Answers – Christmas Day Quiz 2017

A bit of fun to wash the turkey down. A few questions from the easier to a little bit more tricky – a gentle test of your knowledge of birds and birding in Cornwall and beyond.


1) For which bird species is the Carrick Roads especially well-known?

Black-necked Grebe. The Carrick Roads near Falmouth holds the largest wintering population in the UK

2) What is the latin name for House Sparrow?

Passer domesticus

3) What does ‘Palores’ mean?

Chough. Cornwall’s County bird, and hence chosen as the name for our own quarterly magazine.

4) Where would you traditionally see an ‘Erithacus rubecula’ at this time of year?

Christmas cards, posters, advertising, decorations … also gardens, parks and general countryside. It’s the Robin of course.

5) What colour is the rump of a Yellowhammer?


6) After what bird did Sir Peter Scott name his daughter?

Pintail; her name is Dafila (dafila is the old scientific name for a pintail). As founder of the WWT he was well into his waterfowl.

7) Where is the stronghold of Red-legged Partridges in Cornwall?

Camel Estuary area – Walmsley and countryside nearby.

8) Name 3 American vagrants on the Cornwall List beginning with the letter B (there are 12 or so in total!)

A fair few waders, passerines in that list, including Baltimore Oriole and Buff-breasted Sandpiper.

9) Name all 12 …

Oops. 14 if you include Black Brant and Buff-bellied Pipit . Also Black Duck, Bufflehead, Baird’s Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Bonaparte’s Gull, Black-billed Cuckoo, Belted Kingfisher, Bobolink, Baltimore Oriole, Black-and-white Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler,Blackpoll Warbler

10) Which is larger – a Blackbird or a Water Rail?

Not quite a trick question, but they are quite similar in size – the Blackbird has a longer tail, the Water Rail a longer bill. However weight-wise, the Water Rail averages slightly heavier (110 – 140 grams (f/m)), the Blackbird 100g. 


11) How many toes are there on a birds foot?


12) What is a Stormcock?

Mistle Thrush – Southern England name in the past as tends to carry on snging in weta nd wild weather

13) How many Firecrests does the average Mallard weigh?

c200 (as posted previously on the CBWPS twitter account) based on average weights 6g for Firecrest and 1.2kg for Mallard

14) What colour legs does a Redshank have?

Red. Shank is of course the old English word for leg, as in ‘Shanks Pony’ – ie your own legs.

15) Which species of bird was the second for Cornwall, occurring at Walmsley Sanctuary in May 2013?

Terek Sandpiper, present for one evening and the following day. Overshadowed by a longer-staying bird the same year up north somewhere.

16) What is a tetrad?

2km by 2km square, as used in many bird surveys

17) What small passerine is commonly associated with fast flowing rivers and streams?


18) Which is commoner in Cornwall, Garganey or Glaucous Gull?

Garganey had 1289 records to the end of 2014, Glaucous Gull 910. So Garganey just the clear winner. Glaucous Gull can occur in greater numbers in some influx years however 

19) Name 2 species of passerine which seem to be have had an exceptional autumn in Cornwall this year.

Firecrest and Hawfinch the most obvious ones in Cornwal. 

20) What colour wingbars does a Goldfinch have?



Anagrams – all common birds that can be encountered in Cornwall

1- Embarrased Gent Erred

Great Crested Grebe

2- Can Critter

Arctic Tern

3- Recreated Gets Berg

Red-breasted Merganser

4- Cod Harp


5- Dye One Leg


6- Rat Smith

Marsh Tit

7- Unbind Egret

Reed Bunting

8- Wash Raw Pork


9- Heinous Tram

House Martin


29/29 – Cornwall Bird Guru who is also good at anagrams.

Anything over 20 must be ok.

Any argument, discrepencies, future questions or gratitude, or to let me know how you got on, email to –

Will do another at the end of the year.


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