Monday, 17 September 2018

Marazion, Hayle Estuary, Porthgwarra and Stithians Reservoir

An aspiration to find a rare wader or two was much of the motivation for the Cornish trip, and as such we started at Marazion beach shortly after dawn. Visibility was terrible but we marched up and down a decent stretch of the beach, though we only found four Sanderlings, 10 Ringed Plovers, 14 Turnstones, 11 Mediterranean Gulls, a Dunlin, a Rock Pipit and an Oystercatcher for our efforts.

Hayle Estuary was next up. A Water Rail showed for a long time right out in the open. The five juvenile Knot were still present, while an adult Spotted Redshank, two juvenile Ruff, a Common Sandpiper and 85 Dunlin were the most notable among the other waders. Teal numbered 140, a Rock Pipit flew over and a few Mediterranean Gulls were around.

Water Rail at Hayle Estuary

Ruff and Knot at Hayle Estuary

A seawatch at Porthgwarra for just over three hours around midday was worthwhile, not least for the 43 Great Shearwaters seen, almost all of which were in a spectacular single flock! I also noted 31 Balearic Shearwaters, eight Sooty Shearwaters, three Arctic Skuas, two Bonxies and 10 Common Scoters. The usual Gannets, Shags, Fulmars, Manx Shearwaters, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Razorbills and Rock Pipits featured, as they did on each visit.

I enjoyed a visit to Stithians Reservoir later, although it was a bit gusty to view comfortably. A 1CY White Wagtail, Greenshank, 30 Curlews, 12 Dunlin and four Ringed Plovers were the highlights.

1CY White Wagtail at Stithians Reservoir