appeared to have a severely bulged throat (most likely a result of the past presence of hook).  It didn't get much better when 2 Great Black-backed Gulls noticed the bulge in its throat  and in the belief that it had caught a fish they dived on it!  As it swam out of view the bulge was subsiding but all I can do now is wish it the best of luck.

With the drama over, I made my way a little further around the headland where I found a bunch of rusty fish hooks and fishing line dumped on the beach and only a little further off, fishermen!  The scene could not have been more poignant with the story simply unraveling in front of my eyes, I left.

Back to the birds again.  I diverted my attention to a littoralis Rock Pipit that I found at the Point before heading back along the coast which seemed to be experiencing an influx of Chiffchaffs.

littoralis Rock Pipit

Half way back along the river, I bumped into Dan where we relocated the Grey Plover roosting with a small group of Curlew at high tide, before walking back together and finally back up to Campus.

I bypassed the Dipper stream on the way down but it has experienced a foot drop in water level so it is likely that they would have moved off or simply relocated to another nearby stream.

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