Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Porthgwarra

As promised...

My desperation to see a UK Cory's Shearwater was only heightened by missing the Seaton ones, and then highetened even more by missing an excellent sea watching day off south Cornwall on Saturday just gone.  The weather for Monday morning wasn't ideal, but I thought Porthgwarra was worth a shout, so at 3:20 I left Seaton.  I would have got there sooner but there was a horrific diversion in place at night on the A30, but still I was at PG scope up sea watching by 06:40.

I was on my own until about 07:40 - quite stressful when there's birds passing at all distances!


My totals for 06:40-10:10 were;

4 Cory's Shearwater
9 Sooty Shearwater
41 Balearic Shearwater
4 Storm Petrel
2 Great Skua
3 Sandwich Tern
1 Ocean Sunfish

So yes - I did it!  Cory's in the bag :-)  The whole reason I wanted to get there for first light was because a weather front came through the night before, and I thought my best chance for big Shears would be early on - and I was right!  All Cory's were singles, the first was the best, at 06:58 and came through with two Manxies, then there were two more singles at the same distance (just beyond Runnel Stone) within the next 15 minutes. A fourth went west at 08:35 but boy was it distant, way beyond the Runnel Stone!   Aren't they great birds, so so relaxed and lazy looking, hugging the waves as they soar past.  Have to say, I also think they are bloody hard to spot - despite their size! I think it's because they fly so low to the sea, hardly flap, and always seem to be slightly changing direction.  

All the Shearwater action was great. I reckon my Balearic count was about 10-15 short of how many actually flew past, they were coming through with the Manxies right below the watch point so were easy to overlook.  The Sooties were great as they always are - I love their wing and body shape!

Seven Balearic and a Manx Shearwater (bottom left)

Gannets were streaming past

The Runnel Stone, a very helpful marker about one mile out.


As ever with here, sea watching with the sight and sounds of Chough around you is never a hardship...

Saw four in all


And towards the end of my watch, it was good to see the Scillonian come past...

Wonder if anyone on there has now seen a Cliff Swallow!?


I thought I'd use it to show off the capabilities of the Nikon P900. I think it passes PG at a distance of about 1.5 miles, and this is what happens when you crank the P900 zoom right up...

Hello!


After PG, and after some time with the best wader in the world, on the way home considering how many rare waders had been appearing, I thought Davidstow was worth a look at. This was my first ever visit here and my god does it look good. It was drizzly, foggy and felt so so rare...

Davidstow


Sadly didn't find anything rare, but saw;

10+ Ringed Plover
3 Dunlin
3 Snipe
1 Green Sandpiper
10 Wheatear


It's such a great place that even the common waders here look rare!...

A rare Ringed Plover

A rare Dunlin!


I will certainly be coming back here again, it's only an hour and a half drive from home.

So that's my Cornish Cory's jaunt all done and told.  So back to the patch now, and today has been a pretty good morning. The highlight being a Dipper than flew over me at Stafford Marsh - my first one on patch this year (they've gone really rare).  Also seen 35+ Yellow Wags, three Whinchat and a Wheatear on Seaton Marshes and five Sedge Warblers and a modest selection of waders on Black Hole Marsh.

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