Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Monday, 8 March 2010

Monday 8th March. Back up Cornwall

Well that's the plan for today. I feel as though a major first part has been achieved, i.e. the south coast and now it's 'up' the country towards Shetland. Let's do the west side!
Yesterday had a great day exploring the Land's End peninsula. Cycled to St Just with the strong east wind at my back. Found a headless dead snipe on the road and saw a little weasel on a raod side bank.
27 golden plover on Land's End airport and then down onto the beach at Sennan Cove. Met an artist, Jim, who was painting with oils. A lovely man who coincidentally was a reading fan. Those who know will realise the coincidence. Myself a Villa fan, the match timed for 2.00pm was to be Villa v. Reading. A stunningly beautiful day at a spectacular location, photographs were taken of the lighthouse and cliffs but shelter from the wind was impossible except by going indoors. I did just that to watch the match at the large restuarant at the end of the land.
Shock horror and dejection at half time; 2-0 down and playing appallingly. Elation, relief and ecstacy 10 minutes into the second half as Villa got 3 goals back before winning 4-2. [No I swear it wasn't me who broke the chair whilst celebrating the 3rd goal!] Enjoyed the banter with the staff, particularly Joe, a genuine Arsenal fan.
The cycle back to Penzance was tough with the wond now in my face and very cold and strong. A puncture to the front tyre didn't help. Saw the whooper swan at Drift reservoir to get me to 150 for the year. Couldn't find any rare gulls at Newlyn but did receive donation from a local sitting on the harbour key.

My previous blog had me camping at the Eden project. Well I went back in a spent most of the day there. What a fabulous place but what would I give for the rainforest biome to have the butterflies and birds that such a place should have. I was so glad that I'd camped there to allow me to have longer there.

Had cycled towards Truro and set up camp beside the Fal Estuary, about 2 miles before the former. Beautiful calm sunset with greenshank, curlew, redshank and tawny owls calling. A little egret came close as the tide came in. The birds seemed to spend all night calling to each other and it came as a big surprise when I opened the flap of the tent only to have a sprinkling of ice come down on me. It hadn't seemed that cold.

To Truro Cathedral and sat for a while listening to the organist practising his pieces for later.

Met the warden of Stithians reservoir, Simon Taylor [thanks for the £10 donation!] and daniel Eva, a Cornish birder. Saw a water rail in a place where they shouldn't be.

Cycled to marazion the country road way with great views to the north and south Cornish coast. Past St Michael's Mount. Looking over Marazion one can see fields of polythene. I wonder how long before this area begins to look like Almeria in Spain? [Have a look on the satellite image for Almeria and realise that the white are thousands of plastic greenhouses.]

To Penzance youth hostel, the most luxurious yet with deep pile carpets and refurbished rooms.

Thanks to those who have made donations. Please do so on my website  where justgiving links direct you to your chosen charity.

All the very best everyone,



  1. It's a pleasure - Keep up the good work...

  2. Agree, glad your enjoying Cornwall (minus the weather)

  3. Well done Gary - now up the west side! Keep it going - jealous of your bird list! Avocets back at Upton - returned 3rd March..