Beauty and the Birds

Monday, 29th June 2015


All the lovely things today…….sunshine…..walking……Wimbledon….etc etc.

We have a little book on our bookshelf, unfortunately not dated, but I would guess it was published in the 1950’s.  The youngest Master RR found it in a bookshop in Edinburgh (yeah…how strange is that!) and it’s called the ‘Official Guide to Helston and the Lizard Peninsula’.


It contains lots of advertisements for shops that are sadly, no more, and a section called ‘Following the Cliff Paths’ describing the coast line of the Lizard Peninsula including lots of  information about the local area.  Of Mullion Cove it states:

“Mullion Cove would find a prominent place in any list of Britain’s beauty spots.  Its beauty lies not only in the grandeur of the cliffs but also in the unique colouring of the serpentine rock of which they are formed………….Among the special features of interest of the Cove are Mullion Island, the Gull Rock and two remarkable caverns. The cove is National Trust property”

This is one of our favourite coastal walks, not very long but those grandiose cliffs and rocky islands looming out of the sea at Mullion Cove make you remember all that’s best about walking in Cornwall.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…..we were out quite early today and as a result we saw some birdlife – and what’s more I managed to get some pictures!


Rickety xx

Mullion circular (4 miles)

Hunting Post
Hunting Post

As we come to the end of the lane leading out of Mullion village and across to the coast path, we see ahead of us, perched on top of the Marconi Monument, a buzzard, taking in the view and probably on the  look out for elevenses.  Buzzards love to sit on top of posts or poles from where they can swoop down on their prey.  He stays a while, kindly allowing me to take his picture:


and then, with nothing edible in sight he takes off and flies away over the fields.  Just then we hear a loud creaking call from nearby.  Mr RR has his binoculars at the ready and very soon spots a pair of choughs…in the field where we are, hopping about on a rock.  Only my second sighting of choughs so I’m quite excited and desperate to get a good picture.  Will they stay around long enough for me to focus?  I’m still recovering from the buzzard and need to fiddle with the camera and then try and keep it steady……and…. yes!! I did it!!

DSCN1022Look at that great red down curved bill and those red legs…ringed as you can see, these birds still being protected around here.  I’m really pleased to see these here – I’ve only seen them before right down on the Lizard Peninsula. They are noisy birds and often fly and feed in pairs on the tops of sea cliffs.  (Don’t forget to note the lovely lichen on that rock – the sort that thrives where there’s lots of bird droppings!)

The choughs eventually fly away and we turn onto the coast path towards Mullion Cove.  The sea is flat calm, there’s no wind, although a few clouds are keeping the sun away for the moment.

A little way along and we hear stonechats ‘chac chac’ ing away in the long grass on the cliff top.  Soon we catch sight of them, an adult male making all the noise, probably warning his family that we’re nearby.  And then we see a juvenile, flitting about the grass.  Another chance for photos although these birds, especially the adult are very fast and he’s stressed by us being there, and keeps leaping from stalk to stalk.  Eventually he calms down and stays still long enough for a picture:

Male Stonechat
Male Stonechat

Isn’t he cute?

And here’s baby:DSCN1026

Just taking off to join his Dad:

Juvenile Stonechat
Juvenile Stonechat

We rarely get the opportunity to capture birds on camera so we’ve done well today….but wait!  There’s one more.  Linnets are so difficult to photograph; they’re very nervy and rarely stay still if they sense someone nearby.  But just look at this one:

Male LInnet
Male Linnet


That’s a lot of excitement for one walk!

We carry on along the coast path ahead of us the steep drop down into Polurrian Cove and the even steeper clamber up the other side.  Just as we’re heading downhill we spot a trio of crows amid the long grass on the cliff face.  Then as we watch we realise that they’re not crows, but ravens – two adults and a juvenile.  What luck – another photo opportunity!  The adults stay well hidden, but this little guy can’t help peeking over the tufts of grass to see what’s about:

Juvenile Raven
Juvenile Raven

The excitement is enough to carry me down the hill and up the other side with scarcely a moaning murmur!

It’s just a little way along now before we see those grandiose cliffs and Gull Rock ahead of us


and we drop down into Mullion Cove, then turn inland and uphill towards Mullion village, with a stop at Mullion Meadows for tea and cake ( on the way.

Total miles walked this year: 446


Artwork for Ricketyrambler by Andrew Major

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