More Work Related Birding

Throughout the various lockdowns I have been fortunate in that I have been able to travel around outside of the local area. Sometimes if I am in the truck it can be frustrating when I pass close to good birding sites that I am not able to stop at. However on occasions I do get out in a car. I currently have six car days out, either completed or planned. On these trips, with a little bit of planning I am usually able to take my statutory breaks somewhere that I can do a bit of birding. Yesterday I was able to have a brief stop at the Farlington Marshes car park where, typically the tide was right out. I did manage to add Med Gull to my year-list and had what could be a final sighting of Brent Geese until the autumn. Then it was onto Southsea where I had a stroll down to the Castle. It hurt a bit having to pay £1.80 for an hours parking but with the short time available it was unavoidable. Purple Sandpiper was the target bird and when the tide is out they are not always easy to find as a lot of the rocks are out of sight below the sea defences. I struck lucky though with six birds seen at reasonably close range. I was also hoping for Rock Pipit but these couldn’t be found.

For today I had a fairly long trip planned, starting in Redruth. I left Swindon at 03:30 and somewhere around Launceston was in need of a leg stretch and some food. I stopped in a layby for a few minutes and after a wander checked out Cornwall bird sightings. I notice Ring-necked Ducks reported at Dozmary Pool. I had no idea where this was so had a quick look on google maps. I was pretty chuffed to find that it was not far from where I was and even better only just off of the A30. So my first break was taken at around half six, overlooking the water, where from the car I soon found three RND along with some Pochard, Tufties, Shoveler and Goldeneye.

After Redruth I was headed for Plymouth, en-route I passed the premises of Castle Motors / Aviation where I was surprised to see a Lightning Jet displayed at the premises along with a live helicopter.

From Plymouth it was onto Exeter and the Exmouth. As most birders are aware this is where a Northern Mockingbird was found in early February and it was still around. I was lucky enough to be able to discover its location so was able to stop and have a look for it. The gods were obviously looking down on me as I had only been looking for a few minutes when it appeared in one of the trees that it has been favouring throughout the time it has been here. I have mentioned before that looking for birds in gardens is definitely It didn’t stay for long but I had a great view of it and even managed a reasonable picture. My final break was taken at Bowling Green Marsh but the hoped for waders were all out on the estuary mud as the tide was out. There were plenty of Wigeon and Teal around and I did manage to year tick Blackwit so not a wasted visit.

In all I covered 470 miles, did four site visits and got one lifer and two other year ticks so overall it was a good day.

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