I had no intention of doing any sort of list this year after 2014’s dismal numbers but having just got to 120 species by 11th January, a decent County list might be a target for 2015!
So, the11th saw me back with my old birding partner Mark Halliday for a very rare Sunday morning foray! No photos Im afraid as most of the stuff we saw was too distant for decent images to be taken. Penzance was our first destination where the sea was relatively flat and visibility good. Despite the conditions it was some time before we eventually picked up the PACIFIC DIVER. A female Eider was off Eastern Green and the almost resident male flew past us a short time after. Not that it bothered the female. The male here has built a very odd relationship with a Great Black-backed Gull and you rarely see one without the other!! Other birds in the Bay were Great Northern Diver and a Slavonian Grebe. The tide was well in during the time we were there and I once again missed the Purple Sandpipers!
A quick stop at Marazion Marsh RSPB for Bittern proved fruitless. One was seen by another observer to fly a short distance from the main marsh to the other side of the railway as we walked the other way! Cetti’s Warblers were in good voice though and a pair of Pintail were seen from the five bar gate.
We ended the morning at Hayle where the tide was on the way out. Scrutinising the small gull flock proved dividends when Mark picked up an adult Yellow-legged Gull, another patch year tick! No sign of the alleged Caspian Gull but a great morning overall with four more species added to the year list.
Species number 120 was a chance encounter with a Barn Owl near Chiverton Cross roundabout at 6am on 13th January, en-route to pick up a colleague!