Sunday 10th October.
Up at 3am (so it really does exist!), on the road at 3:30. I thought I could time the drive to arrive at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, to have a butchers at the Green Heron, in time for when they open. A very civilised time of 10am! Which I managed to do, despite the M6 being shut at junction 10, taking me through Walsall then somehow ended up in the centre of Birmingham, don't know how that happened.
But anyway, despite it being the Lost Gardens of Heligan, I managed to find them well enough, just south of St. Austell. But in order to gain access to the gardens I did have to lose a tenner, releasing lots of moths out of my wallet.
The Green Heron was a few days into it's stay by now, finding the jungle gardens to it's liking. And when they say a jungle, take a look at this!
There are four small ponds surrounded by palm trees, banana palms, tree ferns, bamboo and exotic conifers. The Green Heron was eventually found on the third pond along.
Whilst briefly leaving the bird to ring RBA the news of it's presence for the day, the bird was seen to catch and eat a vole!
With the Heron successfully twitched (and Sunday appearing to be popular with non-birding tourists) there was a bit of time to spare before checking into my guest house in Penzance for the evening, so I decided to have a look around the Hayle Estuary. I've been here a couple of times in the past, and as well as viewing from the road next to the Old Quayhouse Inn, I think it's always worth a scan from the Lelant railway station.
Except when this happens, how inconsiderate!
Highlights on the Hayle included 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Little Stint, 2 Med Gulls, 2 dark-bellied Brent Geese and this rather showy Grey Plover.
Mind and body were starting to flag by now after the early start. So once I had checked into my guest house in Penzance and on the way to The Dolphin pub for liquid refreshment (medicinal purposes only!), a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was perched on the tower of St Mary's church. Great stuff and ending a successful day all round.
The next day, we're on the Scillonian ferry, and everything crossed that the Black-eared Wheatear is still on the Garrison!