Monday, August 29, 2011

West Penwith Wildlife

Another excellent stay in West Penwith. The highlights weren't photographed unfortunately. Excellent views of Slow Worm and Adder on the cliff walks, a couple of Basking Sharks early on in the week, a Sunfish, several Harbour Porpoises.

There was a huge movement of Manx Shearwaters south past Sennen and on one morning 9 Sooty Shearwaters in an hour (when c.670 Manx flew by). Only one Balearic Shearwater and one Arctic Skua. Peregrines were thin on the ground but Ravens and Choughs showed regularly and a few migrants like Whimbrel.

Walking back along Bosistow Lane one afternoon we passed a couple of birders. I asked them what they were looking for but didn't get an answer (why are birders so uncommunicative?) so had a look as went by and saw this (sorry about the very poor shot):

Western Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli

I had no idea this was present (this was its last of three days) and it is my first in the UK (but seen quite a few abroad, including in Morocco earlier this year). The question is was it self found? I would probably have walked straight past it had there not been birders hanging around and it wasn't calling at the time. It didn't feel like a find anyway.

Here's a selection of other beasties from the week. The shieldbug is new to me; the sharp pronotal spines are distinctive. It is a predator of caterpillars. The Sand Wasp was quite abundant.

Picromerus bidens

Sand Wasp Ammophila sp.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria selene

Common Blue Polyommatus icarus

Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae

Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara

Canon EOS 500D 18-55mm

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