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WEATHER; another nice dry day, high cloud mostly with some sunshine, chilly breeze.

So far for this trip Cornwall has delivered!!

Several excellent birds have turned up, the problem is I can’t find them! We dipped on Hoopoe and Purple Heron on the first day (apparently the Hoopoe left the area the day before we arrived), The Black-and-White Warbler showed after we searched for it, the Rose-coloured Starling showed after we had spent a couple of hours, over two visits, looking for it and the Northern Harrier at Goonhilly was nowhere to be seen.

We set off after breakfast and drove directly to Goonhilly Down near the Lizard, to look for the Northern Harrier that had been showing on and off for the last few days. We found the viewing area and a couple of birders were already in place, they had been there watching since 8am and had seen nothing.

Cornish Heather Erica vagans -  a species only found in Cornwall, Ireland and small parts of Europe

We stayed for 90 minutes, noting several birds on the heath but nothing like a Harrier. A large flock of Golden Plover circled above and dropped onto to the heath, Peter later found them on the ground, they looked quite comical with just their heads poking up out of the heather. Other birds seen included both Stonechat and Whinchat, our first Skylarks, also Linnets and Goldfinches.

Our next destination was Lizard Village, a Rose-coloured Starling had been seen a few times with a large flock of Starlings. We parked in the car park of a café, which happened to be adjacent to the site of the Starling sighting. It would have rude not to order coffee and café whilst we were there, so that is exactly what we did.

Our search for the Rosy Starling proved fruitless, we searched the large flock of Common Starlings until we could see spots in front of our eyes, but no plain brown bird was seen. As it happens, 10 minutes after we had departed the Rosy bird was reported as present?? Where had it been hiding, god only knows.

We had a wonderful visit to the Lizard peninsular, the sun was shining and the light was terrific, bird were everywhere. A Pied Flycatcher made a brief appearance as we left the car park, only the first few in the line saw it.

the view from Lizard Point where we saw Red-billed Chough, it really was lovely down there

The main target species for this walk was of course the Red-billed Chough but lots of other species were on show too. We saw G BB and L BB Gulls sitting rocks with Cormorants, Shags, Oystercatchers, Ruddy Turnstones, Rock Pipits and lots of Jackdaws.

mostly Shags with a couple of Cormorants

At Lizard point we scanned the sea, lots of activity could be seen out there. Many gannets were passing, we saw groups of unidentified Auks (Guillemots and/or Razorbills), dozens of Gannets, Kittiwakes and some very distant large Shearwaters which were either Cory’s or Greats, they were too far out to identify.

Along the rugged coastline there was constant movement of corvids, Jackdaws, Rook and Crows but our main target bird, the Chough was nowhere to be seen. After 30 minutes we heard the distinctive call the Chough and two birds drifted towards us, Brenda was made-up, it was her most wanted species. As we walked back up the pathway another pair of Chough came much closer and settled on the cliff face giving great, but short views.

Before we left the area we stopped off in the village for another look for the rose-coloured Starling, we found the ice-cream shop much more appealing before we found the Starling flock. Once again we couldn’t find the bird (if it ever existed?) and so we drove away without a sighting.

Common Starlings are really quite beautiful at this time of the year, but we were lookingh for a plain brown one

The Northern harrier had not been seen all day so we by-passed that site and stopped off at Pendarve’s Wood near Camborne, This 20 acre site was originally an ornamental garden but after the Pendarve family passed away the area was given to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, they have been restoring the woodland by replacing the introduced species with native trees.

the lake at Pendarves Wood

Its is a lovely site with a large lake, we found a few species and enjoyed our walk. Two Firecrests showed very well and two Goldcrests didn’t. We saw Grey Wagtail, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan and Brenda found a Little grebe whilst Debbie picked out a Common Snipe.

Common Snipe found by Debbie

Little Grebe spotted by Brenda

We heard Jay and Coal Tit on the way out, we set off for the hotel as soon as we reached the bus.