Saturday, 1 February 2014

Birding Begins Anew (26th-31st January)

A bit of a catastrophe involving ALL my electronically stored data which has kindly erased itself so I find myself at step one with my birding history.

Let this be a lesson to all of you to BACK UP your stuff so the same doesn't befall you!  Admittedly, it is a slight let down as I've lost every picture I've ever taken along with lists, docs, excel files, lots of contacts and all my work between GCSE and A level. None the less, I haven't lost a single minutes sleep over it as I'm quite excited starting my birding history anew, it's almost like starting a new year list!  There's a silver lining to every cloud and all that...

I'll have to take a couple thousand pictures to catch up again but the experiences will never leave me.  It wasn't hard to imagine that patching was the way to start again.  A quick nip down to Swanpool on the 26th, to make the most of the dwindling daylight, rewarded with a single Red-necked Grebe, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Shag numbers were gradually swelling again as they came around Pennance Point into the bay (although they only reached c.90 birds).  Fulmars were using the cliff ledges again and three pairs had established themselves in suitable nesting spots whilst a male Grey Seal casually swam through the bay.

I managed to boost my foot it list up today by 12 species on the 28th!

The 2 mile walk to College Res mid-morning, stopping of at Gorrangorras on the way, did the trick.  I was just scanning through the waders when a Sparrowhawk shot through, the first new addition of the day for the foot it list. There were usual numbers of Curlew, Redshank, the odd Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel kicking about and a Razorbill diving/feeding only a couple hundred meters downstream (the furthest I've seen one upstream before!).

Unfortunately, I dipped on the Penryn River Dipper.

Moving on to College Res, I managed to add ten new species to the foot it list in the space of about 10-15 mins! These included, Pochard, Wigeon, Teal, Great Crested Grebe, Canada Goose, Goldeneye (1 female), Shoveler (2 females), Snipe, Goldcrest and Goldfinch!

The Scaup hybrid thing was still there too.

Gorrangorras on the way back:

2 Common Sandpipers, one sprinting around the car park amongst the cars and one on the opposite bank.

31st Jan - The last day for the Foot It challenge!

I still needed 5 species to reach my target of 90 species so a quick detour into the cemetery at Swanpool was in need.  I was rewarded with a flyover Green Woodpecker within minutes of entering the gates.

Seawatching from the Hooked cafe with Dan:

I spent most of my time scanning the more distant birds c.2-3 miles out so didn't locate the Slav and even missed picking up the 4 Common Scoter (thanks Dan for getting me on to them though).

A regular trickle of Kittiwakes and Gannets was happening but there were far fewer auks than yesterday (several hundred went westwards between 4-5pm). 1 1st winter Gannet was also amoungst the adults and an additional c.10 Fulmar in the bay were checking out the ledges.

I ended the 2014 January foot it challenge on 87!

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