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29th September 2018 – Lelant Saltings and St Ives

We returned to the Hayle Estuary by taking the train from St Ives just along the most beautiful piece of coast to Lelant Saltings. It was then just a short walk along the road to the Old Quay Inn where good views of the estuary are to be had. By walking just a few more yards along the road we came even closer to the birds, especially teal, curlew, oystercatcher and common redshank.

8B5400DF-719F-4D7C-9F63-EF2FAB870047The Hayle Estuary from beside the Old Quay Inn

We then had lunch in the Old Quay Inn (it would have been rude not too especially as the landlord had been flagged on the web as birder friendly). We then caught the train back to St Ives where it seems we always see turnstone.

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DSCF2089Teal

DSCF2110Oystercatcher

DSCF2197Curlew

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DSCF2207Common redshank 

DSCF2281Wigeon

DSCF2331Little egret

DSCF2283Black-headed gull

DSCF2271Canada geese in flight

DSCF2361Immature gull

DSCF2370Turnstone

Click below for photo gallery from today:

 

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27th September 2018 -Kenidjack Valley, Cornwall

In yesterday’s blog I said the weather here in Cornwall was “as good as it gets”. Well, I was wrong as today it got even better: with not a cloud in the sky nor a breath of breeze the sun glared down on us all day long.

We made our way to Kenidjack Valley which is just outside St Just and a few hundred metres north of Cape Cornwall. This had been suggested to us as a good birding site and indeed only a few days before a wryneck had been spotted in the valley. However, other than a few robins and a couple of wrens, there weren’t many birds to be seen. But in the glorious sunshine we saw quite a few butterflies and we were not at all disappointed as we had some wonderful views of the Cornish coast and in particular we saw lots of Cornwall’s tin mining heritage.

DSCF1538Cape Cornwall – the chimney stack dates back to 1894, when Cape Cornwall Mine was in operation, extracting tin and copper from out under the sea. Now, the site is part of the Tin Coast and Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. 

DSCF1578-Edit_1Relics of Cornwall’s tin mining industry

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DSCF1669Wall

DSCF1689Small Copper

DSCF1714Small White

DSCF1759Small tortoiseshell

DSCF1785Small Tortoiseshell

 

Better still we had a wonderful view of a wheatear which posed and flitted about showing why “wheatear” derives from the Old English for “white arse”.

DSCF1593Wheatear

DSCF1600Wheatear

DSCF1649Wheatear showing its white rump

After our walk through the valley and along the coast we then drove on through St Just to Sennen where we had spectacular views of the cove and a couple of  oystercatchers, pied wagtails and again lots of gulls.

DSCF1816Oystercatcher

DSCF1823Pied wagtail

DSCF1831Pied wagtail

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DSCF1805Sennen Cove

 

 

 

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26th September 2018 – Hayle Estuary Cornwall

On a beautifully sunny and warm September day (as good as it gets) we visited the Hayle Estuary in Cornwall.

We walked from the station at Lelant along to the Old Quay Inn where we could see a plethora of gulls, waders (including oystercatchers, curlews, teal , wigeon and spotted redshank), Canada geese, a greylag goose, grey herons and little egrets. We were too far away to capture much in detail but it was wonderful to do some birding sitting on the decking of The Old Quay Inn having a refreshing drink.

DSCF0364-2Hayle Estuary

DSCF0189-2Greylag goose

DSCF0218-2Oystercatcher

DSCF0220-2Curlew

We then drove on a little to visit RSPB Ryan’s Field and then RSPB Camsew Pool where the highlight was a Sandwich tern and a rock pipit.

DSCF0516-2Sandwich tern

DSCF0446-2Rock pipit

DSCF0413-2Little egret

I am sure there were lots more but we needed the help of more experienced birders. However, the only other birders we saw were standing on the busy B3301 and that didn’t really appeal to us.

