A collection of wildlife photographs



Sunday, 26 April 2015

Cornish Birds and Plants

On the Easter weekend 2015 I went with my family to Newquay, Cornwall. Aside from eating pasties and surfing, there were several occasions where we got to see the local wildlife. One of them was just on a walk along the headland of Fistral beach.

By the cliff edge sat a Carrion Crow Corvus corone looking around shiftily. It dissapeared behind a tussock of grass for a moment, and reappeared with a Slow Worm Anguis fragilis in its beak. The 5 photos below show a sequence of the Carrion Crow eating its Slow Worm lunch.
Carrion Crow eating Slow Worm 1/2
Carrion Crow eating Slow Worm 2/2
On fields either side of the path stood Herring Gull Larus argentatus, Jackdaw Corvus monedula. Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe. These birds are all shown in the photographs below.
Herring Gull
Jackdaw


Along the path, a Male European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola was observed bathing in a puddle as a female European Stonechat stood beside. The male then proceeded to fly off to perch on an area of Bramble Rubus fruticosus agg. scrub.
Male and female Stonechats
Male Stonechat
Five Acres
The next day we went to a Cornwall Wildlife Trust reserve called Five Acres. This site was relatively small as the name indicates, Many Rooks Corvus frugilegus were nesting in the conifer trees next to the car park. Their whitish beaks help tell them apart from other birds in the Corvidae family.
Rook
After wandering around the reserve for a while, we heard the distinctive high-pitched  mewing of the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo. After a few minutes three Common Buzzards were visible in a gap through the canopy.
Common Buzzard
 There were some ponds at the site, and next to one of these grew Red Campion Silene dioica.
Red Campion
 Further down the path at the edge of the site, grew several Bear's Breach Acanthus mollis plants. Their large, toothed leaves appearing glossy in the light.
Bear's Breach

Ventongimps Moor nature reserve
After this we went to Ventongimps; another Cornwall Wildlife Trust reserve which was nearby. The site comprised heathland with some areas of bog, as well as ponds and woodland.
Ventongimps Moor
As shown in the photo there were many Gorse Ulex europaeus shrubs throughout the site. In early April the bright yellow flowers of these plants were in full bloom, near covering their sharp spines.
Gorse

Also found on the moorland was Lousewort Pedicularis sylvatica. The purple flowers of this plant and small, pinnate toothed leaves make it quite distinctive.

Lousewort


Sign up