Sunday, 10 July 2011

Thurlestone 8th July 2011

The weather forecast wasn't great but we decided to have a walk along the coast from Hope Cove to Thurlestone. It was very windy and cloudy but we had a few glimpses of sun and we also got a good soaking in a brief heavy shower but with the wind being so strong we soon dried off.

Out in Thurlestone Bay a group of about 100 gannets were circling and diving, the majority of the birds were immatures. Amongst them were Herring gulls of various ages but I couldn't pick out anything more unusual - the last couple of days have provided good views along the Devon and Cornwall coast of various seabirds especially shearwaters.

2 mute swans were on South Milton ley and 1 mute swan with 6 cygnets were on Thurlestone Ley. A kestrel hovered over the cliff top being buffeted by the strong winds.

The toilet block opposite the golf club entrance came up trumps for moths with a single dotted wave and a smokey wainscot being new moths for me. Also seen were a peach blossom, early thorn, scalloped oak, clay, common footman, buff ermine, heart and dart, riband wave, and bee moth.

Scalloped Oak

Single Dotted Wave

Common Footman


The toilet block at Wembury and the block here at Thurlestone seem to turn up some good moths, I noticed the block at Thurlestone held quite a few moths on a walk last year and this year the block at Wembury has provided some good sightings although it is difficult at times getting a good look at the moths, hanging around a public toilet with a camera requires a lot of discretion!

Also seen were my first gatekeeper butterflies of the year and some very attractive flowering sea holly.

Sea Holly

Sea Holly

We had a cup of tea at the cafe on the beach at South Milton, it used to be run by a humorous chap called Rocky with a very sharp tongue, I thought he was Irish but David says he was Scottish. He is no longer running the cafe and he wasn't there last year and this year the cafe has been replaced by a much more robust building. The staff however are a miserable looking bunch of young people who were certainly not happy in their work and with a new chi-chi building the prices have gone up to. We were going to have our usual bacon butty at the cafe but before we left home we ended up having a piece of cake from Tesco across the road, they were having a cake sale to raise money for medical treatment for one of the staff. David had the most delicious piece of home made carrot cake and I had a slice of vanilla sponge which was pretty good too, it was just as well as a sausage sandwich at the new cafe was £6.25!!! although it was quite a huge sandwich.

So not a bad walk despite the mixed weather.

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