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WEATHER; a lovely sunny afternoon with a chilly breeze.

I met five of the group  at our hotel in Camborne at 1pm, it was a lovely, bright sunny afternoon with a strong breeze. We all boarded our minibus and set off for Hayle arriving some fifteen minutes later. The RSPB Ryan’s Field was our first stop of the tour, we sat in the hide for 30 minutes or so, it was low tide out on the estuary so not many birds were present in the semi-flooded field and pool area in front of us.

the view from the hide at Ryans Field

We saw Greenshank, Little Egret, Black-headed Gulls and we had a nice sighting of a Kingfisher which was a crowd pleaser and a nice surprise. We then walked across the road to view the Hayle Estuary from the road bridge. It was amazing there! Hundreds of birds were present, mainly gulls and ducks but a nice selection of waders too.

Kingfisher seen at Ryans Field  RSPB Reserve

Our star bird of the day was feeding just below us, it was juvenile Glossy Ibis, it looked stunning in the afternoon sunlight and gave off a green iridescent sheen. We found a couple of Red Knot, a single Bar-tailed Godwit, a couple of Common Ringed Plover, quite a few Redshanks and dozens of Eurasian Curlews.

Glossy Ibis on Hayle Estuary

The ducks were mostly Eurasian Teal but many Eurasian Wigeon joined them and we also saw a few Common Shelduck, Cormorants, Grey Herons and gulls were out there in their hundreds. We noted: G BB and L BB Gulls, Herring Gulls, Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls.

adult winter plumage Mediterranean Gull with two Black-headed Gulls

We completed our afternoon’s birding at Copperhouse Creek, is was so pleasant there, sheltered from the cold breeze we had a great couple of hours birding. With the tide still low there was not too many waders but we added Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin to our list and we saw Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank and Greenshank.

late afternoon at Copperhouse Creek

Huge numbers of Canada Geese covered the short turf around the creek and we also saw quite a few common garden species, Pied Wagtail and a Sparrowhawk were also noted.

Just before 5pm we drove to Hayle Train station to collect Debbie and Brenda, the final two members of our group, they arrived on time and we set off back to Camborne to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

Today we saw 40 species and our bird of the day for most of us was the Glossy Ibis, but Eve and Peter preferred the Curlew Sandpiper as their bird of the day because it was lifer for them.