Saturday 1 November 2014

Twice in a week

October the 25th saw the last remnants of hurricane Gonzalo pass over the UK - but what had it brought with it on the bird front? Well, on Friday 26th, all was revealed - a Forster's Tern flew by Cape Cornwall; a yellow-billed cuckoo was found in Porthgwarra, Cornwall, closely followed by a Black-billed Cuckoo on North Ronaldsay; also a Hermit Thrush and a Chimney Swift in the Outer Hebrides - both a bit to far, but Porthgwarra in Cornwall (though 320 miles away) is quite 'doable', so, at 11.45pm  Friday evening, Dave Gray, Ben Croxall and myself travelled over to our other birding buddy - Neil Hagley - for an overnight drive to Cornwall. We were there for first light and so, with a lot of other hopeful birders, made the 15 minute walk towards the said dried up pond where the bird had been frequenting the previous day. As the light got better and better every one was hopeful the bird would show, but sadly, after about 3 hours, despondent birders started to walk back to their cars, and we shortly followed. It was going to be a long drive home - but not before taking the opportunity to see some of the other avifauna that was also in the area, so we headed for Penzance as there had been a Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling  being reported there for a few days. We parked on Sainsburys' car park and it wasn't long before it was seen feeding on a bush on the other side of the road. (Apologies for the image it's a record shot and heavily cropped)
Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling

Next stop was Copperhouse Creek in Hayle for a Lesser Yellowlegs. Once again we parked up - this time on the libary car park and there was the bird right in front of us! but too far away for any images, so I made due with this Bar-tailed Godwit.
Bar-tailed Godwit

A little detour to Davidstow Airfeild, where an American Golden Plover had been showing really well, but sadly not for us. This was a bit disappointing for Ben, as he needed it for life tick - and to rub salt in to the wound, we had only been left about half an hour when it came back on the news services and was showing well -but we were well on our way home by then. A  disappointment,  but still saw some nice birds forward a few days, I was speaking with Steve James about the weather (as blokes do) and he informed me we were going to get some Easterly winds mid-week and to get ready for a twitch at the week-end! 'Yes' I said, hopefully, but how right Steve was! On Thursday, news came up of a Eastern Crowned Warbler which had been found at Brotton in Cleveland, so, having spoken to Steve about going, we both made a few calls to see who else was available. The only one was John Hague - it was John and myself that dipped on the 2009 Durham bird - so at 3.00am Friday morning, after picking up John and Steve, we were off for hopefully, a different result from the week previous! Again, we were there for first light - and so were a lot of other birders! After about an hour, the bird was picked up in some sycamore;  there were birders running about all over the place trying to get a glimpse of this Eastern jewel, but, with a bit of patience and luck, I think everybody got decent views of  the bird and went away happy - we certainly did!  I tried to get some kind of image, but with so many people being there it was nigh impossible!I'm no photographer - just a birder with a camera, so seeing the bird is the most important thing for me. Needless to say, it was a lot better drive home this week!

Glad you dropped by and hope you enjoyed your visit!!