So the only decent ‘find’ on my Hayle patch was a nice 1cy Yellow-legged Gull (196) on the 3rd and then no birding for a week due to other commitments! On the 7th whilst at work I found (and initially mis-identified) the now infamous DALMATIAN PELICAN (197). The finders story has been published elsewhere, so I won’t bore you with it here, but needless to say, the jury is still out as to whether this is a genuine wild bird or free-flying escapee!
Chris Packham, of Springwatch fame and well known Rarities Committee Member (?), has declared on Springwatch recently that we can’t count the Pelican OR the recent Lammergeire on our lists because they won’t be accepted. So that’s that then. ;-). Anyway, the beast is still in West Cornwall and for those wishing to see it, it has taken up residence at Drift Reservoir, where it is best seen first thing in the morning or late afternoon/evening. The rest of the day it spends roaming west Cornwall. It was seen on the rocks at Land’s End lighthouse yesterday, edging ever nearer to a visit to Scilly!
So back to reality and the year-list. The 8th saw a superb male Woodchat Shrike (198) at Marazion which I saw very briefly in the first light, so went back for better views the following day. Nice to catch up with this accessible bird as most of the others reported in Cornwall this year had been miles away on The Lizard!
A trip to Land’s End on the 10th found me surrounded by birders waiting for views of the Dalmatian Pelican. My mate Mark had found a male SERIN (199)there the previous day and that continued to show on and off. Suddenly the rumour spread through the crowd that the Pelican had been seen in Mounts Bay and we were soon left with just the four of us enjoying the singing Serin, Whinchat (200), up to four Turtle Doves (201), Spotted Flycatcher (202) , Barn Owl, Chough and Redpoll. And then what should come soaring out of the fog, right above our heads but the Pelican!!! I managed a few flight shots in the fog before phoning a few of those that had rushed of to the erroneous sighting!
Other new birds of note during May were: Singing male Lesser Whitethroat (203) at Cot Valley on 22nd, a Balearic Shearwater (204), which was the highlight of a dull sea-watch with Brad at Porthgwarra on the 23rd (the weather was superb though!), an OSPREY (205) that flew high north over my house on 25th (Thank god for my cars glass roof!) and Hobby (206), Groppers and Cuckoos on our annual evening trip to The Lizard for Nightjars (207) on the 27th. Brad had 8 Crossbills (208) at his parents house on the 29th so a quick trip up there produced 6 birds including very showy individual. Of course I didn’t have my Camera, so the photo is a dodgy phone-binned effort!