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February 2019 News Page

CWT Breney Common Nature Reserve – Work Party: Sunday 17th February, 10am – 3pm. A day of Practical Conservation Work: come along and help remove some of the Gorse, Willow and overgrown shrubs to open up areas for our rare Marsh Fritillary butterflies (this is a major site for these wetland butterflies so we are working hard to protect and encourage them to breed in new areas)

Please see the Calendar for more details, or email davecarp86@hotmail.com

Walmsley Sanctury: Just a “heads up” that we have Educational Access student groups using the tower hide on the following date…. Tues 5th 10:00 – 13:00, Wed 13th Feb 2 groups all day, Thurs 14th Feb 12:00-16:00.
They are all different age groups from different parts of the county and we do benefit very well financially with this grant scheme.
Odd that these all came close to each other but it doesn’t mean members can’t use the hide … just be prepared that it may not be the normal peaceful sanctuary you expect!

County Listing 2019: for all doing anything of a county list this year: Yearlisting 2019 – now live whether it’s a Patch, Green, casual or full-blown County List.

Optics for Liberia: Fraser Bell will be going out to Liberia to work with the local birdlife in-country counterpart ‘Society Conservation of Nature in Liberia’ later in January. Local ornithologists are using the worst equipment imaginable, but still managing to do some great conservation work in an area in which it is sorely needed! The majority don’t even have working binoculars. Please see this page to read more or if you have any old/unused optics you can donate.

BTO Colour-ringed Blackcaps: Please look out for colour-ringed Blackcaps again this winter; fresh birds are still being ringed around the country and some birds from last winter have already been re-found in Cornwall. News from last year and more on the project can be found on the 2017/18 Blackcap page on the website, with updates to follow. Robbie is also hoping to organise a wider Blackcap survey in Cornwall later next month, so do look out for that too.

Chough Volunteers: The National Trust in West Cornwall are looking for Chough nest protection volunteers to watch Cornish Choughs in their natural environment, helping to protect their nest from disturbance; giving these charismatic birds a helping hand to re-establish here in Cornwall. This role also involves talking to the public using the coast path about the work we are doing to protect choughs and how they can help to reduce disturbance. We are looking for volunteers from April to July and can be as little as once every 2 weeks. Training will be provided and access to your own transport to and from site is required. If you’d like to get involve please contact Kate on 01736 761015 or email Kate.Evans1@nationaltrust.org.uk

Common Crane - Paul Ash

Cornwall Birds CBWPS ’12 Birds of Christmas: the winner is Paul Ash’s Common Crane. See the Final Voting page for second and third places.

January 2019 News: Please see the News section for updates and expanded versions of all news snippets from this ‘Recent Sightings’ header section – updated 16th Jan

January 2019 News Page

New items will be added to the top of the monthly news page as they come in. Last update:16/01/19

CBWPS Cornwall Birds ‘Pic of the Year’ Results are now in, with the winner being the Common Crane photo! The Final Vote page on the ‘CBWPS 12 Birds of Christmas’ has now been updated showing your overall favourite pic of 2018 on the website. Thanks all for voting, and congrats to all whose photos appeared!

The 2018 Archive, with all the Pic of the Week photos can be found Here

Birds in flight by John Chapple: A soothing video montage of birds in Cornwall –

Birds in flight by John Chapple – all birds filmed in Cornwall, over the last 8 years.

Last update:09/01/19

CBWPS Cornwall Birds ‘Pic of the Year’ You can now cast your Final Vote on the ‘CBWPS 12 Birds of Christmas’ to find your overall favourite pic of 2018 on the website. Thanks all for voting, and congrats to all whose photos appeared!

End of Year Quiz: Answers are now up on the website – you can still look at the questions if you hadn’t already, answers at the bottom of the page here.

BTO Colour-ringed Blackcaps: Please look out for colour-ringed Blackcaps again this winter; fresh birds are still being ringed around the country and some birds from last winter have already been re-found in Cornwall. News from last year and more on the project can be found on the 2017/18 Blackcap page on the website, with updates to follow. Robbie is also hoping to organise a wider Blackcap survey in Cornwall later next month, so do look out for that too.

