Cornwall

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3 years 1 month ago #86965 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: Cornwall
Just back from a week in Cornwall. I did a lot of walking with one of my sons and although not specifically there for birding managed a few good sightings. Here are some of the birds I saw.

I thought southern African raptors were bad enough to ID with different colour forms and multiple moults from juvenile to full adult plumage, but I am learning that gulls are just as bad if not worse! Between the harbour at Mullion Cove and the beach at Coverack I think I have managed to sort out the winter plumages of the European Herring Gull.

1st winter bird at Coverack - brown and white speckling all over



same bird landing next to a 2nd winter bird - head becoming white and first hint of grey on the mantle; bill still predominantly black



and at Mullion Cove a 3rd winter bird - brown and white traces only on wing feathers; bill becoming yellow but lacking red spot of adult on lower bill



and a full adult in winter plumage, essentially just streaking on the head



This is a juvenile Great Black-backed Gull near Portreath - rather easy just on the sheer size of the bird relative to the similar looking juvenile Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.



From the cliffs at Land's End I got some long range views of Northern Gannet. These birds are just passage migrants on their way south for the winter.



Also at Land's End there are many Eurasian Shag on the cliffs



and a rather odd sighting of Peregrine Falcon





Keeping the Herring Gulls company at Coverack were a flock of 14 winter-plumaged Ruddy Turnstone





Land's End was crawling with large flocks of Common (European) Starling



while Portreath beach boasted Eurasian Oystercatcher



and the cliff-top path above Kynance Cove turned up

female Eurasian Stonechat



Grey Wagtail



and winter plumage Northern Wheatear



Finally, not the greatest photo - very long range in the Hayle Estuary, but it is my first of the Common Kingfisher




Neil

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3 years 1 month ago #86966 by gordon
gordon replied the topic: Re: Cornwall
Excellent stuff!

Neil, your photography skills improve with every trip, these are really good!

Cheers,
Gordon

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3 years 1 month ago #86967 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic: Re: Cornwall
Thanks, Gordon.

...but maybe it is just down to being more patient waiting for the right shot and/or deliberately seeking the good light angle/subject position, etc. Being more adept at Photoshop does help too. I'm "rescuing" more and more sub-optimal shots than I did 5 years ago. They say practice makes perfect and since getting my first Canon DLSR (a 20D) 9 years ago I am definitely moving well along that line from "a birder who takes photographs" to "a photographer who specialises in bird photography".

Just out of interest, while these days I usually use a 300mm f2.8 lens on my 1D mk4, these were taken with the trusty 9-yr old 100-400mm zoom, which must remain as one of the most versatile lens Canon has ever produced.

Neil

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3 years 1 month ago #86973 by John Young
John Young replied the topic: Re: Cornwall
Great pics Neil - thanks for sharing.

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