I started the day at Telscombe, in search of the recently reported Quail. A couple of singing Corn Buntings and Yellowhammers, along with a fair few Skylarks and a handful of House Martins and Swifts were among the birds noted. However, my quest was cut short by news of the American Royal Tern's reappearance, this time on the Hayle Estuary in Cornwall.
Things were quickly shifted around and I set off west. News on the bird was positive till late morning and by the time I arrived at the Hayle Estuary at 4pm it had not been seen for over five hours. I wasn't quite sure how to play it but scanned the estuary for a short while, with three Whimbrel, five Wigeon and seven Little Egrets the most noteworthy observations, before taking a punt on looking off St.Gothian Sands, despite the bad light.
At St.Gothian Sands, there was of course orange-billed tern offshore but a steady procession of Manx Shearwaters went by, along with smaller numbers of Fulmar, Gannet, Kittiwake, Shag, Guillemot and Razorbill. A Reed Warbler was singing in the reedbed and another was gathering nesting material nearby. The main pool hosted Little Grebe and 15 Sand Martins, while a Meadow Pipit was in song on the slopes.
Deciding I wasn't in a fit state to drive back home, I crashed out at the Penzance YHA, getting a dorm to myself for £15, perhaps the biggest win of the day.