Last update:08/01/19

Optics for Liberia: Fraser Bell will be going out to Liberia to work with the local birdlife in-country counterpart ‘Society Conservation of Nature in Liberia’ later in January. Local ornithologists are using the worst equipment imaginable, but still managing to do some great conservation work in an area that it is sorely needed! The majority don’t even have working binoculars. Please see this page to read more or if you have any old/unused optics you can donate.

Volunteering Opportunity: The National Trust in West Cornwall are looking for bird enthusiasts who may wish to volunteer their time to help carry out bird surveys at some of their countryside sites, to help measure the effects of habitat management.  Sites that will be surveyed twice per year on an ongoing basis include Porthminster, Zennor head, Gurnards head, Boswednack, Botallack, Kenidjack, Mayon cliff, Penberth, Cudden point, Trewavas and Trenow. If you are interested, please contact Shaun Boyns, one of the Area Rangers on 07881 811481 for more information.

Last update:05/01/19

County Bird News: As of 1st Jan, the two expanding egret species in the UK, Cattle and Great White have been taken off the ‘County Description Species’ List. Care over id may still need to be taken, & recorder/committee may request further information for any particular sighting.

Cattle Egrets, Dave Thomas Great White Egret, Ben Oakes

Palores Reminder: 48 hours to final copy deadline!! (Jan 7th) – items, snippets and reports.

*Cornwall Birds: Review of 2018*: An excellent and comprehensive roundup of the 2018 Birding Year by Reuben Veal on the website Here What were your highlights?

1st January Cornwall New Year’s Day Bird Race: Get the year list kickstarted and see how many birds you can see on your local patch, by green birding or county-wide. Please see the website page HERE for further details.

CBWPS Cornwall Birds ‘Pic of the Year’ – we will be posting up a selection from the weekly ‘pic of the week’ photos received throughout the year. (The pix are normally to be found on the website homepage). Over the traditional 12 days of Christmas, you can vote for one out of the day’s shortlist. Ultimately we will find out which is your overall favourite for 2018. Please see the 12 Birds of Christmas page on the website to views the photos and to vote in the poll. If you haven’t already done so you can still vote of previous day’s selections. Thanks for supporting us and our contributors throughout the year.

And the Results Page – updated daily with the winning bird photo.

Yearlisting 2019: We will soon be sorting out tables for County Yearlisting for the coming year, and hopefully Cornwall Life Lists too. In the meantime, see HERE for the 2018 table and provisional 2018 County List.

Kuzma Minin Update:The Kuzma Minin has now been moved to a buoy within the Carrick Roads for further inspections and to organise salvage operations. There have been no reports of oil spills but we remain concerned if there was any damage that could result in an oil spill.

The RSPB is asking people to report any sightings of birds in that area, Falmouth Bay, the Carrick Roads, Gerrans and Veryan Bay to the CBWPS website and paul.stpierre@rspb.org.uk as soon as possible so we can help highlight any sensitive areas for divers and grebes in particular that need protecting, to the authorities in the event of any oil spill. Please also report any signs of oiled birds to CBWPS/RSPB (and also report any live oiled birds to RSPCA 0300 1234 999). Many thanks for your help and any queries do call.

BiC Update: Awaiting further updates, however the 2017 report was reportedly last at section writer stage.

Pied Wheatear, Phil Taylor

2018 Cornwall County List: The Pied Wheatear at Trevose Head and the third Pallid Swift for the County (after birds in 2007 in Wadebridge and 2009 at Nanjizal) bring the county total to a provisional 299 for the year.The updated county list can be found on the website –  County List 2018

Membership Subscriptions: As per the latest Palores there will be a slight membership rate rise in the New Year. This is in keeping with rising costs and yet still represents great value for money. It should be noted that there is no need to physically post either form – members can amend their own Standing Orders (SO) online with their bank (or in branch), and Gift Aid Declarations do not require a signature – hence a scan of the form or information therein (name and address) can be forwarded on to the Membership Secretary by email.

Taking out a digital Palores (emailed pdf version) in your membership will also save the society a substantial sum which can be put towards other society aims.

Palores Reminder: The deadline for articles for the next Palores is 7th January. Please send content, including articles and birding snippets to Simon Marquis at palores@cbwps.org.uk.

