A week’s holiday in St Ives didn’t lend itself a lot to bird photography (unless I wanted to spend my time photographing gulls making a nuisance of themselves in the town and even I would have felt too much of a Wally doing that). However, despite the mediocre weather and the restrictions caused by the G7 conference in nearby Carbis Bay, we did have a lovely time visiting some of the great gardens of Cornwall and walking some of the magnificent coastal paths. We even spotted a few birds too.
We found three gardens new to us – Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens (https://www.tremenheere.co.uk/), Trengwainton Garden NT (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trengwainton-garden) and Trerice NT (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trerice).
At Tremenheere we particularly loved the exotic and sub-tropical plants (reminded us of our trips to South Africa) and the wonderful views of St Michael’s Mount and Mounts Bay. All three gardens had decent cafés too.
After our visit to Tremenheere on the first day we also had a walk around Marazion Nature Reserve run by the RSPB where there were swallows, martins, whitethroats, grey herons and egrets.
On our second day we visited Trengwainton Garden near Penzance and then headed north to the coast to walk a section of the coastal path with views of Cape Cornwall and Botallack Head and its tin mines famous from the tv series Poldark.
Later in the week we spent a day in and around Hayle (on the estuary and at Godrevy Point) and saw quite a few birds. The National Trust has been working closely with their tenant farmers to find ways of improving wildlife across the high yielding broccoli fields and everywhere you now see the purple flowers of a crop called Phocelia which acts as a green manure, reduces the need for fertilizers and is a great nectar source for bees and butterflies
The aircraft carrier tucked behind Godrevy lighthouse served as a constant reminder of the G7 conference at Carbis Bay
Phocelia looks spectacular on a sunny day – not so today
We stopped at Trerice NT (near Newquay) early on our journey home for a well-earned coffee stop after the exertions of packing up and tidying our holiday let.