Saturday, 25 January 2014

For Foots Sake! (23-25th January)

I was expecting to spend all day on campus on the 23rd but pics on a local facebook page soon had me run for the next bus before speeding (trundling slowly) down to the coast and legging it to Swanpool.  Unfortunately another dip, my second failure at connecting with a patch Glauc!  I joined Dan and together with Matt continued along the coastal footpath to see if it had dispersed to one of the nearby headlands.  Yet more failure and we left with heavy hearts.  Back on campus, I checked BG shortly before walking into my next lecture only to come across news of a second patch mega!  This time a Black Guillemot, which had been seen only 10 mins after we had left, DAMN!!!

The day after was a little more relaxing, although it involved enduring some horrible weather.  I took a small group of other young uni birders to Devoran, a nearby coastal creek with a small saltmarsh for an Eco Soc trip.  The usual species included Redshank (including a significantly paler poss. leucistic individual), Greenshank, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and the highlight, my first Sandwich Tern of the year mingling with a couple Commn Gulls.

pale (possibly leucistic) Redshank

Saturday began with a grueling start as I only managed a brief sleep due to a crazy flat party running into the early hours of the morning.  The reason for the early start was thanks to the Uni's Big Garden Birdwatch, a great citizen science led opportunity for some amateurs to get involved with some first hand experience of recording.  I still managed the 2 mile walk to campus, giving my Foot it list a much needed boost.  Sure enough, I was rewarded with Collared Dove and Song Thrush (both new additions).   Starting the BGB at 9am was definitely worth the extra effort in the end as we managed to add a decent number and diversity of species to the tally including Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, 2 Siskin and a Starling (+ lots more).  I broke up the walk back home with a quick nip past the stream to check out the 2 Dippers before bypassing the Penryn River for the Foot it list.  3 Greenshanks were the only new addition but 65 Curlew, 15 Redshank, 8 Turnstone, 5 Little Egrets and 20 Mute Swans (2 juvs) were all in the area.


Seawatching from the Hooked Cafe at Swanpool was what I was really looking forward to and despite strong offshore winds amounting to poor seawatching conditions, Dan and I still managed to jam in on a flypast SHELDUCK!  A patch tick!!  Brilliant!!!

Other species of note included Slavonian Grebe in the bay, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and 2 Razorbill (one lingering close inshore already progressing into summer plumage).

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