Battle for the skies…

Friday, 15th May 2015 

Hello

We went back to Predannack today and walked along the cliffs to Kynance Cove, returning across Lower Predannack Downs.  Last month when we did this walk we were enveloped in thick fog.  Today, we enjoyed bright sunshine for most of the time and could see for miles out to sea and across the heathland.

I was practicing with Mr RR’s camera which is a bit more sophisticated than mine, meaning we can see some lovely shots of birds in this post.  I couldn’t keep it up though and passed responsibility for photographs to himself about halfway round – it’s just too complicated for me!

By the way – in the last post we had an unidentified flower which I asked for help in naming. Jean came up trumps and tells me its a member of the Geranium family – a type of cranesbill – G. versicolour.  Thanks very much Jean, I have updated the photo.

Enjoy reading!

Ricketyrambler x


Predannack circular via Kynance Cove (6.5 miles)

IMG_0664

This is the lovely view at the start of our walk.  We turn left and head along the South West Coast Path accompanied all the way by the sound of skylarks warbling and chirruping  away – the grassy heathland on our left being their perfect nesting ground.

As we walk on we enjoy the clear sea views which were completely hidden from us last time:

IMG_0672

and a skylark lands on the ground a few yards in front of us giving me the ideal opportunity to practice my close up photography:

Skylark
Skylark
Skylark
Skylark

To our right, we can see cormorants on a rock out to sea:

Cormorants
Cormorants

and then Mr RR spots a stonechat just up ahead:

Female Stonechat - see that caterpillar on the branch?
Female Stonechat – see that caterpillar on the branch?
Female stonechat with caterpillar
Female stonechat now with caterpillar!
Female stonechat with caterpillar
Female stonechat with caterpillar
Female stonechat - really doesn't like the taste of the caterpillar!
Female stonechat – really doesn’t like the taste of the caterpillar!

We walk on enjoying the sunshine and the blue hazy carpet of spring squill which covers the cliff tops.  At the end of the post I’ll show you some of the wild flowers we saw today, but for now – look at this picture:

Sea Mayweed
Sea Mayweed

The large daisy like flower is a Sea Mayweed, common on sand and cliffs.  But look at the rock covered in at least four different types of lichen.  The bright orange one is Xanthoria parietina, characteristic of lichen that receives extra nutrients from bird droppings. The pale grey/white ones are Hypogymnia sp. and then there’s a feathery silver green sort that I haven’t managed to identify yet.  The little blue flower in the middle is a spring squill and on the right hand side a variety of grasses – all this in one little tiny patch of cliff top – amazing!

Even more amazing – you remember that last time we visited here we were delighted to see a pair of ravens on the rocks.  Well today – we saw them again.  This time with a youngster tagging along.  Juvenile ravens leave the nest about 6 -7 weeks after hatching but they remain with their parents for 4 -6 months.

Adult raven
Adult raven
Adult and juvenile raven
Adult and juvenile raven
Adult and juvenile raven
Adult and juvenile raven

Our way leads us down a steep, rocky valley side to cross a stream and then a – not too arduous – clamber up the other side.

Mr RR on the rocky descent
Mr RR on the rocky descent

Just as we’re nearing the bottom, a buzzard flies overhead and lands on rocks on the high valley-side behind us.  As we watch he’s joined by a mate or maybe a juvenile – and then a fight ensues as the pair are mobbed by crows.  It’s a scramble to get the camera out and try and catch some pictures of this fierce battle for the skies which goes on for quite a few minutes:

Battle for the skies
Battle for the skies –  missed the crows unfortunately but caught this picture of a pair of buzzards.

We climb the hill and walk along the cliff-top towards Kynance Cove.  Last time we turned inland at this point, but today we clamber down over the steep cliffs to the beautifully situated Kynance Cove Cafe (www.kynancecovecafe.co.uk).  We’ve brought our lunch with us today, so we buy a couple of takeaway teas and sit on a bench watching the incoming tide and planning an easier route back up the hill.

Refreshed, we climb the track beside the cafe and follow it inland to a turning high up on the heath where we can cross the stream and find the path across Lower Predannack Downs.  This Natural Nature Reserve is an important area for wildlife and flowers and is currently being grazed by herds of cows some with their calves in tow.  Luckily they’re all very docile and don’t seem to mind us at all, even when we stop for photos of cute little calves with yellow dangly earringsIMG_0749

IMG_0747

Jerseys on the Headland - Mixed Media on Canvas
Jerseys on the Headland – Mixed Media on Canvas

Our last bird spot of the day is a male linnet with his bright pink breast sitting proudly in a tree:

Male Linnet
Male Linnet

Here are some of the wild flowers we spotted today:

Is this the cotton wool flower?
Is this the cotton wool flower?
Lesser Spearwort
Lesser Spearwort
The Gorse is still in flower
The Gorse is still in flower
Spring Squill
Spring Squill
Burnet Rose - once called the 'spiniest rose' due to its large number of thorns and stiff bristles.
Burnet Rose – once called the ‘spiniest rose’ due to its large number of thorns and stiff bristles.
Geranium - ? species.
Geranium – ? species.
Scarlet pimpernel - once valued for its supposed medicinal qualities it was thought to cure madness and dispel melancholy.
Scarlet pimpernel – once valued for its supposed medicinal qualities it was thought to cure madness and dispel melancholy.
Cuckoo flower
Cuckoo flower
Sea Pinks on the cliff top
Sea Pinks on the cliff top

(Total miles walked this year: 351 miles)


Hunting Post
Hunting Post

Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Mr RR:

http://www.andrewmajorart.co.uk

http://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/Andrew-Major

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