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We had a lovely time at Porthgwarra the scenery down there is stunning with dramatic cliff-top landscapes and ancient granite boulder-stacks. This area is renowned for its sea-watching potential, many exciting sightings have been made over the years and the scrub beyond the cliffs can also be very productive.

After parking the bus in the main car park we walked up the steps besides the tiny beach at Porthgwarra and came out on top of the cliffs at Gwennap Head. We saw many Meadow Pipits on the heathland habitat as well as Stonechats, a single Northern Wheatear and a Wren. Many Jackdaws were dashing about with some Rooks and Crows, a single Grey Seal bobbed in the small cove at Porthgwarra.

At the cliff edge near Gwenapp Head we saw 4 Red-billed Chough, they were noisy and they flew very close to us beforte landing just below the coast path! Wow! Wat a lovely sight, they began to dig into the turf with their strong red bills. Click, click, in the can, thank you very much!


At the coast guard station we stood on the rocks and scanned the ocean, it was alive with birds of all shapes and sizes. We were hoping for some Shearwaters but that never happened, hundred of Gannets were flying past and some were diving in or settled on the water. We saw long lines of Auks, looking like strings of pearls as they dashed by, some were also settled on the water and we identified some Razorbills. A few Kittiwakes passed by and the rest of the movement was gulls, dozens and dozens of large gulls, herring and G BB Gulls.

On the rocks we saw Oystercatchers, Cormorants, Shags, Rock Pipits and Jackdaws. Nothing moved on the land except for Meadow Pipits, no migration was taking place. Our walk back to the car park produced a few sightings of Stonechats and nothing else.

After a quick cuppa coffee we ate our picnic lunch at the benches, it was warm and sunny and very pleasant. Sea mist drifted in and for short spells the beautiful landscape disappeared. Because of the mist we decided to give the walk up the valley a miss, so we drove back to ayle and spent the afternoon there.

From the hide at Ryan’s Field RSPB Reserve we watched a Kingfisher, a few Little Egrets and some BH Gulls, not a single wader was present, it was a falling tide and I suspected that all waders were out on the freshly exposed mud and sand along the river and shoreline.

We scanned the river area from the road bridge and found virtually exactly the same birds as we did on day 1. The best of the waders were two Knot, we also saw lots of Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwits, Oystercatchers, Curlews and a few Greenshanks. Thousands of gulls loafed around on the sand bars, nothing new and exciting there.

We spent two hours at Copperhouse Creek walking the length of it down to the ‘Black Bridge’ and back to the car park. We found a small flock of Dunlin with one Curlew Sandpiper, hundreds of Canada geese with one Snow Goose of unknown origin. A single Mediterranean Gull sat with the Black-headed Gulls and Lorna found a Grey Wagtail from the car park.

We left just before 5pm after a nice ice-cream sitting on a bench in the sunshine.