Thursday, 23 May 2013

Swanpool and the Coast (23rd May)

My first full day without exams.  I woke up around 12pm (relatively early for me) and took the bus down to Swanpool with Marcus.  We arrived around 1ish before making our way to Gylly where 6 Sandwich Terns put on a nice show for us, diving and hovering close to the beach.  Swanpool Point was better than usual and most surprising of all were 2 Dunlin (both in sum. plum.) and a flock of 7 Sanderling (some also in their breeding plumage) (both Falmouth ticks for myself and good to have on the list as waders are all too often flushed by the excessive number of people and dogs on the beaches and rock pools).  A single Whimbrel accompanied by 4 Oystercatchers were more in the ordinary and a nice male Wheatear put on a good show.

Sandwich Tern at Swanpool Bay

 4 Oystercatchers with the Whimbrel resting near the center

There was little out of the ordinary at Swanpool.  The Mute Swan pair had managed to keep 4 cygnets whilst the Mallard pair still had 8 ducklings.  The Great Crested Grebe was also still out on the water.

Pennance Point, my next stop, wasn't particularly exciting other than a moderate passage of 60+ Manx Shearwaters rather distantly offshore.  Below a couple inverts, including one of my first Small Whites of the year.

Tawny Mining Bee

Small White

Making my way round to Pendennis again, I bumped into this rather confiding juvenile Song Thrush thanks to its incessant begging calls.

juv. Song Thrush

The Carrick Roads

Next, a brief sea-watch from the point between 20:00-20:50.  The moment I sat down I set eyes on an impressive flock of 80+ Manxies, "shearing" westwards.  The passage was certainly impressive, despite the fact it only involved the one species but during the first 10 mins in which I was bothering to count, at least 200+ Manx Shearwaters had past the point!  These included large groups of up to 80 birds on two occasions interspersed with regular movements of 10-20 birds every minute or so.  A small group even decided to land briefly on the water before moving off again.  In all, a rather surprising and impressive passage of Manxies given the fact that offshore northerly winds had been blowing moderately all day!  None the less, these represent the largest number that I have seen from the Falmouth patch!

Falmouth docks

Back at the flat, a little successful co-ordination from flatmates over facebook soon had us running outside to watch a Hedgehog running around in front of the flat.

Hedgehog outside the flat

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