Sunday 26 January 2014

Mediterranean Gulls at Swanpool, Cornwall

Eight Mediterranean Gulls were showing well at Swanpool, Falmouth yesterday.  All but two were adults.  The bird below is already assuming summer plumage.  Numbers of this species seem to be growing year on year and decent size flocks are a familiar sight in the county now.  The nearest breeding colony is in Hampshire though many of our birds seem to originate from Eastern Europe.  A few more images can be found on my Flickr site link here

Saturday 18 January 2014

Slavonian Grebe at Stithians Reservoir

I took the image below at Stithians Res.  This individual has been present for about a month but it has always been distant.  Yesterday it swam directly in front of the hide, close enough to capture this frame filler.  

Cormorant at Carnsew Pool

I took this shot of a Cormorant at Carnsew Pool, Hayle last week.  Its the most distinctive Cormorant I've seen for a while, especially compared to the other ten birds it was fishing with.  The extensive white markings on the nape indicate breeding adult plumage.  Given that the photo was taken last week, breeding clearly starts early in Cornwall.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Grey Phalarope at Castle Beach, Falmouth

I saw this Grey Phalarope several days ago and managed to get a couple of shots but I was always fighting the light.  I decided to go again today at low tide when more exposed rocks enabled better views.  My idea was to try and get round the side of the bird with the sun at best over my shoulder.  I eventually found a rock which enabled me to get the desired shot (and a good soaking in the process). I've got several other reasonable shots but this one was one of my faves. 

Black-throated Diver at Carnsew Pool, Hayle

Black-throated Diver is a regular winter visitor to Cornwall, mainly frequenting the sheltered bays between St Austell and Falmouth.  A maximum count so far this winter is 47 in Gerrans Bay in December.  When news of a single bird was present at Carnsew Pool this week, my interest was heightened as the species is decidedly uncommon on the north coast. Indeed, according to local supremo Laurie Williams, Carnsew has hosted Black-throated Diver just three times.  This is also the first time I have photographed the species at relatively close quarters.

Below is a shot I took this afternoon.