Saturday, 27 December 2014

Cornwall - 10.10.14

Rose-Coloured Starling
After bumping into the Tyttenhanger lads last year on the Scillies they kindly asked if I wanted to join them this year of which of course I said yes. So on the Friday we met at Ricky's house and set off down to Cornwall. On arrival the first port of call was a Morrison's supermarket car park where after a brief wait we found the juvenile Rose-Coloured Starling perched on a neighbouring light column.

Subalpine Warbler (honest!)

It was then we heard about a good bird at nearby Porthgwarra. After a bit of map reading and car avoiding on the narrow lanes we arrived and parked up. Not knowing where the bird was last seen we wandered around the car park and that was when I heard a single call from a Yellow-Browed Warbler in the dense cover but that was all we had from it. 2 Raven cronked into view and had a tussle with 3 Buzzard. The next noteworthy bird was a fly over Yellow Wagtail quickly followed by 2 Chough before I wandered up the path a bit further to look over a larger area. After a few minutes I picked up a bird to the right of me and was pleased to see it was the Subalpine Warbler that we had come to look for. Annoyingly after just a couple of seconds it flitted off to the left and promptly disappeared from view. I went to get all the other birders present so they could help in re-finding it. After 20 minutes or so I found it but again to vanished. Eventually it was picked up and everyone had great views. I stuck my neck out and said going by plumage it was most likely a Western rather than Eastern bird. So I was surprised to read on the pager later that day it was being called an Eastern! Most of us were hoping it'd be the newly split Moltoni's Warbler and after a day or so that was what it was being touted as but as of yet it's just down as a Subalpine sp. After our fill of the subalp we chose to do a bit of seawatching but not from the coastguards but down near the car park. I sat on a bench and immediately got onto a Balearic Shearwater! In the time we spent looking out to sea we added another 6 Balearic along with 3 Manx and 5 Kittiwake.

The final stop of the day was to the Hayle Estuary. Parking up at various points and scanning across the water we added a few more species to the trip list including 19 Little Egret, 16 Mediterranean Gull, Knot, 10 Greenshank and a Kingfisher.

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