Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Day 4 - Fantastic Lizard Vis Mig !

Today was Pete's turn to drive and he had suggested doing the Lizard , I must admit I wasn't too sure if it would be any good because the wind was forecasted to be quite strong ( even though it was easterly) and I was worried it would be blown out down there. So in darkness we headed off in Pedro's rocket powered Peugeot and got to the Lizard for first light!

It was breezy and cold as we got out the car but I could already hear passerines overhead so we set off to our favourite spot for vis migging, it is a bench situated in the National Trust car park above the lighthouse gardens and because of the wall sheltering us from the wind it was like sitting in your lounge at home it was so comfy! Even better was the fact that the strong easterly was keeping the birds low as they passed and pushing them up from Lizard Village over our head. We soon started counting large numbers of Pipits and Wagtails with a nice variety in amongst them, but after the first hour or so we hadn't really had any goodies... Pete decided to take a break and go for a pee... fatal mistake! Not long after he had gone I heard the characteristic ' Shrreep' of a Richards Pipit and as it drifted over my head poor Pete missed it by 10 seconds! I think he was a little annoyed but he didn't show it too bad as we still had hopes of more...

We carried on counting and watching when at 9:41 Pete said ' what was that?' and in the same moment I called out ' Red-throated Pipit !' this gem of a bird flew overhead calling incessantly , circled and then moved off slowly battling the wind as it made it's way  towards Housel Bay... The call couldn't have been clearer and it was nice to nail another rare Pipit for the county ( my 4th in Cornwall ,  plus many hundreds abroad-a lifer for Pete ). In fact as I said to Pete at the time how lucky he was to get close views and to hear it so clearly.... As it got later in the morning the passage started to slow down and it was soon Pasty o' clock so after 3 .5 hours we walked back to the car. It was a brilliant vis mig and is something I will do again in these difficult conditions. We then picked up a delicious Anne's Pasty and headed back towards home via Helston Boating Lake, Stithians, Argal, College and Devoran! Pretty tired tonight but still keen to get out all day tomorrow! Going back to work is going to be a nice rest!

Highlights of the day and full Vis Mig count:


16 Wigeon
2 Common Scoter
1 Dunlin
1 Stock Dove
50 Wood Pigeon
2 Merlin
1 Peregrine
2 Jay
107 Skylark
203 Swallow
9 House Martin
2 Goldcrest
1 Northern Wheatear
1 Fieldfare
2 Redwing
4 Song Thrush
1 Yellow Wagtail ( late but looked like a nominate)
5 Grey Wagtail
121 Pied Wagtail
1 Richards Pipit
578 Meadow Pipit
1 Red-throated Pipit
2 Reed Bunting
29 Chaffinch
1 Greenfinch
6 Siskin
17 Goldcrest
433 Linnet

Windmill Farm

5 Swallow

Helston Boating Lake

18 Tufted Duck
20 Coot
3 Shoveler


48 Wigeon
1 Little Egret
1 lapwing
3 Dunlin
1 Wheatear


4 Great Crested Grebe
1 Juv Common Tern


41 Coot 
46 Wigeon
1 Tufted Duck
1 Great Crested Grebe
1 Little Egret
1 Juv Pectoral Sandpiper ( a nice surprise! Cheers to Steve (?) a ringing mate of Pete's who got us on it)
1 Firecrest

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