Sunday, 18 March 2012

Land of the Pasty (Pastie).

I have been waiting for the opportunity to visit my mate Andy Carey since he moved to Fowey in Cornwall. Well  this last week it happened. I travelled down Monday morning arriving at lunchtime. The journey down had been through varying thickness of fog, but when I hit the A30 it got brighter and brighter. I was encouraged.

Unfortunately with the exception of the odd break here and there the next 3 days were mostly foggy. That however was only a small setback in what was an otherwise good week. Andy's place is lovely, set in countryside and surrounded by fields and farm buildings. Pheasants, Squirrels and Woodpeckers in his garden and at his feeders. Lambs in the field next to it. I slept with the curtains open for 2 of the three nights so that I could see what was at the feeder as soon as I woke.

I increased my year list and added a lifetime first to my life list. I saw....Ring necked Duck (lifer), Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone, Little Egret, Cormorant, Dipper, Skylark, Pheasant, Rock Pipit, Raven, Stonechat, Lesser Black Backed Gull, and Great Black Backed Gull. Forgive me Andy if I've missed any.  We didnt see some stuff that we hoped too but I'm not complaining. The Purple Sandpiper I've seen before but I had never been close enough to photograph one. We saw a flock of at least 16 at Penzance along with Turnstone. I would have happily killed for some light but it wasn't to be, still I got a couple of record shots.

Purple Sandpiper


The Rock Pipit was a nice surprise, It was in a beautiful coastal location the name of which I've forgotten. We were quite lucky in so much that it was quite an obliging bird. The sun was out too, an added bonus.

Those were the only birds I got to photograph but what I did see were some Fallow Deer. Okay they were in a deer park, but still worth a quick photo or two.

Andy has an amazing patch but in addition to showing me the local bits he also drove me over most of Cornwall, you won't need me to tell you its a beautiful place. The none birding highlight of the trip was the visit to the location where they film Doc Martin- Port Wen. I saw the Docs surgery and some other bits and was blown away by it. I always enjoy being able to say I've seen this or that. We also saw what was at one time the deepest quarry in the world but typical me I cannot recall what it was called, but it too was an amazing sight. the water at the bottom of it was the most fantastic blue colour.

All in all I really enjoyed my stay, and am so looking forward to another trip later in the year. Thank you Andy and Kim.

Back at home I'd done a little exploring when the sun was out, There are nowhere near as many frogs and toads in the pond up the road as last year. I could only many a couple of shots and not from very good vantage points.

Two were under the water.

and these two were partially hidden.

The three Long tailed tit nests I have been watching are all complete. Its a waiting game now until feeding of the chicks begins. My nest boxes are still being visited but no sign of nesting material being taken in yet. I had the Sparrowhawk in the garden again the other day. She sat on the feeder tray for almost a minute facing me, she really is a perfect bird, but as always, as soon as I moved she was off.

I did something this last week that I very rarely do, I took a picture of a plant. I had no idea what it was, but I have identified it as a lesser Celandine. Its not a particularly great shot but I amazed myself that a) I liked it enough to photograph it and b) bothered to identify it.

I am definately getting the bug again, I hope it lasts.