A bright but windy morning greeted my client, Lamorna and I at Newlyn today. We headed straight to Sandy Cove, Newlyn but parking was restricted so we changed plans and drove east to Marazion calling briefly at Jubilee Pool in Penzance where Purple Sandpipers and Turnstones were located on the rocks. A stunning Kingfisher joined them briefly before disappearing without trace! The Shags and Cormorants on the rocks offshore gave me the chance to explain the differences between the two confusion species. The northerly wind was bitterly cold as we got out of the car at Marazion but we persevered and noticed good numbers of Redwings in the bushes and reeds around Longrock Pool. Moorhen and Little Grebes were the only wildfowl on the pool itself.
Marazion Marsh was generally quiet but we added Little Egret, Grey Heron, Teal, Snipe, Mallard and a very obliging Water Rail to our list. The beach by the Red River mouth produced plenty of Pied Wagtails, Meadow Pipits and Stonechats and three overwintering Chiffchaffs in the scrub in the dunes. The only wader on the beach was an Oystercatcher.
Carnsew Pool on the Hayle Estuary was our next destination in the hope of seeing the resident Spoonbill. We weren’t disappointed as the bird fed busily in the shallows giving superb views. The supporting cast was Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher, Cormorant, Little Grebe, Shag, Great Black-backed Gull and Grey Heron. With the tide well out and the wind blowing straight in our faces we decided to give the main estuary a miss but spent a short while in the hide at Ryan’s Field. A sizable flock of Lapwing and single Black Tailed Godwit were the only highlights here, so after a coffee at Birdies Bistro, we headed back west.
A quick look at Drift reservoir en-route back to Newlyn proved fairly fruitless but added Tufted Duck and Canada Goose to our morning. We managed a parking space back at Sandy Cove early afternoon and spent the rest of our time looking for smaller birds in the scrub there. We weren’t disappointed as three Firecrests performed at close range. Other commoner species included Blackcap, Robin, Dunnock, Great and Blue Tit, Blackbird, House Sparrow and Goldfinch. Finally a superb female Peregrine circled overhead and a flock of Common Scoter were offshore.
Despite the cold wind we managed the following list of species: Gannet, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Common Scoter, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Shag, Cormorant, Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone, Redshank, Greenshank, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Snipe, Lapwing, Water Rail, Spoonbill, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Peregrine, Buzzard, Dunnock, Robin, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing, Firecrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Stonechat, Kingfisher, Carrion Crow, Rook and Jackdaw.