Monday, 3 January 2011

Great start to the new year in Cornwall

Purple Sandpiper.

A very early start saw me heading   to Cornwall for the Pacfic Diver that had been there for a few days , on my journey i started of the new year with a superb Barn Owl drifting across the road as i was just about to join the A303 , other birds noted on are journey included Robin , Blackbird , Common Buzzard ( approx : 15 ) & Collared Dove.

I arrived in Cornwall and located myself at Marazion marsh where the diver was last seen the day before , my first Diver was a distant Red-Throated and was soon followed by a superb Great Northern Diver but no sign of the Pacific , there were alot of birds a long way out which were to far give a positive id to , i chatted to one or two local birders for up to date gen and was told of several good birds around past Penzance harbour at jubilee pool so i decided to check this site out as the Pacific has been seen from here to on occasions , i arrived and on my way towards the Jubilee pool area i saw a really smart male Black Redstart .

Eider . ( one of two birds present ).

I added Slavonian Grebe , Purple Sandpiper and Eider from this vantage point plus 3 more Great Northern divers and a Red-Necked Grebe .

I was than told by some old lady that there will be lots of swimmers coming around to where i was birding from very soon (they must be mad , it was a very cold day) , so i decided to go around to a small bay and try for the Grey Phalarope that had been seen there , just previous to speaking to the old lady another birder picked out a fly over Glaucous Gull  1st winter bird  ! on my arrival it was negative news on the Phalarope but there was a very close Pale-Bellied Brent Goose which i managed to photo .

Pale-Bellied Brent Goose.

Still no news or sign of the target bird but top quality birds was making this a very good days birding all the same , then the news broke , my pager chirped that the target bird had been seen just off Jubilee pool so i decided to head straight there , and some manic driving later i was back on site and after approx 15 minutes i was adding PACIFIC DIVER to my life list , a really smart bird to see , the chin strap was seen every now and again especially when it started to preen , white throat contrasted really well against dark nape and back of neck , the evident lack of white thigh patch was very obvious , a very compact bird with small roundish head and slender bill, i have now seen all five world species of diver and my only disappointment is i never got a photo of this bird  .

The Pacific Diver then drifted off towards St Michael's mount so i decided to head off back there but i could not pick it up again , although i did add several more year ticks from Marazion marsh including a fine Bittern giving me a brief flying view , so with time against me i decided to pop into Hayle Estuarie and added many new birds to are year list , including 6 female Goosanders , Knot , Redshank , and plenty of ducks , and then time caught up with me and i headed of home very happy .