Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Cornwall - 23rd to 30th August

We had a week booked at our cottage in Cornwall, four nights of which were to be camping in the garden as we had family staying in the house. The weather for much of the week was hot, sunny, still and generally glorious, great for camping and the beach but not so good for birding - and in particular seawatching.

On 25th I was up early and went to Pendeen for a brief seawatch and then on to Kendijack. At Pendeen the sea was like a millpond and I saw relatively little a single Sooty Shearwater and a Balearic Shearwater plus 1000's of Manx Shearwater moving west. At Kenidjack the highlights were three Tree Pipit moving west, Blackcap, Whitethroat, 12 Chiffchaff, a single Common Sandpiper and a Greenshank over. The resident pair of Chough put on a good show at the seaward end of the valley.

Chough - Kenidjack

Chough - Kenidjack

Sleeping in the garden in a tent overnight was fantastic, not a breath of wind and lovely mild evenings. During the four nights we had Barn Owl over the cottage and Little Owl and Tawny Owl calling a little more distantly plus we heard Curlew, Whimbrel and Dunlin during the night.

On 28th I walked out from the cottage and west along the coast path, it was absolutely still and I didn't see many birds. Highlights being thrree Yellow Wagtail and two Tree Pipit plus a couple of family parties of Stonechat. Offshore there were large numbers of Manx Shearwater many becalmed and loafing around in large rafts. There were around 25 Common Dolphin (including at least five calf) and two Bottled-nosed Dolphin offshore while an lovely female Adder was new for the patch.

View from Pen Enys Point west towards Carn Naun Point. This is the nearest stretch of coast to our cottage

Stonechat (juvenile male) - Pen Enys Point

The parasol mushroom Macrolepiota procera - Pen Enys Point

Speckeld Wood - Trowan

Common Dolphin off Trowan

Common Dolphin off Trowan

On 29th the forecast was for a force 4-5 north-west wind and so I headed for Pendeen and spent the morning seawatching. It was not as busy as I had hoped but 18 Sooty Shearwater, five Balearic Shearwater, one Storm-petrel, one Arctic Skua and a Bonxie plus a constant stream of Manx Shearwater made the morning enjoyable.

I ran the moth trap at the cottage on four nights but it was fairly slow going. Highlights were Frosted Orange, Small Wainscot and up to six Delicate, a species often thought of as a migrant but it certainly breeds around Trowan. A list of species recorded is provided below.

Frosted Orange - Trowan

Frosted Orange - Trowan

Delicate - Trowan

Small Wainscot - Trowan

Rosy Rustic - Trowan

Angle Shades
Brimstone Moth
Burnished Brass
Common Carpet
Common Rustic agg.
Common Wave
Dark Arches
Double-striped Pug
Early Thorn
Flame Shoulder
Flounced Rustic
Frosted Orange
Garden Carpet
Green Carpet
Hedge Rustic
Knot Grass
Large Yellow Underwing
Lime-speck Pug
Mullein Wave
Orange Swift
Peach Blossom
Pinion-streaked Snout
Poplar Hawk-moth
Purple Bar
Rosy Rustic
Ruby Tiger
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Sharp-angled Peacock
Shuttle-shaped Dart
Small Square-spot
Small Wainscot
Square-spot Rustic
Straw Dot

Acleris comariana
Acleris variegana
Agapeta hamana
Agriphila straminella
Agriphila tristella
Agrotis segetum
Celypha lacunana
Elophila nymphaeata
Epiphyas postvittana
Evergestis forficalis
Lobesia littoralis
Nomophila noctuella
Udea ferrugalis