Thursday, May 22, 2014

I tried to get all 'arty' on my walk from Mousehole to Lamorna last week and as a result I got some rather strange and pretty amateurish shots of the sea and a wet foot to accompany me on what would have otherwise been a quite pleasant stroll. The temptation to try my slow shutter stuff and the waves drew me ever closer to the rock sea meeting point until my foot was in the sea side of the affair and I had a rather pathetic 'no fair' face on.

Apart from that it was another perfect Spring day and the temptation of the various microcosms of habitat along the coastline made me decide to venture in that direction. It is a walk of about three miles and as you can see there are open spaces, heathland, the sea, pine woods and cliffs to hide various living things. I found a few...

Although pretty dull and usually quite common, Rock Pipits seem to be in very low numbers this year. This could be due to the fact that our winter storms just washed away their food sources and or their homes. With waves reaching thirty feet or so there weren't too many crag and nooks to hide in. This was one of two I saw flitting around on the rocks. Possibly a mating pair but definitely better at keeping their legs out of the sea than me.

This Whimbrel did a very good job of hiding while I was clambering up the rocks. It was not until I startled it that he became apparent against the blue background while flying off. I felt a little bad interrupting what was a break from migrating from the sub-arctic to South America or Africa.

As I had been out in direct sunlight for over eight minutes the wooded area approximately half way along the walk was a perfectly timed and shaded change of scene.

Now that the sun was out of the way my next issue was to both stare up into the trees to see what I could find but not inadvertently walk into any. I would call that multitasking and I just about managed. Jays are one of the native to Britain birds that do not make it across the sea to the Isles of Scilly and as a result this was the second Jay I have ever seen. I like them, they have the most grating call but being pinky orange and having a blue wing just makes them winners.

This part of the coast is a wonderful compromise of the granite cliffs we are known for down here and the soft and calm looking sea. Given the way in which Mounts Bay is shaped it avoids all but rare South Easterly gales there is not the dramatic feel you see along some of the other stretches of Penwith on the North side. This gives the place a little more of a soft and welcoming feel and an almost 'entry level' introduction to the spectacle that Granite and the sea can create.

I decided to cut through the fields along the top of the cliffs to try and get some lovely panoramic shots of Mounts Bay and the coast path from above. Instead I got lost. I took my wet foot and dry foot through what felt like fifty different fields all with cow pats in varying stages of dryness (and wetness) and after trying to photograph some of the contributors to the constant buzzing and humming in the hedgerows I decided just to try and find civilization. This came in the form of Mousehole...

My walk was over and I thought it was not really my best. Wet foot had turned to Trenchfoot and I had spent the majority of my lost in fields time thinking I was going to perish from sunburn and hunger. The scenery was great, the weather good but my pictures and findings were fairly average at best. Really vinegary chips on the rocks seemed to be a good way to finish the day and put a silver lining on what wasn't really that grey of a cloud but a cloud anyway. And so I did and I made friends fast....

In the background another inquisitive visitor in the form of a pair of Wheatear stopped by to see if my dinner was worth loitering around for....

Then word spread underwater and another visitor dropped in to say hello...

So it seems that sitting around eating chips can actually be a better way to see wildlife than rambling.

Ten points for guessing what was hiding by my feet this morning.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures despite your rather long walk! I often find it's when you're not deliberately looking for things that they appear. Hope life in Cornwall is treating you well? It's a beautiful part of the world. CT.