Friday, 7 June 2013

Parents down

Great couple of days with my parents down before I head down to Horsham on monday, they arrived on Wednesday and we had a lovely meal over at the Rising Sun in St Mawes before they headed to bed, tired from their long trip down here.

On Thursday the photography began, starting at Windmill Farm (owned by Cornwall Wildlife Trust) we saw a number of four spotted chasers all darting around the pond and some other species  but we all seemed most interested when we found a small toad (Bufo bufo) under a piece of fabric.

Common Toad - (Bufo bufo)

After Windmill Farm we headed down to Kynance Cove on the coast where we saw some interesting species of flowers including some early purple orchids (Orchis mascula) which were dotted around but not in the numbers we had seen previously. We also found a Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) flying around down a small stream that follows the main foot path to the beach.

Onwards from a nice meal at the cafe we headed back to the car and to The Lizard Point, where we hoped to see the Choughs (Pyrrhocorax) a pon arriving we had the cave they nested in pointed out to us along with some distressing news that over the previous week a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and a buzzard (Buteo buteo) had been in and they were worried that they had eaten the chicks although they weren't 100% sure. Never the less we did seem them flying around and just as we headed back to the car they landed on the ground near by us!

Choughs - (Pyrrhocorax)

Having been on a recent trip with David Chapman to Windmill Farm and then to North Predannack Downs Nature Reserve I decided to finish the day there, in the hope of finding some Green Veined Orchids (Anacamptis morio) like I had photographed their on the trip with David, after arriving we headed straight to the spot I had found them on the 30th May but unfortunately they had all died, after a little searching however we did find one and I took Dad through the steps in photographing them using grass to blur the foreground and reflectors to light the subject.

Green Veined Orchids (Anacamptis morio)

The next day I woke up, having previously been using all my own equipment along with a Nikon D7000 and a Nikon 300mm F2.8 that I had booked from the campus photography stores I switched the lens for a Nikon 600mm F4 along with a tripod with a gimbal head to allow me to been the lens steady when photographing. I also booked out a Canon 7D, Canon 10-22mm F3.5-F4.5 and a macro flash kit. Both set ups mainly for tomorrow when I am photographing a filming at the Bioblitz but I took them out anyway just in case.

Our first stop was Kennall Vale as folks hadn't been before, we walked around the main path both me and Dad taking a number of landscapes and close ups to capture the movement of the water under the over handing trees.

Kennal Vale

From here we headed to Tehidy, a bit of a let down as I hadn't been able to visit since February I was expecting more life but compare to before there was little. However the Rooks (Corvus frugilegus) still covered the trees, now joined by Crows (Corvus) and Jackdaws (Corvus monedula).

Rooks - (Corvus frugilegus) 

The main lack of species seen we believe was down to the now abundance of food in the woods meaning the animals down rely on humans so much as a food source and are able to find their own. So we headed back to the cliffs and to Hell Mouth.  Once we arrived we walked to the cliff and along the coastal path back towards Tehidy. On the way we spotted Fulmars (Fulmarus), Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae) and Razorbills (Alca torda)all on nests. The Herring gulls and some of the Cormorants even had chicks which we were able to photograph looking down from the top.

Herring Gulls Chicks -  (Larus argentatus)

After watched the chicks wobble around their nests awhile before falling back to sleep we went down to Godrevy in search for the Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). Going straight to the cove in which they are found we were hoping to saw 6 all floating in the water, every now and then attempting to go ashore then changing their minds at the last moment. This was a interesting behaviour to watch as before I had only seen them at low tide sun bathing on the beach which was now covered by the tide.

Seal Cove at Godrevy

From Godrevy we headed to St.Ives for a walk around the shops and some Fish & Chips before headed back to base.

Tomorrow I am filming and photographing the BioBlitz, a 24 hour study of every species of wildlife big or small that can be found on Tremough Campus and at Argal Reservoir. I will be mainly focusing on the wildlife but also trying to capture the locals and students getting handing on and getting to know what can be found on their doorstep.

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