I took a stroll by the Beach Pool yesterday afternoon and once again it was devoid of any newcomers. Two Cormorants were perched close to each other (adult and juvenile) on the far side of the pool but little else of interest. The cygnet and goslings have made rapid improvement and I suspect are now out of the critical stage of development.
Pied Wagtail ....................Motacilla alba Rock Pipit .......................Anthus petrosus Birds blend into the background so well that they can be easily missed. The Pied Wagtail and Rock Pipit in the photographs show how well they accomplish this.
The curtains of darkness were closing fast as we stood at the crossroads like Easter Island Statues. We were hoping to wave the white flags if we got the chance but as it happened the Nightjars became curious and decided to have a close look at us.. not once.. but twice . I shot six photographs in the near dark conditions…. and although they serve as a reminder of this excellent evening ..I will not be showing them . Thanks go to our Guide Derek and also Sam and Poppy.
The Beach Pool tonight contained the usual residents but nothing new having a stopover. Once again a Buzzard was seen just above the skyline but a little too far for my lens to get a good shot. We walked along the far rocky end of the beach and had a good view of Pied Wagtails, Rock Pipit and Stonechats and a more distant view of a Goldfinch and Crows. The shoreline held quiet a few of the usual gulls including a nice chocolate headed Black-headed Gull. On the rocks were three Oystercatchers (a patch tick) which we managed to photograph.
I took a stroll down to the harbour at Charlestown. The Square Sail sailing ships were all still absent and the harbour looks a little barren without them.
On the shingle beach path an adult Rock Pipit was darting around just in front of me...I glanced into the nearby hedge and saw a small shapepeering at me, it had to be a youngster because it did not move even when I got a little closer. I took a few quick photographs and left them in peace.
We had a look at Par Beach Pool in the evening but it was residents only. The Gorse Walk did provide a patch tick when two Great Tits flew past us and into the distance. The last part of the evening was spent trying to get a decent shot of the Goldcrest and the youngsters darting around the Pine tree. We failed to get a decent image between us.
A five mile walk along the Camel Trail with local expert Derek Julian and his wife Sam gave us (Angie and Myself) two life ticks which I know we would not have had without Derek's fantastic long range identifying skills. Thanks for a good day.
The photographs taken during the week of the Swan, Cormorant and Heron and kindly submitted to the StAustellbaywatch Blog were all taken by Peter Henderson at Par Beach Pool using his Canon equipment. Thanks for the interest Peter.
Grey Heron.....................Ardea cinerea The Grey Heron shots were taken at the far side of Par Beach Pool which I think is about the limit I can expect for a reasonable image from a hand-held 400mm lens. I do not publish many in flight shots for the simple reason they are not good enough....I think the shot of the Heron just squeezes in.
Canada Goose......................Branta canadensis The young geese look as if they are at the stage where they soon will be looking after themselves. I am pretty sure the majority survived predation and will now add to the ever increasing numbers in the UK.
At the last minute we decided to go and have a quick look at Par Beach Pool and surrounding area. I doubt we had great expectations but you can never tell what is in store. At the pool I was counting the Canada Geese and Angie was in conversation with a local couple when after thirty C.G's I spied four little black and white jobs..........Tufted Ducks at the the local *Duckstop*, refuelling and a having a lazy wash and brush up. Overhead flew a Kestral and at the waters edge a Little Egret fished. A Nice start. Next a Jay flew between the trees giving another patch tick. A fluttering in the trees turned out to be another patch tick ...a welcome and really badly photographed Goldcrest. The reedbed provided another patch tick and also a Lifer for me when the hoped for Ceti's Warbler turned out to be a Reed Warbler, After seeing a young Reed Bunting on the ground and Willow Warbler (another patch tick ) in the trees we stayed at the poolside all evening hoping for better photographs of the birds we had seen.
Yesterday's evening was spent on dog watch which is very loosely termed. In reality it is up there with watching paint dry as Hesper sleeps throughout the day.
Watching a dozing canine I got to wondering what bird watching was all about. Eventually I arrived at the solution.... big business. The lone man hitch hiking to locate a rare species has been superseded by jet age travel and high tech gadgets as the frantic search for rarities continues at supersonic pace. Loaded down with the latest very expensive high tec' equipment, satnav, pager and the ubiquitous four wheel drive the New Age birder travels vast distances that the early birder only read about in the Dan Dare article in the Eagle comic.
The halcyon days of tickling trout (no longer allowed) Steam Trains (sadly missed) ,blonde bus conductress' , and conkers have now been replaced by the need for speed, power, money and wishful thinking.
We now jump aboard the electronic highway twittering and blogging letting our far flung reader on some obscure island in the South Pacific know that we saw a Jack Snipe at the waters edge and have the the photographic evidence to prove it.
The only way now to see some of the older reasonably common species and now gradually becoming rare is to go out with an experienced ringer guide and a mist net.
Unlike us the birds have learnt a lesson or two. They now understand the need for speed and have cleared off. The lazy blighters of the bird world have taken up residence just out of sight of rural and urban gardens and as soon as you are off on your weekend jaunt converge and do serious damage to your feeder stock.
Some of the smarter birders now realise you will see more species in your back garden than chasing after the new age speedsters. Think about what that would do for your carbon footprint and bank balance.
A Market Town since 1189 and has now undergone a major regeneration program .
The new shopping and leisure centre (White River Place) opened October 2009 and employs 500 - 700 people.
Imery's modernized China Clay industry employs 2000 which is a huge drop from the early 20th Century when tin, copper and china clay found in the hills made St Austell a major Cornish industrial centre.
Another industry still alive and kicking is the St Austell Brewery which celebrated 150 years of trading in 2001.
This blog aims to provide a documented account of the Natural History and Wildlife of this small stretch of under watched headland. Your participation would be most welcomed. To contribute to this Blog. Please send any photographs(old or new), sighting or articles etc to firstname.lastname@example.org