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Monday, 22 April 2019

Gannets, Fulmars and a first holiday in Cornwall for 30 years!

As a child growing up in Kent, Cornwall was a coastal paradise. We used to holiday there twice a year, always out of season! My sister used to moan, as it was always wet and windy when we arrived, and mostly deserted! All the holiday makers having long since left, she wondered why we couldn't holiday in sunnier, warmer climes like her friends did!

I however loved it!
The wind, that feeling of true wilderness, of being dwarfed by nature, at the mercy of it.
 For us there were no shorts and t-shirts, instead our clothing of choice were thick woolly jumpers and cagoules!

  Every morning before breakfast, our dad would make us walk down to to the unheated outdoor swimming pool at the campsite and go for a swim. First of all we'd have to fish out any dead creatures and leaves that had fallen in over night. Will always remember one morning using our rock pool nets to remove 2 dead mice floating on the surface of the pool.
   To say it was freezing was an understatement! There was no shelter, and of course nobody else would be using the pool! The wind was biting....once you were brave enough to strip and get in the pool, you didn't want to get out again, as the freezing water was still warmer than being wet and out in the wind!

   One day we walked to the summit  Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor. This is the highest point in Cornwall, and the weather was dark and grim. A family of brightly coloured cagoule wearing crazy people traipsing across the Moor for hours... my sister moaned the whole way! There and back!
  Again, I loved it! It was blowing a gale, it was raining..... but there were no houses to be seen for miles, no people apart from us.

   In comparison, my holiday there this year, with my partner and daughters, could be considered as paradise! It was the first time I had been back for 30 years since those magical days, and it was mostly as I remembered it, although commercialism had obviously taken off in the intervening years. No more parking for free by the beaches for a start!

 Instead of a campsite, we stayed at a beautiful converted barn in Goonhavern, between Newquay and Perranporth. It also had an outside swimming pool, but this one was heated and had a cover, so no dead mice to fish out before swimming! It also had a hot-tub, which my girls and I really appreciated!
   The weather was a bit cold, we didn't have much sun either, but at least it stayed dry!

  We visited a few local beaches, Holywell Bay, Perranporth, Crantock, Towan and Fistral. Considering it was the start of the Easter holidays, I was amazed that the beaches weren't busier! At times, it was like we had them all to ourselves!

  I enjoyed watching the surfers, mastering the waves. It was whilst photographing them that I noticed a Gannet a bit further out. It was diving into the sea like a torpedo!
 Unfortunately it was very distant, but I managed one shot of it just about to hit the water, wings bent back like a jet-fighter!

  I loved seeing the Fulmars on the cliffs of Pipers Hole at Crantock Beach. These are seabirds that I don't see in Somerset, but I remember fondly from my childhood holidays. Such expert fliers, using the updrafts from the cliffs to soar around the headlands. It's easy to see that they're related to Albatrosses!

  Other birds seen during our holiday included a Chough at Perranporth Beach (My first one ever in Cornwall!), Kestrels, Shags, Stonechats, Little Egret, Rock Pipits, Willow Warbler and my first Swallows and Sand Martins of the Spring.

Unfortunately, the last 2 or 3 days of my holiday were marred by raging toothache! :(
   Still, despite this, we all had a wonderful time, and it will definitely not be another 30 years until we return!! :D

Here are all the pics taken during our week in Cornwall;

^Above^ - Fulmars.

^Above^ - Gannets

^Above^ - Herring Gulls.

^Above^ - Chough.

^Above^ - Shags.

^Above^ - Kestrels..... mating in the bottom 2 pics!

^Above^ - Jackdaws.

^Above^ - Little Egret.

^Above^ - Rock Pipit

^Above^ - Pied Wagtail

^Above^ - Magpie

^Above^ - Blackbirds

^Above^ - Chiffchaff

^Above^ - Dunnocks

^Above^ - Linnets

^Above^ - Carrion Crows.

^Above^ - Blackcap

^Above^ - Great Tits.

^Above^ - Meadow Pipits.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tits.

^Above^ - Ravens.

^Above^ - Robins.

^Above^ - Skylark.

^Above^ - Song Thrush.

^Above^ - Stonechats.

^Above^ - Wrens.

^Above^ - Woodpigeons.

^Above^ - Rook.

^Above^ - House Sparrows.

^Above^ - Feral Pigeons.

^Above^ - Swallow

^Above^ - Willow Warbler.

^Above^ - Sea Thrift.

^Above^ - Daffodils.

^Above^ - Fish in the holiday barn pond.

^Above^ - Fish skull on the beach.

^Above^ - Collies on the beach.

^Above^ - Perranporth.

^Above^ - Indian runner duck!

^Above^ - Charm, our Flat Coated Retriever, enjoying the beach!

^Above^ - Surfers! Huge White Shark after the bottom surfer!! ;))

^Above^ - I wouldn't recommend running down these steps....

^Above^ - Lusty Glaze beach..... I just loved the name! 

^Above^ - Footage of a pair of Fulmars at Pipers Hole, Crantock Beach.