Wednesday 27 January 2016

A Change of Direction Leads me to a Rose-Coloured Starling

Monday 25th January Strong SW to W 13C cloudy, some light drizzle, suddenly sunny PM

The day starts with a decision to get a tooth sorted. A bargain of two Fry's Turkish delight bars for £1 had me chewing one yesterday and on swallowing I found a large hole in a bottom left molar. Now I have had problems with this particular tooth for ages and my dentist had said that the next time she sees me she will have to take it out under a general anaesthetic. Last year it was this tooth that first had an abscess and then got cracked even further by a pip inside a chocolate raisin.
Eleven o' clock and I am at a NHS dentist in Penzance. Twelve o'clock the tooth has been cleaned and fixed with a temporary filling. I have to make an appointment with my dentist for the full removal asap as the x-ray shows the extent of the infection below the root. Strange it hasn't caused me any pain at all since the abcess was treated with antibiotics.
On the road again, the day's original plan of trying to see garganey and water pipit at Hayle has changed with the news that the rose-coloured starling has been seen again at The Lizard.

Through Marazion and along to Helston I cycle, past a few fields of flowering daffodils. The final ten miles is into the wind. Reaching The Lizard village I start to search by walking the streets, looking at every starling group. I consider getting a bed & breakfast as the weather forecast for tomorrow is of fifty five mph gales with heavy rain.

Forty five minutes of searching I look up and the nearest starling of a small group on telegraph wires is the rosy! It pops down closer onto a hawthorn bush in a garden and gives views that are so much better than last year's bird. In 2015 I had the briefest of views of a superb adult to which this one is dull in comparison. Watching it for the next half hour I wonder when the full pink plumage of a breeding bird comes into play. The other common starlings look spnagly in the sun yet the rosy looks greyish-white on the parts that I expected to be shocking pink. Still it is another year tick and a very good one to get.


There are still a couple of hours of light left in the day and I decide to cycle to Stithians Lake to try to get the Slavonian grebe before the bad weather arrives.

Two hours later, the sun having gone down, I ask a lady for dirctions instead of looking at the map on my phone. Two miles later, after hurtling downhill for quite some way, I realise that she has sent me to the village, not the lake. A large village sign Stithians tells me so.
Back up the hill I push as darkness falls. I reach the lake with it too dark to see anything and a very close tawny owl hoots it's derision.

The Green Year list now stands at 143, nineteen ahead of where I was at this time last year.

46.60 miles 2545 feet elevation up 2180 feet elevation down

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