OLD TOWN BEACH & CHURCHYARD – ST AGNES – PORTH KILLIER – BROWARTH POINT – PARSONAGE – GUGH
WEATHER: complete cloud cover all day, a cold westerly wind. Temp 14-16 felt like 8 -10C all day.
It wasn’t a pleasant bird-watching day and I’m glad its over! Even the pre-breakfast morning walk was a waste of time as it failed to get fully light until we were back at the guest house.
We left for the boat ride to St Agnes at 10:15 and within 30 minutes we landed, it was a bit of a rocky ride on the boat the sea was a little choppy. Once on dry land we walked to Porth Killier and notched our first Mediterranean Gull of the trip which sat on the rocks with a small number of Black-headed Gulls and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull. We also counted 3 Eurasian Curlews, a dozen or so of Oystercatchers and a few Cormorants and Shags in the water. Whichever direction you looked you could see other islands big and small and Northern Gannets featured in all scans out to sea.
two pairs of Common Kestrel were seen today - a pair each on St Agnes and Gugh
We searched the small ‘bulb fields’ around Browarth Point, each field was enclosed by a barrier of tall hedges of Pittosporum sp. giving good shelter from the wind, this is where we saw most of the bird activity. A Common Rosefinch was our main target bird there but it failed to appear despite a good number of people looking for it. What we did see was Goldfinches, Linnets, Meadow Pipits and Collared Doves. Greenfinches and House Sparrows were gorging themselves on the abundant blackberries.
We walked up to the Parsonage stopping to look through a hedge into a sheltered area where we found 2 Common Chiffchaffs and a single Willow Warbler. At the parsonage we sat on some steps to eat our picnic lunch whilst gazing into the tall trees hoping for a Yellow-browed Warbler or a Firecrest, both had been seen recently. All we got was another Common Chiffchaff.
you know I'm struggling for material when I post a picture of a Meadow Pipit sitting on a Pittosporum bush
From there we walked down to the quay and into the Turks’ Head pub where we had coffee and/or tea. Next we walked across the causeway onto Gugh, (pronounced Goo) which is the small ‘island’ attached to St Agnes and only accessible on foot during low tide.
A view of the causeway that links Gugh to St Anges
We saw Common Kestrel a few more Greenfinches and a Raven on Gugh, it was too windy really. So we left to return to Browarth Point for our second search for the Rosefinch. We found a single Blackcap and twice a Merlin flew past us chasing the local Pipits.
A view from the Causeway into 'The Cove'
At 4:30pm we boarded the boat for an even-more rougher ride back to St Marys. It had been a frustrating day, our efforts thwarted by the weather, still you can’t win them all, St Agnes is a beautiful little Island with stunning views whichever direction you look and we appreciated that.
Its hard to believe, but St Agnes, the smallest inhabited of the islands, has a Post Office. My good friends John and Penny Hale, who now live in Spain, ran this post office for many years spanning the eighties and nineties.