Tuesday 5 November 2019

Sennen, Pendeen and Helston Boating Lake

There was no escape from the gank weather in Cornwall, but at least as we stood in the vast, shit-strewn field behind the shop at Sennen, we had an intimate encounter with the heavily moulting, hotly debated PADDYFIELD PIPIT. Surprising flyovers while on site included a Ruff and a Swallow, while a couple of Redwings flew through, a Raven was feeding and the fields were scattered with Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.

2cy+ Paddyfield Pipit at Sennen

An hour-and-a-half of seawatching at Pendeen was filled with auks, mainly Guillemots, probably in their thousands, but with a decent number of Razorbills thrown in. A Long-tailed Duck, a Bonxie, three Red-throated Divers, eight Mediterranean Gulls and the occasional Common Scoter kept interest up but we had to move on shortly after midday.

Helston Boating Lake was twitched for the adult drake LESSER SCAUP, which showed quite well, but we found the juvenile female mooted Lesser Scaup more intriguing. It looked alluringly like the real deal but the contrasting dark mantle was offputting. Frustratingly, it wouldn't reveal its wings in the field but someone dealt the killer blow on Twitter in the evening with an open wing shot, revealing far too much white in the wing bar in the primaries. Also present were 15 Shovelers and a Grey Wagtail.

adult drake Lesser Scaup at Helston Boating Lake

1cy female Lesser Scaup x Tufted Duck hybrid