Rufousnaped Lark

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

UK Oct 2015 (Part 2) Lynton to Lands End

We had a nice stay at the North Cliff Hotel in Lynton, the bed was extremely comfortable and the room was very cosy. It was with great effort that we got up to continue our journey, so late in fact that we opted to skip the tour of the flood museum at Lynmouth and carry on to next overnight stop at Lands End.

Lynton to Lynmouth Railway

We drove down along the coast through Bude and Bodmin until we reached the Bedruthan Steps where a giant supposedly used the rocks to cross the bay at high tide when the beach is completely submerged.

Bedruthan Steps

This was eventually where I managed to get to grips with some birds, I noticed small flocks of birds that kept landing and taking off along the cliff edge. With some patience and a bit of stalking I eventually managed to photographed them and what did they turn out to be, pipits.....Rock Pipits.



Rock Pipit (Anthus Petrosus) x 3

I really enjoyed these birds and sat and watched them for quite a while. Their high pitched piping contact calls are very un-pipitlike in my opinion and when I first saw them flying around I thought that they may be some form of euplectids? It was strange for me to see them in flocks as our pipits are mainly loners or at least associate in loose groups.

While watching them I picked up a different bird sitting right on the edge of the cliff. On closer inspection, this turned out to be a male Northern Wheatear in non-breeding plumage..


Northern Wheatear - Oenanthe Oenanthe

Unfortunately I only got the one shot as in my excitement to photograph the bird I didn't check my settings properly and completely blew the rest. Notice all the "miggies" flying around his head, as I walked along the path I had to keep dodging them so that I didn't get a face full, I imagined it was like a Star Wars movie and I was flying through a meteor field, hahahaha (I'll never grow up...).

Another bird I enjoyed watching was this Stonechat (Northern?), which is a familiar bird here in SA but this one looked somehow different, not as neat and colourful as ours but a little scruffy and grizzled looking (according to my Collins fieldguide this should be spring plumage?).

Stonechat

One bird that I heard almost everywhere I stopped was the European Robin which is very vociferous and extremely furtive at the same time. It took me a while to realise that the calls I was hearing (which sounded very sunbirdlike at times) belonged to this bird. I tried everything to get the bird in the open but as you approach them they go quiet and disappear, eventually out of frustration I played a Willow Warblers call from my Roberts Multimedia and out popped the robin..(he probably thought that it was spring and the warblers had returned).

European Robin

A real Christmas card type photo don't you think? It looks like snow in the background but its actually the light coloured roof shingles of the shed behind him...

One group of birds that were also very common on our trip were corvids. They seem to be everywhere but are very wary and don't really allow a close approach..here are two of the species we saw..

Carrion Crow

Rook

With that we left Bedruthan steps and headed off again through the hedgerows to Lands End where the sun was shining and we got some nice sunset shots and another difficult to photograph birdie..

Lands End Hotel

Lands End Panorama

We walked the paths around the hotel, enjoying the scenery and taking lots of photos. then just before the sun disappeared behind the horizon I caught up with a tiny bird which had been teasing me all day, they just don't sit still for a minute. It wasn't really a competition quality photo but at least I had a record shot of a Winter Wren..(its on the right hand rock by the way ;-) )

Winter Wren

And that was it for the day, we went to the hotel pub and spent R450 on two toasted sandwiches with crisps and salad and two beers....the restaurant food was even more expensive!! Imagine what food you could buy for that amount here in Pretoria???


R450!!!!!!
Well at least the room was nice, the bed was again very comfortable and we slept well. The view from our window was also great!!

Lands End Hotel window views!!


 Part 3 to follow shortly.....Lands End to Weymouth



1 comment:

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