Saturday, 8 January 2011
Clerk of Works was away for the first time without the Assistant this weekend, a BIG EVENT. So finally I was entrusted with my offspring for a whole two days. Yesterday I toyed with taking her down to Penzance, eager as she was to tick Pacific Diver (for her British list of course, she already having noted the salient ID features in Canada). Instead we opted for the local area and a saunter around Siblyback in the morning and a quick stop at Hannafore in the afternoon.
Siblyback was its usual quiet self, apart from the hordes of Canada Geese, with the only bird of note being a female Goosander. I couldn't even find a Yellow legged amongst the gulls. However, I was struck by this beauty of pointless signage. Now which way would you go? Lots of choice. What if one has a wood-phobia? And a rather jaunty angle if I may say so.
Despite the lack of birds it was good to be out, although the brisk wind meant that the windsurfers were out in force, including one individual who obviously thought the buoys marking the "no watersports" zone were purely decorative as he proceeded to hurtle to and fro, scattering the few birds that were present (can you scatter a Coot?)
The light at Hannafore was excellent and a traditional lazy scan from the car turned up the Scaup as still present, along with 3 Slav Grebes and 3 Great Northern Divers.
Bird of the day, however was on the route home, when, a few hundred metres from home, a superb Barn Owl was sitting on a rock by the side of the road. There's something really special about these birds, and I always get a thrill from seeing one well. Brings back memories of birding the Derwent Ings where they were regular. So I've promised myself to go on a likely nesting site hunt.
Today we settled for a toddler paced potter up the lane "to see the horses". Less than half a mile from the house and conveniently on the route to Siblyback is this hugely promising spot. This will swiftly become my next in a long line of promising spots that fail to turn up anything. Nice reedy fringes, overhanging willows. A perfect migrant trap if ever there was one. And if uttering those words isn't the best way to ensure that it will be anything but, I don't know what is. I'll keep you posted. Bet you can't wait.
P.S: This afternoon I decided against a blast up to Dozmary as I had a tree surgeon coming round (and that isn't the cue for a joke). This evening I find out that someone has found a Lesser Scaup there. Grrrrr.