Sunday, 8 November 2015

Double Dipping - Wrong Warbler, Wrong Whimbrel

My plan to look for the reported yellow browed warbler in Ford Park Cemetery after meeting a friend for coffee at on Mutley Plain on November 5th wasn't looking like a good idea as it was dank and misty and windy on leaving Costas and by the time I arrived at the cemetery it was chucking it down. I had a quick wander around amongst the tombstones anyway but as expected I didn't find the warbler - I did find a chiffchaff along with a goldcrest and a coal tit amongst the blue tits skulking in the well leaved vegetation but I got absolutely soaked through for my troubles.

November 7th was wet and windy but forecasted to clear in Cornwall by 10am snd so I headed off to Penzance on the train. Sure enough the rain had stopped by the time I arrived in Penzance and eventually the sun appeared but a strong offshore wind remained all day. I caught the bus to Longrock and walked to Marazion, seeing a grey heron and moorhen on Longrock Pool and 9 little egrets, 2 grey heron, teal, mallard, 2 buzzard and a stonechat at Marazion Marsh along the way.

My usual lack of direction meant I got lost trying to find a way down to the beach at Little London, eventually clambering down a cliff, but I slipped and skidded down the cliff face ending up muddy, wet, bruised and bloody handed on the sandy beach. I tried to wash the mud off my hands in the sea but a large wave caught me out and I ended up with soaked feet - needless to say I was not in a good mood by this time but it was my own stupid fault and I wasn't badly hurt.

I scanned around for the Hudsonian whimbrel which has been present along the beach for a few days now but could only find curlew, oystercatcher and turnstone roosting on the rocks at high tide as the waves crashed in on the beach. A smaller bird caught my eye amongst the curlews and it briefly showed its head from under its wing - despite being in silhouette against the sun it was clearly a whimbrel species but a pair of birders appeared close to the flock and off they flew with the whimbrel species clearly showing a white rump - not a Hudsonian but a Eurasian whimbrel although I've never seen a November whimbrel before.

A large white butterfly, a male kestrel, a buzzard and a little egret were also seen along with shag, herring gull, great black backed gull and black headed gull but the bird of the day was a great northern diver offshore on the walk back along the coast path to Penzance to catch the train back to Plymouth.

So a double dip and getting wet and muddy and injured in the process - such is birdwatching!

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