Ephraim arrived Friday (13th) evening so we both rose early the following morning for some local birding. Opening the blinds Saturday morning revealed the long staying female Black Redstart hopping around on the neighbours roof. Next, Dan kindly provided us with a lift to Stithians Res, picking up some tools en route to complete the work on the feeders. Once we'd relocated the feeders across the clearing it wasn't long before the Reed Buntings and host of other garden birds were back again gorging themselves on the seed, nuts and fat balls. The Slavonian Grebe and 93 Lapwing were still showing well from the Stuart Hutching's Hide and 2 Snipe were on the southern cutoff.
Our second destination for the day was Maenporth for the local rarity. Fortunately, the 1st win drake King Eider was a doddle to find as it was lingering only 100m offshore still accompanying the female Common Eider. Thanks to the stunning sunny weather 2 Peregrines also rose up over the cliff line and shot past us and a half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls flew through. Simon kindly offered us a lift to our next query, the long-staying Long-tailed Duck which put on a semi-decent show at the northern end of Swanpool along with an adult Mediterranean Gull.
A final trudge along the coastal footpath towards Castle Beach resulted in us scoring with 3 Slavonian Grebes offshore and a Red-necked Grebe (the first since last years influx!).
Sunday dawned a little drearier than the day before but the overcast conditions provided Dan, Ephraim and I with decent views of the Pacific Diver in Mounts Bay off Longrock! The key species for my brother's visit! In addition, 6+ Great Northern Divers, 1 Slavonaian Grebe and a drake Eider were lingering in the bay. Next up, (and my favourite bird for the day) was the stunning LITTLE BUNTING at Gulval which showed for us all after a half hours wait.
Hayle was next on the cards and following the Water Pipit dip earlier in the week we managed to settle the situation by nailing it shortly after arriving at Copperhouse Creek!
showing the nice white outer tail feathers
Monday (16th) started with an early lecture but all plans of working in the afternoon flew out the window with news of a Ring-billed Gull down at Swanpool. The 1km rush down to patch paid off quickly with point blank views of the 1st winter Ring-billed Gull putting on a good performance half way along the east bank of the pool coming to bread and settling on the water barely 2m from the bank! Back home, 2 Black Redstarts are now frequenting the neighbours roof!
Ring-billed Gull (thanks to Eph for letting me borrow his DSLR for a quick few snaps)
view through the scope!