A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Rose-coloured Starling

On my first morning in Cornwall I left the accommodation at Trevilley Farmhouse and headed through Nanjizal Valley.  My recollection of this valley from years ago was that it was hard to bird and a bit difficult to get through physically too, and I had remembered right.  There's a huge area of sallows and other small trees which must be full of birds but from the footpath you can only see a tiny part of it.  It's possible to see a bit more by wandering round the edges of the fields, but still you know you're only seeing a small proportion of what's in there.  And you do know, because the site is riddled with mistnets and when you hear about what's been trapped there it's inevitably far more than you've seen if you've looked from outside. 

Well I did manage to see 2 Firecrests, one of which was hanging in a net, the odd Chiffchaff and Blackcap, and more surprisingly, I heard a Willow Warbler singing briefly.  Overhead 2 Choughs and 2 Ravens, but not a hint of the 6 Yellow-browed Warblers that were apparently in the valley that morning.

Something strange was singing in the valley - loud and obvious.  Odd, I thought, that something would be singing so strongly, and constantly, at this time of year, but I was more concerned about working out what it was.  It consisted of slow trills at different pitches, a little bit Greenfinch-like but with a loud rich quality that reminded me more of Nightingale.  I couldn't figure it out at all, despite that niggling feeling that it was something I should have recognised.  I looked hard in the direction it was coming from, but couldn't see anything.  I moved round to a different position - still singing strongly, but still no sign.  It seemed to be coming from near the net runs and then the thought occurred to me that it might be a tape lure.  It kept going, incessantly, for the whole time I was there so I'm pretty sure that's what it was, but I'm still none the wiser as to what species was involved!

I'd intended to go further but only managed to get as far as Higher Bosistow before needing to head back as I'd promised Vitty a walk.  That walk was to Sennen Cove via Lands End, partly to check the suitability of the cycle track between the two for running along (not me, you understand!).  The last house along the road to Lands End had a Black Redstart on its roof.

Black Redstart, Lands End, 19th October

At Lands End I decided not to spend long looking for the Dusky Warbler and instead wandered into the complex to find the pasty shop.  Not for pasties (yet) but for the Rose-coloured Starling that had taken up residence there.  That was pretty hard to miss...

 Rose-coloured Starling, Lands End, 19th October

Starling, Lands End, 19th October

Things like Fieldfare, Raven and Stonechats were the best I could muster up between there and Sennen Cove, though looking out to sea we could see 4 Harbour Porpoises.  At Sennen Cove itself 11 Mediterranean Gulls were in the bay and a clump of sycamores along the hill up from the seafront contained several Chiffchaffs.  I'm also 99% sure I heard a Dartford Warbler in this area.

Chiffchaff, Sennen Cove, 19th October

Sparrowhawk, Sennen Cove, 19th October

Longships from Treve Common, 19th October

Jackdaw, Trevescan, 19th October

Back at Trevilley this Great Spotted Woodpecker posed on top of a telegraph pole.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Trevilley, 19th October

A quick look for the Ring-billed Gull at Hayle was unsuccessful, but 38 Mediterranean Gulls there.  A first-winter Pale-bellied Brent Goose was accompanying a single adult Dark-bellied Brent Goose.  Also a lame juvenile Ruff and a Kingfisher.

Grey Heron, Hayle Estuary, 19th October

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