My very last residential landscape photography workshop was in North Cornwall from the 15th to 17th February. The hotel was near Wadebridge and with a Temminck’s Stint at Chapel Amble only 15 minutes away I set off early to see it before I met my participants at 1pm. The Stint had first been seen on 31st December 2018 and had probably been present since the autumn. Their nearest breeding grounds are Norway and they would normally winter in Saharan Africa.
I arrived and parked up near the flooded field east of the Maltsers Pub in the small village of Chapel Amble. I couldn’t find it on my first scan of the field to the north of the road. I walked further along and scanned the flooded meadow to the south and saw the Stint although I was looking straight into the sun and so it wasn’t a great view. I walked back to the car to get my scope and returned but the Stint had gone! I headed back to the car again to scan the meadow to the north of the road and soon re-located it.
The overall impression was of a very small greyish brown wader. There were a good number of darker centred summer feathers on the scapulars that formed a clear darker line. The legs were bright yellow. While there I also saw Green Sandpiper, Ruff and two Water Pipits.
During the workshop later on Friday while we were at Constantine Bay I was amazed to find a Vagrant Emperor dragonfly. Seeing any adult dragonfly in February in the UK is extremely rare and if you do find one it’s likely to be something special. These dragonflies very occasionally appear with the arrival of winds from the Sahara. Several other individuals were found in Cornwall around the same time.
As we finished the workshop on Sunday evening at the incredible Trebarwith Strand I was surprised to hear a couple of Dipper’s calling. They flew up and down passed us calling constantly and gave reasonable views in the half light. The stream here is tiny and I didn’t realise that Dipper’s were present and it will save me a planned trip to Devon later in the year!
My year list total is now 148.