Maenporth and Durgan – weekend wildlife

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, with calm winds from the south bringing warmer temperatures (after a freezing night!). Will, Rachel and I took the opportunity of this nice weather to go for a walk around the coast adjacent to the caravan. We started off walking down through mixed deciduous woodlands, arriving at Maenporth Bay. From here, we joined the coastal path and continued on around the headland to Durgan. This walk took several hours, mainly because of all the interesting birds and insects to be seen!!

In total we recorded 30 species of invertebrates, including some smart species like Ivy Bee (Colletes hederae), Speckled Bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctalissima) and Clouded Yellows (Colias croceus). We saw well over 50 Speckled Wood butterflies along the coastal hedges, which is impressive! Other species included hoverflies like Eristalis pertinax, dragonflies like Migrant Hawker, and hymenoptera like Buff-tailed Bumblebees.

The birds were great along the coast, with Kestrel hovering just metres overhead and dropping to the ground like a stones to seize small prey items like Beetles; it was clear that migrants were on the move too, with at least four Firecrests present in the scrub, along with Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests, Blackcaps and lots of Robins. A Mediterranean Gull was perhaps the best sighting out to sea, but it was also nice to see a pair of the local Peregrines, a few pairs of Stonechats, lots of Long-tailed Tits, Nuthatches and Meadow Pipits.

Looking back towards Maenporth from along the coastal path

 One of the Kestrels gave superb views along the path, hovering a matter of metres above the tip of my lens- a good opportunity for photography
Looking west from the path exiting Maenporth

 Speckled Woods were everywhere- we recorded well over 50. This species largely feeds off Honeydew, produced by aphids. At this time of year, however, the aphid activity eases off and they may seek sources of nectar elsewhere
A Speckled Bush-cricket, which was hiding in a clump of bramble beside the path. This is perhaps the most common species of bush-cricket in the uk

the stunning Elm Forest on the way to Durgan

Eristalis pertinax

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