Sunday, 13 October 2013

Two Buggy Days

Friday October 11
An even later start to-day. I woke at 7.30 after a good night’s sleep - and stayed there, reading. All I could see was inhospitable looking grey sky until I sat up and saw a sunlit harbour, reflected light flashing off the swinging windscreens of the myriad boats dotting Town Bay.
Pam went shopping. I read, did word games and listened to my CB, waiting for something worth a sortie. The flighty Purple Heron turned up in a field along the track to Harry’s Walls, I decided that it would have gone by the time we got there.  I was proved right.
After a late lunch, we walked to Porthcressa which has had a facelift. The beach front has really been tarted up. We found somewhere to sit where we could scan the bay and enjoy the hot sunshine. A Little Egret, two Curlews, a flock of Black-headed Gulls, one Dunlin, a Kestrel hovering over Buzza, small flocks of Starlings, Shags and Cormorants on the exposed rocks and numerous fishing Gannets out to sea.
The Gry Maritha came surging around the corner to disappear round Peninnis and, 15 minutes after sounding the departure hooter, the Scillonian creamed the other way. The not strong in the first place, wind, eased totally this afternoon. We were too hot in the sun.
Nice sunset from the flat window.

Apologies for the wonky skyline - leaning too far out of the window. I lost my perspective. Nothing else fortunately.

This is the end of a very frustrating first half of England’s vital qualifier against Montenegro. No real midfield quality, few scoring chances - and they were all missed. Same old story.

The end result was 4 -1 to England. Andros Townsend made a spectacular debut. Good but flattering. A lot of underhand behaviour by the Montenegrans went unpunished, they deserved to lose.

Saturday October 12

We hired a buggy again for  both to-day and to-morrow.. The age limit for driving is 75 and Pam will exceed that on Monday. When I looked for my paper driving license where it’s always kept... it wasn’t there. Bother.
A little later, 9.30, but we were there by 9.20. It takes 10 minutes to complete the forms.
Lower Moors was the first stop, Shooters Pool to look for the Spotted Crake. Two Mallard and nothing else. An oncoming birder told us of two Jack Snipe seen from the ISBN hide, so we gave up and hot-footed (!!) it there.
Just the one birder in the hide when we arrived, reporting that the Jacks had disappeared into the reeds. We stayed for 40 minutes admiring the three pretty distant Greenshanks, feeding avidly, squabbling, hopping on one leg, never still. 

A Kingfisher made two short appearances, perching momentarily on a metal spike, one female Teal swirled about. Breakfast/Brunch was calling. 

Another call-in at Shooters Pool gave us less than cracking views of a Jack Snipe asleep in the reedbed. Three birds were pesent ... somewhere. 
Back on the road, half a dozen birders peering through a gap in the hedge along Telegraph road was irresisitible. Just in time to see a Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap, I didn’t see the Redwing.
Old Town Cafe was closed for the day, we climbed up the slope to Tolmans where we were the sole customers. The menu was for lunch. I asked the waitress if it was too late for breakfast, the chef said no so we both had a Full English. It’s a long time since I ate : bacon, egg, sausage, mushrooms, hash browns, fried potato, tomatoes, a slice of toast and baked beans. Actually I didn’t. Pam had all but two bits of mushroom and I left the tomatoes and fried potatoes. Stuffed. 
Despite waiting 20 minutes, patient standing time for us, we did not see the Red-breasted Flycatcher, nor did many others.
I love the Saturday Telegraph best of all. To make sure of getting a copy, we drove back to Hughtown before returning to Old Town Churchyard for another look.
Trying to decide whether to take the lower path again or the higher one near the monument, we were joined by Steve Joyner (no pun intended). He told us about their India trip and the next one in the new year and asked about Borneo which Betty is keen to visit. A flock of about 20 Redwings flew over whilst we were talking.
A CB message reporting the incredibly elusive Purple Heron flying from Lower Moors towards the airfleld sent us scurrying down the steps for a better aerial view. No deal. It was also reported flying this morning and we missed that too. What made it worse, as I came out of the loos,  a man was showing his wife a photo of it, which he’d taken on his phone.
The bird has led birders a merry dance over the last week, few have seen it.
We drove on to spend time in Carreg Dhu gardens where we saw two Goldcrests.
More lovely butterflies to-day. Speckled Wood is the commonest, we’ve also seen Red Admiral, Comma and Clouded Yellow.
Four hours after our gigantic breakfast, we had room to visit the Kaffeehaus near Telegraph. I had the best Apple Streudel I’ve ever eaten and Pam had apple and ginger cake fresh from the oven. The owner was there to-day, she was lovely. As was the helper who has offspring in Manila, Byron Bay and the States and used to run St Mary’s campsite. We were the only customers, they had time to chat ! A Sparrowhawk flew past as Pam was paying the bill and chatting. I listened.
Porth Low, one of our favourite places to end the day. As I finished commenting that we’d had Wheatears in three bays yesterday, none to-day, they must have gone, three of the said birds flew in. Two Little Egrets looked for food amongst the low tide rocks along with a Grey Heron. One Curlew and the ubiquitous Oystercatchers the only other species present.
Time to drop off the Bug and trudge back to the flat. Another lovely sunny day.

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