A banner.full


WEATHER:  glorious sunshine all day

We started the day by visiting a site near the airfield on the road to Nanquidno Valley, an American Golden Plover had been frequenting a field near the airport and we hoped to see it! Ha! there wasn’t a single bird in the aforementioned field and after walking around for an hour I thought, “here we go again” dipping the bird.

If was a very pleasant morning bright with a light breeze so we enjoyed the walking and we did see quite a few common species as well as Red-billed Chough. We added Raven to the list, we saw Stonechats and Linnets, Meadow Pipits and huge numbers of Jackdaws and Rooks.

From there we drove up into St Just, weaving our way through the town and onto the lane that leads down to the Cot Valley. We parked near the top of the valley and walked down to the beach area, it was pretty much birdless the whole way. The bushes stood stock-still in the sheltered valley but that didn’t help as there wasn’t any bird movement anyway. We spent more time watching interesting insects on the ivy and buddleia flowers than watching birds.

Two Comma Butterflies on te same flowerhead

We did hear a Firecrest near the bus and eventually we found a few common species, but as for migrant species, not even a Chiffchaff was seen or heard. At the beach area we sat on rocks and enjoyed the wonderful view and the passing sea-birds whilst we ate our lunch.

The huge Hornet Hoverfly - Volucella zonaria - with another species of hoverfly

Many gannets were passing through with strings of Auks, (as yesterday they were too far out to identify) the same went for the Shearwaters, they too were miles out. A Grey Seal ‘bobbed’ on the water close to the shore and we watched Rock Pipits, Oystercatchers, Turnstones and gulls on the ‘islands’ of rocks. Cormorants were outnumbered by Shags and Gannets moved past in a constant stream.

Common Buzzard

A pair of Choughs arrived and sat on the cliffs in the middle distance as did a pair of Ravens and a Common Buzzard hovered on the updraft above the cliffs and a pair of Jays flew high over the valley. Apart from a few Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails we saw little else except for a Sparrowhawk which was out hunting in the valley, we saw it perched after chasing pigeons.

Sennon Cove was our venue for toilets, coffee and cake, this beautiful cove was quite crowded with tourist and surfers so no birds were on the beach. We then made a quick visit Lands End without getting out of the bus before we drove to the Nanjizal Lane at Polgigga.

The Black-and-White Warbler had been seen a couple of times today so, as were we close, we thought a quick visit might get us a sighting. Wrong!! The bird did not show whilst we were there and in fact it wasn’t seen again for the rest of the day. Nevertheless, we had a lovely walk towards Nanjizal and found a few species.

Large flocks of Linnets, Goldfinch with some Chaffinches and Greenfinches fed in the cropped fields and we did see 3 Northern Wheatears, a single Common Redstart, several Stonechats, a couple of Ravens and the usual multitude of corvids. At a farm house we saw 17 Collared Doves, lots of Pied Wagtails and a few Chaffinches.

Back at the ‘warbler’ site we saw Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit and Great Tit, but the warbler did not appear. Before we went back to the hotel we made a second visit to the Airfield to look for the American Golden Plover (AGP), we were told that late afternoon was probably the best time to see it.

This time we were in luck, the bird was there, hallelujah, a rarity in the bag!! The bird was quite distant from the roadside so we walked along a lane where a single birder-photographer was standing, as we walked down the lane two Golden Plover flew up, but the AGP stayed.

Eurasian Golden Plover

American Golden Plover

We got great views of the bird which wasn’t doing too much, not far away a third Golden Plover was sitting in the grass, you could just see its head. Before long many other birders turned up. But we had had our moment, the bird was in the can. As we left both birds flew off, they circled for a while but were lost to sight and didn’t appear to drop down into the field.

two more pics of the AGP

We got back to hotel around 5:45 and met for dinner at 7pm, another day over but one with a modicum of success.