Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Firecrest at Egloshayle, Wadebridge. 23rd November 2020

 


I popped down the road from our house to see if I could spot a Yellow-browed Warbler that was reported to be skulking around the hedgerows but failed to spot it.

So I wandered back through the cemetery which in the old section is very unkempt and an ideal place for birds.

There are lots of ancient Yew trees and several other mature species along with plenty of ivy, holly & brambles. All species that are often attractive to wildlife, birds in particular.

This place hosted up to 9 Hawfinches two winters ago and I'm always hopeful of spotting one again in the trees.

Well, I got lucky and whilst searching the Yew's I spotted a cracking little Firecrest flitting around searching for insects.

Firecrests are a passage migrant and winter visitor to Cornwall although rumours abound that they may now be a breeding bird in the County but to date no positive record exists.

Here are a few more pics of this, the smallest British bird, a characteristic it shares with  it's close relative the Goldcrest.







Saturday, 14 November 2020

Peregrine Falcon on a Lapwing "kill". Camel estuary 12th Nov 2020

 


All the birds on the marsh in front of me took to the air as a Peregrine falcon swooped down through them.

Lapwing, Redshank, Godwits & Dunlin all hit the "panic" button.

After a while they all settled back down again and I started checking them out once again until a sideways glance showed a bird on the ground in the marsh to my left.

On raising my binos I saw it was the Peregrine and it was mantling a dead lapwing.

It was at the limit for my lens to be able to reproduce the images at an acceptable quality because the light levels were very low.... it was after 4pm in mid-November!

ISO was at best 2500 and at worst past 12,000 so I wasn't expecting exhibition quality images!

I also tried some video clips as my camera can cope with them better in low light.

Here are a few pics and a video clip as the bird tore apart the Lapwing.






https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5CpJ4k53hE

 



Saturday, 7 November 2020

Possible "Arctic" Redpoll at Trevose Head, Cornwall 7th Nov 2020.


 

I came across this Redpoll in the quarry at Trevose Head near Padstow this morning.

I was actually hoping for Snow Bunts but this was a welcome diversion!

Such a stunning little bird, it was feeding on the brown seed heads of Sea Plantain.

It kept returning to the same patch of it and I got lucky to get some close up images.

Shame I didn't get the rump photo as it would have been key to unlocking the true identity of the bird.

I've heard of it being Arctic, Mealie, Common,Coulies, Icelandic race etc. 

I hold my hands up to now knowing but am pleased to have found it and to have let my friends see it as well.

Here is a link to a video clip I took and a few other photos of this super little bird.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31LcMtCmFVU

 















Tuesday, 3 November 2020

More from Golitha Falls, River Fowey, Bodmin Moor. 2nd November 2020.


 

A few images of the tumbling stream as it leaves the granite boulders of Bodmin Moor on it's way to the sea.

Always a welcome annual pilgrimage to this beautiful part of Cornwall.








Monday, 2 November 2020

Fungi at Golitha Falls, River Fowey, Bodmin Moor. 2nd November 2020.


We had a good day between the showers photographing fungi at Golitha Falls.

The place rarely fails to combine good species, autumn colours and stunning landscapes.

I'll post some of the waterfall images tomorrow but in the meantime here are some of today's fungi pics.

 












 

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Cornish Choughs on Newquay headland. 10th Oct 2020.

 


I'd heard on Facebook that there had been some Choughs around the Newquay area... they are gradually spreading up the North coast having initially bred down on the Lizard.

So I popped out to east Pentire headland between Fistral beach & the Gannel at Crantock and lo and behold there were 6 Choughs feeding on the short cropped grasses on the clifftop.

They were concentrating on feeding & oblivious to all around them. Peoples dogs bounding around & holidaymakers taking pics of the view & selfies with the waves in the background etc.

Always exciting for a Cornishman to see our "National" bird, but to see 6 together... Wow!

Anyway here are a few photos....












Cornish Grey Seals at Polzeath, 5th October 2020.

 

Juvenile Female Grey Seal


As our regular seal survey out of Padstow was postponed due to fierce North Westerly gales we still needed to complete a land survey of this part of the North Cornish coast for our annual census of seals for the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT).

I was asked to cover the section between Pentire Head at the mouth of the Camel estuary & Port Quin bay beneath the Lead mines car park near Polzeath.

I got lucky!

It was blowing a hooley from the NW but luckily I found some seals in the lee of the headland, 2 of which were "bottling", 1 was a large male that only surfaced a couple of times and the final one was a beautiful juvenile female that decided to haul out onto rocks just below where I was positioned on the cliff edge.

She took no notice of my presence despite a strong wind blowing in her direction and proceeded to clamber about on the rocks and attempt to go to sleep. This proved difficult as it was very awkward terrain & it was at low tide so as soon as she got comfortable the tide started to flow & eventually wash her off the rocks.

I took a few video clips and lots of photos...

Here is the link to the video on my YouTube channel.


https://youtu.be/9ias7_oizWA

Here are some of the images from my afternoon.....


Juvenile Female Grey Seal

Juvenile Female Grey Seal

Juvenile Female Grey Seal

Juvenile Female Grey Seal

Juvenile Female Grey Seal

Female Grey Seal

Female Grey Seal

Female Grey Seal

Female Grey Seal

"Bull" Male Grey Seal