Sunday, August 03, 2008

Family holiday in Cornwall

A week in sunny Cornwall (hah! actually one sunny day the rest at best grey with plenty of rain) for a family holiday. Not the usual fare of birding and walking. How will we cope?

We'd booked a chalet close to the beach in Hayle. On arrival we were greeted by the locals:

This adult Herring Gull stared down at us as we opened the chalet door and then bombarded us as we unloaded the car. We soon found out why, as this juvenile Herring Gull spent ages looking at itself in the reflection from our windscreen:

We managed a few walks, including a walk around Loe Pool. A small group of waders scuttled along the shoreline, including this adult Dunlin:

There's a juvenile Ringed Plover in amongst the group, which I assume are juvenile Dunlin, though they don't match the pictures in my field guide...? (update - thank you Simon - they are Sanderling, moulting from Summer to Winter plumage)

I got a better shot of one of the mystery birds:

Then got too close and the group took flight:

On a separate trip we headed to Kynance Cove on the Lizard peninsula. Here you can see some of the flora on the headland, I particularly like the burnt orange colour:

As we headed down the path into the cove the sun threatened a brief appearance:

It was really trying, creating some dramatic lighting effects:

and here:

by the time we got to the cafe though it had started raining again... sigh.

After a week of cold chalets, rain coats and disappointment at the lack of outdoor and walking time (I'll stop complaining soon - at least we didn't fly all the way from the USA for this holiday unlike some family members for whom we feel truly sorry as they're still in Cornwall and it is still raining) we headed to Devon, passing through a number of showers, but at least the rains lifted for half a day, which gave us an opportunity to get up on to the moors.

We saw quite a surprising number of different species on this our second visit, certainly many more than a couple of years back but maybe that's due to our ability to differentiate between species more. We encountered good numbers of Linnets:

Some (Northern) Wheatears, including this juvenile:

Good numbers of Meadow Pipits, this one stopped to pause with food, no doubt not wishing to show us where its nest was located:

We also saw Common Buzzards, House Martins and Swallows and a single male Pied Flycatcher which we really weren't expecting.

The sun threatened briefly again whilst we were out on the moor but we were lucky not to get completely drenched, the heavens opened as we got into our car to head home.

A good walk, a good holiday thanks to the time we spent with family but miserable weather. Roll on autumn migration and fingers crossed for some good weather.

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Blogger Daydreamer said...

My goodness, your photos are fabulous!

4:57 pm  

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