Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Day 5 - Rame Rouzels and Lake Larid's

After making some cracking decisions this week on location choice and weather theory resulting in 2 mega Pipits, Bob and I were keen to carry on in the same vane. It was Bob's turn to drive and he opted to head to Rame Head and then bird nearby areas during the late morning and afternoon and eventually pop back to Bodmin Moor for a gull fix.

We arrived at 7 20 am and made our way to a proven spot that allowed us to listen out for passing migrants but also overlooks a wooded hedge that we hoped might produce an interesting Passerine as the suns heat intensified during the morning. A light trickle of birds passed overhead and included Pied Wagtails, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and the occasional Redwing. Goldfinch and Linnet were also apparent and continued to move through until we packed up. The wooded hedge theory paid off and offered brief views of a Firecrest. Near the end of our Viz Mig session we encountered the star bird of the morning as a Ring Ouzel flew low, tacking as it went and alighting on a nearby tree so that we could enjoy some distant views. We then moved to the car park area and realised that we were going to struggle as the wind was incredibly strong. However, whilst spending a penny a Cirl Bunting started calling from the adjacent field and was obviously hunkered down in the stubble sheltering. Our total counts for Rame were: 4 Yellow Hammer, 1 Cirl Bunting, 28 Skylark, 67 Meadow Pipit, 21 Pied Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail, 36 Chaffinch, 42 Goldfinch, 55 Linnet, 9 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Ring Ouzel, 18 Swallow, 2 Jay, 85 Wood pigeon, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest and 4 Chiffchaff.

Distant Ring Ouzel at Rame Head

We then headed to Millbrook to take a look at the pool and catch up with an old friend. It was wonderful to see Edna the Egyptian Goose and even better she wasn't alone! We decided to call her new friend Edward and hope he makes our old friend very happy ;-)! Our totals for Millbrook were: 2 Egyptian Geese, 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 1 Redshank, 1 Greenshank and a Little Egret.


St Johns Lake was our next location to scour. Bob quickly picked up on a Sandwich Tern and I later found another roosting with the original bird. A huge gathering of Duck was present and Bob relished the opportunity to get stuck into them. There was a lovely selection and we ended up with the following totals: 17 Mediterranean Gull, 23 Turnstone, 1 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin, 104 Redshank, 16 Grey Plover, 2 Sandwich Tern, 1444 Wigeon, 5 Pintail, 1 Shoveler and 1 Teal.

Sandwich Tern
On our journey to Saltash we observed 20 Swallows at Crafthole,   

At Saltash we watched the incoming tide gull and wader roost opposite the Chine Fleet Club bird hide. Sadly we didn't pick up any new birds for our week but did have a nice selection consisting of 39 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 86 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plover, 51 Wigeon, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Lapwing, 1 Common Snipe and 1 Knot.  

After a late lunch it was time to head to the moor and we were soon at Siblyback Reservoir. Water levels are incredibly low and really highlight that we are not having that much rain at the moment! After a check of the Gulls we were happy to find a lovely adult Yellow-legged Gull amongst the Lesser Black-backs. I then needed the loo so left Bob to it. On my rather late return (the facility had plumbing problems and I struggled to read the simple map showing an alternative), Bob was nowhere to be seen! I decided to have a quick count up of birds present and picked up a small group of waders miles away! One pricked my interest and needed a closer inspection, so having found Bob we drove nearer and took a walk. I was ecstatic to discover a beautiful juvenile Little Stint amongst some Dunlin and Ringed Plovers and it was the highlight of my day! Totals at Siblyback were: 1 Juv Little Stint, 5 Dunlin, 13 Ringed Plover, 1 Adult Yellow-legged Gull, 23 Little Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Coot, 1 Barheaded Goose, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Wheatear and a Siskin. 

Juvenile Little Stint at Siblyback Reservoir
Adult Yellow-legged Gull at Siblyback Reservoir
Very Low water level at Siblyback Reservoir
Our final destination was Colliford Lake for a look at the Gulls coming into roost. This certainly didn't disappoint and we were soon onto another pristine Adult Yellow-legged Gull. They just seemed to keep coming this evening and we had a total of 8 adults and a 1st winter amongst the flock. We also picked up an adult Scandinavian Herring Gull adding to the excitement. I then picked up a Juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull that seemed tiny compared to the graellsii birds that were near. It looked very long winged and cold in comparison to other juvenile birds nearby. When the under wing was observed it was apparent that it was very pale almost like that of a Caspian Gull. It also showed a nice clear rump, lightly barred under tail coverts and a clear thick black tail band. I am aware that you cannot confidently claim a Baltic Gull without finding a ringed individual, however in my mind this is a pretty strong candidate and the closest I have ever come to a pure Fuscus. A cracking learning bird and one I enjoyed every minute of seeing. Our totals at the roost were 8 Yellow-legged Gulls (7 Adults and a 1st winter), 1 Scandinavian Herring Gull and a Baltic Gull candidate. 

Adult Yellow-legged Gull at Colliford Reservoir

Baltic Gull Candidate at Colliford Reservoir
Tomorrow we are heading back to the Lizard for (we hope) some more Viz Migging.

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