Saturday, 12 January 2013

They're back

With an unpredictable  weather forecast ranging from full sunshine to snow in Cornwall i really didn't know how the weekend was going to pan out. With another visit to the coast needed, 2 WeBS counts and work at home (broken immersion heater) it was going to be a busy weekend again.

Having woken up to find out it was dry it was out to the coast by 9am. This was the third visit to Hells Mouth this year and the anticipation of real nesting action gets stronger every visit. In mid morning sunshine with heavy rain in the distance on all sides 84 Fulmar were present, Shag nest building again (2) with four more standing next to nests, a Kestrel sitting on the fence post, a pair of Raven on territory, Oystercatchers piping and 50+ Jackdaw on the cliff face all made for a great watch but the highlight was - the return of four Cormorant.

Now, in a previous post i passed  comment that i had yet to record Cormorant at Hells Mouth this year and was dubious if they would nest on the islet or on the cliff face if they even returned after last years disastrous season. The cliff face would see ten nest records down the pan as they would be out of sight for monitoring as i found out two years ago. Well thankfully this morning they were back and on the ridge of the islet in full monitoring view. Last season two individuals of the ten pairs that nested bore silver rings but alas having to use 60 x zoom on the telescope eyepiece coupled with heat haze meant that i couldn't get enough ring detail so it'll be interesting to see if any sport rings this year. Oh for colour ringing.

So, what will the first record card be - Raven or Cormorant? At the moment it's too difficult to hazard a guess.

Afterwards it was over to Pendarves Lake for a WeBS count. Very little on the lake, just Mallard, Moorhen and Little Grebe but the woodland is coming to life. Plenty of tit action with Great's singing, Coal, Blue's and Long-taileds all moving through feeding, plenty of Goldcrest flitting about, a single Chiff Chaff and a good supply of Blackbirds. Unfortunately the blue sky turned to a  leaden grey colour and threatened something nasty so the passing of a drifting Sparrowhawk overhead signalled time to go home for some immersion heater fun.

All in all a great day, filling out the first nest record card is just round the corner, shame the immersion still doesn't work. Will have to try again tomorrow.

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