Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Lizard with Ephraim (28th May)

My brother and I were kindly given a lift by Zak down to the Lizard as he was monitoring the feeding locations of Choughs for his masters dissertation project.  We arrived around 7:20ish and whilst Zak went off looking for Choughs, my brother and I sat down for some sea-watching.

looking east from Lizard Point

Thankfully, only about ten minutes into the sea-watch I picked up a pale phase POMARINE SKUA passing the point not too far out to sea.  Most of the ID features were clearly visible and the full spoon made the bird that more attractive!  A little further into the watch I picked up a second skua, this time a nice Bonxie, and a nice brute of a bird too as it even chased one of the Gannets briefly before moving westwards. Plenty of commoner seabirds were also passing the point, including Manx Shearwaters, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, and a nice sum. plum. Great Northern Diver.

The rest of our time was spent watching the pair of Choughs feeding in the cattle field just behind the nest site.  On one feeding excursion, the pair made an incredibly close swoop past me, barely a meter from my head as they made their way back to the nest!  My first Green-veined White of the year was an additional bonus and a Raven was also of note.  A Garden Tiger caterpillar also crossed the path in front of us at considerable speed.

pair of Choughs at the southerly point.  Feeding in the field directly north of the nest site

Green-veined White on the wing

Garden Tiger caterpillar

My brother and I decided to make a little excursion on the way back, stopping at Stithians Reservoir in the hope of locating a reeling Gropper.  Unfortunately, on arriving, a heavy band of rained passed overhead so we ended up making a diversion for the hide before continuing to the east side of the Res.  A single fly-about Whimbrel made the occasional appearance and after ambling a little further along the bank, I finally picked up the distant reeling of a Grasshopper Warbler a little further off up the side of the hill slope.  After scrambling over the fence for the third time that day we finally manged to catch the occasional in-flight glimpse of the bird as well as a Common Lizard which scuttled over the long grass.  The wind was also against us and it never emerged to sing, only uttering the odd burst of song.  On one exception it showed well for a couple seconds as I manged to locate it in the scope but otherwise, it remained very elusive.

Finally, yet another large invertebrate species, this time a Drinker moth caterpillar

Drinker moth caterpillar

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