Saturday, 8 October 2016

Chough Junior 4 Day One

It's finally here ! My favorite week of the year , better than Christmas! The week of the 10th October is Chough Junior, It's when me and Pete tour the county in the hope of finding rarities , adding to our Chough Junior List and eating countless pasties, fish and chips and at least one fry up!

Day One

 Constantine Bay 

I was on my own for the first day, Pete went to see Pepper Pig (his idol) in Plymouth with his girlfriend ( I'm not joking btw!) which left me to start off the list and hopefully have a great first days birding! I arrived just before dawn at Trevose Head, in the somewhat benign conditions I was hoping for a bit of a vis mig and I stood patiently waiting and watching the birds as they migrated through the headland. Whilst I did count 1 Grey Heron, 109 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 29 Blackbird, 12 Song Thrush, 5 Grey Wagtail, 8 Pied Wagtail, 93 Meadow Pipit, 21 Chaffinch, 10 Goldfinch and 2 Reed Bunting nothing that different seemed to be moving overhead so I decided to have a walk around the headland. The hedges were pretty quiet, turning up 1 Peregrine, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, 8 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and 1 Wheatear. Whilst casual looks out to sea and over the rocks produced 3 Balearic Shearwater, 52 Oystercatcher,1 Grey Plover, 3 Turnstone, 7 Black headed Gull and 9 Med Gulls. You always get good variety at Trevose and a book full of birds and I couldn't complain with what I had seen , it's just a nice place to visit and go for a walk.... 

Rock Pipit

Now it was time for a change of habitat and a really good look at the Camel Estuary. Although I had missed the best of the tide it was still buzzing with birds! And best of all I could see the Pink footed Goose that had been around on the estuary for a few days and I had yet to see this year. Wild geese are always a special sight and a rare occasion in Cornwall and this cracking bird was doubly important as it was a new bird for Chough Junior (our 180th) . I also had 107 Wigeon, an impressive 16 Pintail, 3 Teal, 1 Golden Plover, 72 Lapwing, 8 Ringed Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 61 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Knot, 5 Curlew Sandpiper, 228 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper,1 Green Sandpiper,65 Mediterranean Gull,1 Common Gull,2 Sandwich Terns and another Peregrine causing havoc.
 Very Distant photo of the Pink footed Goose

I rounded off the day with a peaceful hour spent in the hide at Walmsley Sanctuary and although it looked dead when I got there the birds soon started to show and I was pleased to see 5 Wigeon, 7 Shoveler, 7 Pintail, 85 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 4 Water Rail, 12 Curlew, 3 Ruff, 1 Snipe, 18 Swallows and 2 Mistle Thrush.

Whilst it was far from a classic day out birding, I still had 91 species and I was pleased with the variety and number of birds that seem to be around , we are heading west tomorrow.... Maybe the rarity will be there instead....

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