Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Pacific Diver-less Penzance

Back in 2009 a Pacific diver appeared in Mounts Bay at Penzance and I was very fortunate to catch up with it at the Carnsew Pool in nearby Hayle where I had some great views. It (or another bird) has reappeared every year since in Mounts Bay but it has usually been distant and irregularly sighted. However this winter it has been much more reliably sighted and so I decided to have a look for it despite the less than ideal conditions - very cold, very windy, heavy rain and hail showers. I was feeling tired and lousey with a cold too but I headed off on the train on January 29th to have a look for it anyway.

Arriving at Penzance and I walked to the Jubilee Pool, seeing a very confiding female eider in the harbour along the way. At the Pool I soon found 3 very tame purple sandpipers with turnstones and I saw a male eider flew across the Bay, landing close to the harbour mouth. Gannets were diving offshore and I had a very distant view of a great northern diver and an even more distant view of a black throated/Pacific diver but it was too far out to get any real detail on it.

 Female Eider

 Purple Sandpiper

Purple Sandpiper

Purple Sandpiper


Heading back to the railway station I found a very forlorn looking chiffchaff feeding in the bushes at the bus station in the cold conditions. There was no sign of any black redstarts amongst the rocks and I still had very poor views of the 2 divers in the choppy seas so I headed off on the bus to Marazion Marsh.

Scanning the marsh and a pair of hybrid Canada/greylag geese were being harrassed by a pair of mute swans and 3 snipe flew over the reeds before disappearing from sight. A flock of around 20 teal flew up from cover just as a hail storm blustered in and a bittern joined them, showing well as it flew away and disappeared in the reeds on the other side of the railway line.

Canada x Greylag Geese

Walking back to Penzance along the sea wall and a great northern diver showed well close to the beach along with a 1st winter/1st summer Mediterranean gull and a grey seal. Along the beach were 9 ringed plover and 16 sanderling although they were regularly flushed by dog walkers. The 2 divers seen earlier unfortunately remained resolutely distant.

And so I headed off home without a confirmed sighting of the Pacific diver but it had been a good day out despite the choppy seas and poor weather conditions and my general malaise.

No comments:

Post a Comment