Cornwall 18th to 20th May 2016.

Hummm, two possible first for Britain, a Dalmatian Pelican in Cornwall and an almost unbelievable Lammergeier in Devon on Dartmoor drew us south after a meeting in Birmingham. We set off at 12.30ish from the centre of Birmingham and eventually reached Devon at around 5ish… the Lammer had been reported but there was no sign then. We looked for some digs but couldn’t find anything and ended up in a Travellodge in Plymouth. OK its a bed but its mad expensive. The Wednesday broke misty an d dull over the moors so we decided as the Pelican had been seen on the Hayle that morning we would head down to Cornwall.

It was a fairly easy 2hour drive  and we pulled up on a sunny but windy Hayle Estuary…

We parked in the RSPB bit and walked to the road, sure enough a huge white thing was loafing in amongst the gulls on the sandbanks as the tide was out. The pelican was fast asleep!

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After a while the bird looked up a few times and had a bit of a preen…

 

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…however soon it became apparent it was nervous as it kept looking up and then trying to sleep, we noticed some dog walkers right over on the far side of the saltings at Lelant. It was these folk that were making the Pelican jumpy, they were still miles away though and all the gulls were ignoring them. It soon became apparent though that they were going to walk all the way along the far side of the estuary, and lo and behold they crossed a stream and suddenly their dogs raced away towards the gull flock, cue pandemonium…. The gulls all went up taking the already jumpy Pelican with them, it was amazing, such a huge bird lumbering up into the air and circling right over us before starting to soar above us and drift off towards the south. The bird climbed higher and higher reaching a huge height and I even lost it in the cloud! It soon realised that was a mistake and dropped again slowly moving away and out of sight.

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