Sunday, 5 June 2016

Cornish Pasties

Switched our family holiday from Kent to Cornwall at the last minute, as the prospect of a Lammergeier and a Dalmatian Pelican at large seemed too good an opportunity to pass up. The main species I had been hoping for was Heath Fritillary and it seemed there was a chance of those in Cornwall too...

Our drive across Dartmoor failed to turn up the elusive Lammergeier, though I was perhaps a little over optimistic. More successful was my Monday morning twitch to Drift Reservoir to check out the other avian colossus of rather suspicious origin, a Dalmatian Pelican. This bird arrived on a big warm southeasterly which brought in a wide range of other rares, including Great Bustard in Kent. It is thought to be a bird that was previously in Poland. Unlikely to be accepted, but as good a candidate as any, being unringed, wary and arriving in mid May with a great supporting cast. The bird has given a lot of people the run around, but in recent days has been spending much of its time on Drift Reservoir. After a bit of a run around myself (as the bird seemed to have disappeared) another birder tipped me off, and I scooted over the dam and round into the northeast arm, where this giant was happily standing on a tree stump preening in the early morning sun. Escape or not, a really stonking bird, with a bright tomato-soup orange throat pouch and curly mop top. Smart.

 One of the Mallards is saying to the other "Don't go near it. They eat Pigeons you know!"

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