Saturday 23 January 2016

At Last! Pacific Diver onto the list.

Friday 22nd January Strong W Very sunny and warm 13C

Out early after both a text and phone call tells me that this week's target bird, the Pacific Diver, has been seen. The wind is behind me as I pedal an unladen bike to the causeway over to St Michael's Mount. Two Mediterranean gulls, an adult and a first year bird are on a small island beside the causeway as I walk across to the island. 

The last time I did this I was eight years old, just a few years ago then, with Mum and Dad, brother and sister on a family holiday to Cornwall. It looks as impressive close to this time as it did back in the sixties.

I clamber over rocks to get a closer view of the rough sea. Two ringed plover, the first of the year, fly near to me and land. A great northern diver is close by on the sea but other divers are too far out for me to see.

Returning to the mainland before the causeway is covered by the incoming tide, I head for Trenow Beach and settle down on a rock there. Two more great northerns are out on the water and a group of three apparently black-throated divers appear very briefly as troughs become peaks in the swell.
In an attempt at getting closer to the black-throated diver group I pedal into Marazion and find the way down to a harbour wall. Here I meet a local birder, Roger Butts and beg that he allows me the use of his Swarowski. This wonderful man says no problem and I find the three divers. One seems to be Pacific; no white patch, round head, slightly smaller and so I ask Roger to say what he thinks. He agrees that this is the Pacific diver and so after four days of searching the bird goes at last onto the year list.
He leaves to go off in search of black redstarts and I remain, sheltering behind the harbour wall from the strong westerly wind and watch as diver after diver come close, all great northerns.

One very noticeable thing over the lst few days has been the ever presence of pink plastic bottles. Hundreds must have been washed up ashore each day as i see more every day and see council workers and volunteers collecting them. A container or two of pink bottles fell off a ship last year and now the bottles are here, adding to the mass of plastic waste already on the beach. What a world!

The Green Year list now stands at 138, fourteen ahead of where I was at this time last year.

13.41 miles 684 feet elevation up 696 feet elevation down

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