Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Bostraze Moor, West Penwith (25th May)

Helped out with a recorders day at Bostraze Moor on West Penwith to help establish the natural diversity present on site.  Along with the company of many county recorders and learned Cornish naturalists we invested a full day determining exactly which species exist on site.  The weather was dire and took a turn for the worse but we kept going before putting forward our findings and recommended future management ideas for the site owners.

On the bird front, I was rather pleased to see 2 Cuckoos squabbling with each other, a valuable bird of note for the area which in itself warrants the area some attention.  I also found a singing Grasshopper Warbler along with Sedge Warbler and the occasional Skylark, Whitethroat, Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit.  A Spotted Flycatcher was also on show, an additional bonus record for the area as none have been noted in the area for several years!  My first Heath Spotted-orchid of the year was also in flower!

male Cuckoo

Heath Spotted-orchid

Spotted Flycatcher

Bostraze Moor

I headed down to patch almost as soon as I got back home and with the wind picking up I was hoping for a passage Pom.  It was only at the back of my mind and on sitting down at Swanpool Point for the seawatch it was quite evident at first that I wasn't going to see much given that only the occasional Gannet was moving.  2 Great Northern Divers (including 1 sum plum), 2 Sandwich Terns and 3 Guillemots were about all I could muster at first. Things did pick up later and I was extremely taken aback when I saw a skua sp. pelting across the sea in the typical powerful rowing action resembling a Pomarine!  This was to be a patch and year tick if I could nail it!!  I could hardly hold it in when it disappeared behind a boat and even after it had re-emerged I still wasn't fully satisfied with how distant it was for a certain ID.  Jizz nonetheless would have categorised it as an almost certainly Pom.  A short while later I was treated to almost the same situation, this time a batch of 3 skua sp.s with the typical Pom flight jizz came across the bay even more distant than the last at over 6-7km range (a fair distance beyond the wave hub that sits at 5.8km out to sea).  It was even more frustrated to hear that evening that better seawatching headland further west on the West Penwith penisnula had recorded high numbers of Poms in their double figures but barely any Arctic.  Very nearly another tick...  Ah well.

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