Saturday, 27 February 2010

Spring at last?

Having been very jealous of Mr Carter's recent missives from the colonies, where it seems Spring has well and truly arrived, it was great to open the front door to hear Skylarks singing this morning. This was then followed promptly by a biblical downpour! Hmmmm.

Anyway, a perfect example of mixing quality family time and a bit of low key birding today. We headed for Whitsand Bay where Assistant Clerk of Works could run about on the beach (well, stand staring at the sea in the main as it turned out - I reckon she was checking for any wind blown seabirds if truth be told). A rather rapid incoming tide led to some exciting events as Clerk of Works had to rescue the little one from a freak wave which caused much hilarity from yours truly. After a slap up veggie breakfast at the Clifftop cafe (thoroughly recommended) and with daughter fast asleep in the back of the car it seemed rude not to pop to Torpoint where a Ring Billed Gull had been seen. I can't get excited by birding here and the extent of my interest can be gauged by the intent way I scanned for the bird for all of 5 minutes before losing interest. 5 Pale Bellied Brents were nice.

Tide was in so a diversion to Hannafore was negotiated (well both of them were asleep by this point so it was a short discussion - Clerk of Works has a miraculous ability to fall asleep as soon as she gets in a car which I am quite envious of). With the tide so high the flock of Turnstone was close in and apprachable allowing me to fire off several hundred shots, of which no more than two were even half decent. I remember the first time I ever went to Hannafore there was a small flock of Purps. I've never seen one there since, but am always hopeful. Purple Sand is one of those quite enigmatic birds that I always get pleasure from seeing. Anyway, the light was fantastic and yesterdays blow had obviously had an effect. There was 1 Great Northern Diver and 3 Slav Grebes out on the sea, and the resident Eider put in an appearance. I don't know where the Med Gulls go at high tide.

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