Tuesday 16 June 2009

Return from Cornwall

Just a brief summary of my trip back from the SW on Sunday - bit light on photos, but never mind.

First stop was back at Colliford Res, where the duck showed considerably better, though still poorly in the grand scheme of things. Had a long chat to a birder from York about European birding destinations we'd either been to or wanted to visit, exchanged a few tips and ideas.

As the heat haze gradually worsened, I made a move down to the coast again, this time looking for Cirl Buntings. Although I'm a big fan of Prawle Point, it felt like a long trek and would've probably been rammed with people on a sunny Sunday. Instead, I went to Wembury, near Plymouth.... which was a shorter trek, but still rammed with people. Park in the village to avoid the £4 extortion racket that is run in the NT carpark, and then walk down to the beach and west along the coastpath near some horse paddocks. Within half a mile I'd found a handsome singing male Cirl and his other half - enjoyed watching these for a while in the sunshine.

Heading east again, my final stop was near Colyford in Devon. Lower Bruckland Ponds (click for map) had been recommended to me by a fellow Large Blue watcher the previous day, and I'd recommend it to anyone into dragon- and damselflies. Apparently the owner is happy for people to wander round for a look, though a donation to the site's upkeep is suggested.

Although all the photos are Common Blue Damselflies, there was a decent range of species including 1 Red-veined Darter, 1 Emperor, several Black-tailed Skimmer, and many Blue-tailed Damsels. The site has also got 'form' for Lesser Emperor and Small Red-eyed Damsels, amongst other things, and I was told about Scarce Chasers on the River Axe just west of here.

The rest of the trip home was a tedious combination of avoiding traffic jams on the A303 and M3, and failing to avoid the traffic jam on the west side of the M25... not so good!

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