Mounts Bay and Drift – 12th November 2017

I appear to have abandoned this blog since 2014/15!! Not good, but a loss of password is to blame! However in order to redeem myself I will try and update the blog with all the tours I have done in the past few years. So here’s the most recent, no photos today unfortunately!

Sunday was cold and blustery as I picked up todays clients, Bob and Maureen from Oxfordshire. They were fortunate to be staying in accommodation overlooking the Hayle estuary and therefore, the estuary wasn’t initially on the itinerary. Mounts Bay was our first port of call but any hope of finding divers and seaducks was dashed as the strong winds made viewing the choppy waters almost impossible. So, we concentrated on the beach where there were plenty of pipits and wagtails feeding on the rotting seaweed. The majority were Meadow Pipits with Rock Pipits amongst them and after a short while I managed to find the Water Pipit feeding at relatively close range with two Pied Wagtails. The beach also held good numbers of Turnstone that seemed oblivious to our presence. Marazion Marsh RSPB was our next venue and a short walk across the road. Species here included Snipe, Teal, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Mallard, Greenfinch, Little Grebe and Stonechat.

The Pacific Diver had been reported the previous two days, so we drove to Roskilly, between Newlyn and Mousehole to view the sea. The bay was much less choppy here but despite searching there was no sign of the diver and an elusive Great Northern Diver was our only consolation.
With the northerly wind still raging I thought we would try our luck at Pendeen. We weren’t there long! After a few minutes of trying without luck to stand upright we gave up! Only Auks, Kittiwakes, Gannets and a lonesome Fulmar on our attempt at seawatching!

Next on the agenda was Drift reservoir. Again, we were hindered by the weather, the high winds making the water more like the Atlantic than a reservoir! Any water fowl that were there were across the far side and under the banks. No sign of the reported Whooper Swans, Geese or Cattle Egrets either!

So back to old faithful, the Hayle estuary. From Bob and Maureen’s digs we managed another 25 species, including an adult Yellow-legged Gull. Other species included Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Lapwing, over 40 Med Gulls, Black Swan, Wigeon, Teal, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Buzzard, Dunlin, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Shelduck and plenty of Gulls to scan through whilst enjoying a coffee! Another highlight was the juvenile Peregrine that spent an age disturbing the flocks of birds across the estuary, on one occasion even chasing a Great Black-backed Gull and pulling its tail feathers!
A very enjoyable morning despite the strong winds and back in time for a Sunday roast.

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