The arrival of the Blackpoll Warbler on the Scillies was shortly followed by a call from Tony. Although neither of us needed it this was the indicator species he’d been waiting for that would herald the Yankee influx. Thus we headed for Cornwall over night on Thursday 18/10. First call Friday morning was Church Cove, The Lizard where a Paddyfield Warbler had been for a few days. One of my bogey birds but hadn’t fretted over it as I expected another twitchable one more locally in the near future. Fortunately a couple birders were already on site so we had no problem locating it and it showed well on and off in a small disused quarry all morning, although did disappear for a short while as is the pattern when a few more birders arrived.
Paddyfield Warbler-Church Cove,The Lizard.
After sorting out our caravan at Mounts Bay, Marazion. where we heard a Cetti’s Warbler, we headed to Cot Valley where we had a Firecrest but were beaten to a Yellow-browed Warbler by torrential rain.
Saturday morning we headed to St Levan Church which. due to last years Scarlet Tanager, Tony wanted to make our “patch” for the duration of our stay. There had been a Yellow-browed Warbler and some Firecrests but the best we could manage was a male Blackcap but did meet the finder of the Tanager. Also did Nanquidno where we had Green Woodpecker which was a Cornish tick at least, then Cot Valley were we heard the Yellow-browed Warbler.
Sunday morning again had a good look at the St Levan Church area with little to show. In the afternoon went looking for 4 Glossy Ibises near Sennen at Stewjack farm. Tony had seen them briefly from Trevilley so in the absence of any marked footpaths we headed off across the fields but finally gave up near Brew sewage works as we couldn’t get any further. As compensation had brilliant views of a fox.
Back at Mounts Bay again hear Cetti’s.
Monday morning, having finally got directions for the Ibises headed to Sennen. Still wasn’t easy as the Cornish seem reluctant to sign their footpaths but eventually took what looked like a private access, which was blocked by a white van, but turned out to be the correct route. Good going apart from the last 200yds which were like the Somme but ended at a gate over which all 4 Glossies were visible.
4 Glossy Ibises near Brew Sewage Works.
This was only a few yards from where we’d given up yesterday! The local hunt was out and from talking to a few locals they thought themselves above the law so were worried for our friend from yesterday.
Did St Levan Church and Cot Valley again this afternoon. As luck would have it passing Stewjack Farm later a Glossy Ibis flew across the road and landed close to a field entrance. Of course I didn’t have my camera handy and by the time we’d pull up out of sight and got our gear out it had flown but did see it several time more in flight before dropping out of sight.
Tuesday morning again at St Levan Church.
Probably one the nicer days of the week and walked most of the way to Porthgwarra and were rewards with a Raven on the way back.
Red Admiral near St.Levan Church.
Did Cot Valley and had a Firecrest, then Nanquidno,
Wednesday morning surprisingly had our sole Little Egret in flight near the caravan park. Very windy day and hard going at St Levan Church. A bit better at Cot Valley. Report of a immature Egyptian Vulture in north Norfolk caused excitement for a while but soon confirmed as a recent known escape with bells on its legs. Good number of Gannets moving over the sea from the bottom of the valley but little else moving.
Sea from bottom of Cot Valley.
Got in early because of the England/Poland match proposed from last night. Left Tony to it but didn’t miss much. Had a walk along the beach then around Marazion RSPB.
St Michael’s Mount.
On the outward journey the reserve path was a bit wet but passable but returning it was a river and ended up wading back. This was due to a combination of spring tide and the strong winds causing a tidal surge that flooded Looe. The road between the caravan and the site car park was also flooded which would have be fun if we’d returned at our usual time.
Thursday morning had a Lesser Whitethroat at St.Levan Church patch but too brief to see if it was an interesting race.
Friendly Robin-St.Levan Church area.
Saw 3 Glossy Ibises close to the road viewing from the Trevilley but had flown out of view by the time we got back to the road. Probably due to a birder in bright red jacket?
Went to Kenidjack Valley where a first winter Red-breasted Fly had been reported. Met Trevor Charlton there, the ex-warden at Bempton RSPB and a friend of many years standing. Despite the lack of birds and no obvious hope of anything he had come down for a few days from his current Suffolk base. Although elusive for a while eventually had several good views of the Fly and I was in the right place when a Yellow-browed Warbler was picked up.
Red-Breasted Flycatcher-Kenidjack Valley.
Also had a Bullfinch which I believe is good Cornish bird. Ended our trip with a quick look down Cot Valley.
As luck would have it a Yellow-browed Warbler and 4 Firecrests were in the St.Levan Church area when we were driving back on Friday but at least nothing mega has turned up and it sounds good for the Yorkshire coast this week.