Bearded Vulture also known as Lammergeier or Ossifrage
I'm the first one who saw and photographed this bird in Cornwall.
Cornwall is known for its diverse nature and wildlife. Every year, hundreds and even thousands of nature and wildlife enthusiasts come down to Cornwall to have a glimpse of some rare birds, butterflies and other notable species.
I have been sooo lucky to be the "FIRST" one to have seen and photographed the Bearded Vulture, also known as the LAMMERGEIER or OSSIFRAGE in Cornwall in 23rd May 2016. Me and my husband Rob Nicholls cannot believe our luck.
We were actually in Breney Common in Bodmin doing a butterfly survey in preparation for our fieldtrip on Monday, 30th May 2016 for the Cornwall Butterfly and Moth Society Fieldtrip to see the rare Marsh Fritillary.
It was a sunny afternoon, about 2:30pm. We were looking up towards Helman Tor when a large bird, soaring high, came into sight over the ridgeline, heading in a south westerly direction. It’s just gliding gracefully in the sky. The wingspan was probably 9 feet or more, 3 metres.
It was very high, maybe up to 2,000 feet and had a small bird in tow - which was not getting too close. The small bird turned out to be a buzzard!
The Lammageier did not flap its wings. It was just gliding gracefully across the sky. It was huge and unlike anything usually seen in the skies over Cornwall.
Luckily, I was already prepared with my camera and was able to take a few shots.
We were able to watch it for about 12 minutes, before it went out of sight.
Perhaps, a once-in-a-lifetime sighting.
It's nice to sometimes be in the right place, at the right time!
American Painted Lady Vanessa virginiensis
My photograph is the first UK image!!!
On the 20 September 2022, 2:30pm, me and Rob went for a walk in Nare Head on the Roseland Peninsula. This is one of our favourite places in Cornwall. On our way to the headland, we saw Lawrence Sampson and had a chat with him for a few minutes before we carried on with our walk.
I have taken photos of the butterflies and birds that we saw. Before I went to sleep that evening, I posted my photos in Facebook. The next morning, I have missed calls on my mobile, I have messages on my email, I have comments on my photos in Facebook. One comment catches my eye, a particular comment from our good friend Lee Slaughter - "Are you sure that this isn't the exceptionally rare Hunter's Painted Lady or American Painted Lady Rowena? Get this photo checked out urgently! I think it is an American (Hunter's) Painted Lady! PM me where you saw this please? Could be a 1st for Cornwall if it is!" I immediately checked my photos very closely one by one. Checked out Google and Wikipedia too. I was shocked and amazed. It suddenly dawned on me that the butterfly I thought was a Painted Lady was actually the extremely rare American Painted Lady Vanessa virginiensis. Wow, that's awesome. I could not believe my luck. Thanks to the sharp and discerning eyes of Lee. He is certainly the best in the butterfly world. It's also been confirmed by Peter Eeles from UK Butterflies.
This American Painted Lady Vanessa virginiensis was first seen in the British Isles in August 1828 at Withybush, near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire. My photograph is the first UK image!!!
I celebrated my 50th birthday this year. I thought I already received all the surprises from family and friends but seeing this butterfly is the greatest surprised ever.
This sighting of the American Painted Lady Vanessa virginiensi reminds me of my "Lammergeier, moment". I have been sooo lucky to be the "FIRST" one to have seen and photographed the "Bearded Vulture, also known as the Lammergeier or Ossifrage" in Cornwall in 23 May 2016. This bird is "FIRST" in Cornwall as well as "FIRST" in the UK.
Me and Rob are absolutely delighted and over the moon that we saw again another rarity in Cornwall. You'll never really know you might see in Cornwall. This Duchy is full of surprise.
Copyright © Rowena Castillo-Nicholls. All Rights Reserved.
Images may not be used without the written permission of the photographer.