Archive for Nov 3rd, 2020


Not so easy does it

The Cornish valleys hold secrets. They are enclaves for migrating birds as they travel through the Cornwall peninsula south to Iberia and ultimately Africa. A bespoke tour last week sought to disclose a few of those secrets.

We started out the day on Saturday in light rain. Our quest, a Rustic Bunting, lurking in the midst of Nanjizal. You have to love some of the names of the valleys; Nanquidno, Nanjulian, Porthgwarra Nanjizal to name just a few. Places where avian legends have been made. We were hoping the Rustic was still present from the previous day.

The logistics of parking around the Cornish coast are challenging to say the least. However, having squeezed our cars off the road we made the trek across field after muddy field. Signage at these places is lacking. Following footpaths became a brain teasing puzzle. It’s almost as if these Cornish fellows don’t want ‘outsiders’ to find these damn places. The rain increased. The wind got up. Cloaks of opaque air blew through the valley in wave after wave of relentless rain. We got wet … and when I say we got wet … I mean … we got WET. It was if someone had subjected us each to at least a dozen ice bucket challenges. We were cold and we were soddened through to the skin. Gortex coats and boots alike were no match against the Atlantic storm riding in from the sea. No self-respecting Rustic Bunting, or should it be Rusty Bunting, would be out in this lot. We gave it up as a bad job and sought solace in Cot valley.

Here we were in a different world. The clouds drifted away the blueness of the sky reflected itself in azure waters and the sun came out. It was now hot. Our bodies were being steam dried.

Our compensation came in the form of a Dusky Warbler. Dusky Warblers never give a feast of a showing but this one at least gave us a taster from time to time. It sat atop bushes and bracken when least expected before flitting away like some sort of spectre. Getting a photo in the time we had was never going to amount to anything special… and it didn’t. Eventually though, we all had good views. We were satisfied with that and we considered the day a success, if not a little challenging.

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Nov 2020


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