Tuesday, 15 December 2009


SATURDAY 12/12/09
" Oh what a beautiful morning " Yes I felt like singing, Sun was bright, Sky was blue, and I had a lot of birding to do.
My wife was out for the day so it was off down to Carbis Bay near St Ives as this is a good spot for Divers. Grebes and Auks during the winter when the wind is offshore. Just standing in this beautiful spot was reward enough on such a morning, birds seen Gt Northern Divers 3, Shags around 50, Razorbills 7 and a possible Little Auk although this was a long way out even with the scope but I was about 70% certain, Also most of the Gull species common to these shores were in view, but all to far away for Photo's.


So next stop was Hayle Estuary viewing from the main causeway, and what a build up of wintering birds from my last visit. At a guess there must have been 2 or 3 thousand present, so below are a small selection of species seen.

The thing that caught my attention with the Mallards was the bill pattern on the left hand bird. It reminds me of some holy Gothic symbol, could it be that this is the Right Honorable Reverand Mallard with one of his flock.

I spent almost an hour watching this Grey Plover on the left making its way on the waters edge towards me, just a few metres more and it would have given me a good shot as I need one for my archive. Then it stopped and scurried back the way it came and left me with this cropped record shot. On the right are just a few of the species that lined the whole of the shoreline.


So next it was off to the centre of Hayle to stop at Philp's Pasty Shop, where I bought one of their famous Steak Cornish Pasty's for lunch, and drove around the corner to the car park on Copperhouse where I enjoyed every bite. Then I went to the harbour area to see if  any divers were around, but all was quiet so thought I would move on to St Gothian Sands Reserve at Godrevy.

I walked around St Gothian Sands and must say the Bird life was very quiet except for a few Black Headed and Herring Gulls on the main pool with one Little Grebe. So I popped my head over the sand dunes seperating the Reserve from the  Bay and saw that there was plenty of Surfing activity even though the surf was very small.

So I spent a while watching the action and did a small set of this Guy doing his stuff but not always getting it right as the last pic shows. By now it was mid afternoon so decided to call it a day and head home as the temperature and light started to drop.

SUNDAY 13/12/09.


Sunday morning and my pal Mark and I arrived at Marazion just before daybreak,it was really a tranquil setting though very cold. A quick scan of the bay just revealed a couple of Gt Northern Divers far out on the water. It was then across the road to scan the edge of the reedbed as a Jack Snipe had been reported a few days earlier. There were plenty of Snipe on view but not the one we were looking for. Species seen were Teal , Moorhen. Song Thrush, Stonechat Little Egret and Mute Swans.

It was decided we would head for a place called Sandy Cove in Newlyn as a Velvet Scoter was reported the day before. On arrival we had a good scan but nothing was seen so I guess we dipped out on another species. We then decided to drop into Newlyn Harbour (Not literally) as often a Gt Northern Diver can be found in the inner harbour.

On arrival I took a couple of scenes to give an idea of our location, then it was a walk around the harbour where I took the shot of the Herring Gull above.

Just as we moved on Mark spotted our quarry swimming along although a bit to far away for good photos. So an hour later and after loads of shots some of which it gave us closer views we left one of our favourite wintering birds and popped around the corner to Tolcarne Beach, which is where we found 3 Med Gulls one of which is included below.


On arrival back home after lunch I went out to check my feeders and a bird quickly flipped away into the trees, but I saw enough to know I had a Coal Tit back this winter. These little birds can be very quick and difficult to photograph. So I set myself up a short distance away, and after a while it started to move through the branches towards the feeders. I was luckly enough to get some nice shots one of which I have included above. I noticed that most of the birds perched on the same branch while waiting to get onto the feeders, so I set the camera on my tripod quite close and fitted my wireless remote. I then retreated indoors and watched through the kitchen window about 30 ft away, and this is how I got the shots of the Blue Tit and the House Sparrows.


  1. Great post, Monty.
    I can`t remember the last time a saw a Diver of any species.

  2. I enjoyed your weekend outing to all those locations. The Mount at sunrise was definitely worth getting up early Monty.
    Snowing good & proper here now so time to catch up with everyone. Cheers FAB.

  3. Lovely post Monts.

    Although we have Coal Tits all the year round I find it very difficult to get a good shot of them. I smiled at the image of you indoors with the wireless remote..but thinking about it .it does makes sense on these cold winter days.

  4. Great set of images, birds and animals are my favourite but the Mount is always special.