Click below for gallery of photos from today:

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15th September 2018 – Chew Valley Lake

A pleasant trip to Chew Valley Lake today chatting to other birders and seeing a few birds from a distance at Herriotts Bridge and Herons Green.

MT1D7073Great white egret on the lake from Herriotts Bridge

MT1D7121Great white egret on the other side of the road

MT1D7127Hobby at Herriotts Bridge

MT1D7128Hobby at Herriotts Bridge

MT1D7158Peregrine at Herons Green

MT1D7159Peregrine at Herons Green

MT1D7210Buzzard at Heron’s Green

MT1D7222Buzzard at Heron’s Green

MT1D7227Immature black-headed gulls having a drink at Herons Green

Click below for gallery of today’s photos:

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10th September 2018 – Majorca

Following some very heavy overnight thunderstorms we started the day with a visit to the smaller nature reserve of S’Albefuereta just north of Alcudia and then, after lunch, we returned to S’Albufera. It was extremely humid and most of the hides were quite unbearable. Perseverance was rewarded with good views (and some good shots) of black-winged stilts, spotted redshank, green sandpiper, spotted flycatchers, purple and grey herons  and even an avocet.

DSC02359Spotted flycatcher

DSC02391Stonechat

DSC02418Marsh harrier

DSC02541Glossy ibis

DSC02600Black-winged stilt

DSC02641Spotted redshank

DSC02662Spotted redshank

DSC02663Green sandpiper

DSC02665Green sandpiper

DSC02661Spotted redshank and black-winged stilt

DSC02565Spotted flycatcher

DSC02574Purple heron with grey heron behind

DSC02670The ubiquitous little egret

DSC02613Avocet

DSC02485A kite (not the avian sort)

Click below for gallery of photos from today

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8th September 2018 – Majorca

When we first arrived in Majorca the first bird we saw was a hoopoe, which I gather is fairly common here on the island. On that occasion I didn’t have my camera with me and have spent the last couple of days searching around the farmland adjacent to the hotel where we are staying searching for an opportunity to get a photo. I was particularly pleased to get another opportunity today when we revisited the Parc Natural de S’Albufera.

DSC02290Hoopoe

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DSC01850Crested coot

DSC02251Black-winged stilts – is this really the time for this?

DSC02118Glossy ibis

DSC02092A lone avocet

DSC01866Cattle egret

DSC02107Juvenile little ringed plover

We restricted our visit today to a couple of hides near the information centre and were very pleased with what we saw. The highlights were a glossy ibis, a purple heron, ringed plovers, green sandpipers, snipe, lots of black winged stilts, little egrets, cattle egrets, purple swamphen,spotted flycatchers, a local crested coot with Ariana Grande type ears and several other birds which I need to research.

DSC01851Crested coot

DSC02085Snipe

DSC02227Black-winged stilt

DSC02224Green sandpiper

DSC02100Purple heron

DSC02149Purple swamphen

DSC01886Spotted flycatcher

The new hide at the reserve has proved the most successful for us. It must be amazing here when birds are migrating to Africa later in October, especially as that seems to be quite a rainy season.

DSC02343Audouin’s gull

Click below for gallery of some of the photos from today’s visit to the Parc Natural de S”Albufera on Majorca:

 

 

 

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6th September 2018 – Majorca

Well its just like what they say about  London buses, you don’t see one for ages and then two come along together. Not really together, as the osprey we saw today was a long way from the last one in Somerset: this one was on the Parc Natural de S’Albufera in Majorca.

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We met a very gruff attendant at the information office and then ended up walking for miles without seeing anything special (other than a Purple Gallinule – Purple Swamphen and a dead snake) only to realise that all the best things to see were close to the information office.

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There were little egrets (and a few cattle egret) everywhere.

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The other highlights were black-winged stilts, avocets, Audouin gulls,ruffs and both grey and purple heron.

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Although it was very hot it was also very overcast and not particularly good light for photography. However, I’m sure we shall be going back when its a bit brighter.

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