The Tinner’s Coast – Walking, Watching, Sketching and Wildlife.
A kestrel has been hunting right outside the studio window for most of the day, hanging still in the blustery wind – I could almost reach out and touch it. A raven sat above the cottage before flying off around the Cape, swallows fly beneath me on the cliffs and a pair of crows gather nesting material in their beaks from the back of Priests Cove and fly right out to sea until I can no longer see them – I wonder where they’re going?
Most exciting to see of all are the choughs, who regularly fly round this side of the Cape – I can hear them before seeing them, their call is so distinctive. There are a small number of breeding pairs here, having successfully reintroduced themselves to Cornwall about 10 years ago. They are wonderful to watch, especially on a windy day when they dive so fiercely against the wind and put on a spectacular display.
I take a walk along the coast path towards Sennen in the early morning – passing Carn Gloose where a chimney stack ruin is home for two crows. The sun shines as I drop down into the beautiful Cot Valley – there’s no one around and I sit listening to the sea, stream and watch two kestrels on the rocks above.
Carn Gloose. Watercolour sketch.
The rock formations around this stretch of coast are amazing – this geology is the reason why tin and other minerals have formed here. A diversity of colour, shape and line is apparent at every turn, from jagged granite to sea washed boulders. It also provides a very special habitat for a vast range of wildlife. I am also beginning to appreciate and witness more fully, the strong link with this landscape and its people, the mineral wealth within the rock providing home, livelihood, ingenuity and identity; the fortunes of mining determining the outcome of many lives.
Boy and pool
The wind is getting up and the sea is quite rough by the end of the day. I visit Geoff to chat further about some ongoing Cornish tin projects and commissions, catch up on some news and brilliant information on places to visit and further contacts. By the time I get back to the Cape there’s a gale blowing and the waves are crashing into the cove – it’s hard to shut the door against the wind!