Other items – other national and global news items that we would like to bring your attention to, often as mentioned on the twitter account.

Mist nets on ebay: Ebay have been selling spring traps and mist nets on a global scale, apparently in high volume over 1400 current listings).  There is no legitimate use for small spring traps and licensed ringers source mist nets elsewhere. Please sign it, and also consider sharing it with anyone who might be opposed to this.

Petition at Change.org – Stop ebay selling mist nets online

Last Song of the Nightingale: These excellent folk are hoping to make a documentary about Nightingales, to raise awareness and inspire people to save them – before the Nightingale sings its last song. The principle applies to all our vulnerable and disappearing wildlife. Please see here for update (they made it!) and watch the video:

Last Call – 2017 records requiring further information: There are a number of county and BBRC rares still requiring description or submission to the county recorder. Without the birds being submitted they will be unable to go on the county record or be published in the forthcoming 2017 BiC Annual Report. A full list and information can be found on the website HERE .

 

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December News Page

Kuzma Minin Update: 

The Kuzma Minin has now been moved to a buoy within the Carrick Roads for further inspections and to organise salvage operations. There have been no reports of oil spills but we remain concerned if there was any damage that could result in an oil spill.

The RSPB is asking people to report any sightings of birds in that area, Falmouth Bay, the Carrick Roads, Gerrans and Veryan Bay to the CBWPS website and paul.stpierre@rspb.org.uk as soon as possible so we can help highlight any sensitive areas for divers and grebes in particular that need protecting, to the authorities in the event of any oil spill. Please also report any signs of oiled birds to CBWPS/RSPB (and also report any live oiled birds to RSPCA 0300 1234 999). Many thanks for your help and any queries do call.

Cornwall Birds in the Press: the joint walk with SWLakes and CBWPS on the 18th November made it to the local press!  A report and full species list can also be found in the field meetings reports section on the website HERE.

>Falmouthpacket.co.uk/news – Bird Walk at Argal and College Reservoirs< .

Brian Field Tribute: A warm tribute to Cornwall birder Brian Field can be found on the website HERE

‘Seabirds Count’ Survey Update: offshore surveying completed for the year.

BiC Update: Awaiting further updates, however the 2017 report was reportedly last at section writer stage.

Pied Wheatear, Phil Taylor

2018 Cornwall County List: The Pied Wheatear at Trevose Head and the third Pallid Swift for the County (after birds in 2007 in Wadebridge and 2009 at Nanjizal) bring the county total to a provisional 299 for the year.The updated county list can be found on the website –  County List 2018

Membership Subscriptions: As per the latest Palores there will be a slight membership rate rise in the New Year. This is in keeping with rising costs and yet still represents great value for money. It should be noted that there is no need to physically post either form – members can amend their own Standing Orders (SO) online with their bank (or in branch), and Gift Aid Declarations do not require a signature – hence a scan of the form or information therein (name and address) can be forwarded on to the Membership Secretary by email.

Taking out a digital Palores (emailed pdf version) in your membership will also save the society a substantial sum which can be put towards other society aims.

Barn Owls in Cornwall: The partnership and funding from Paradise Park near Hayle will be continuing on into the future. Currently the park has funded a number of new nestboxes in the county and helped in their monitoring. The society plans to install webcams in several of these nestboxes next spring in order to share the Barn Owl love more widely with our members and Barn Owl supporters everywhere. Please click on the image below or visit  Paradisepark.org.uk – Cornwalls Barn Owls to find out more on the partnership so far –

Cornwall’s Barn Owls get more support from Paradise Park

Palores Reminder: The deadline for articles for the next Palores is 5th January. Please send content, including articles and birding snippets to Simon Marquis at palores@cbwps.org.uk.

10th December Mermaid Pelagic: There will be a pelagic leaving Penzance harbour for a tour of seaduck etc in Mounts Bay next Monday, 10th December. More details will follow shortly.

Update: A successful trip with the following seen: 6+ Great Northern Diver, 7 Red-throated Diver, 2 Velvet Scoter, 30+ Common Scoter, 5 Eider Duck, 1 Goldeneye, Bluefin Tuna, Common Dolphins, and 60+ Grey Seal on St Clement’s Isle. (M Elliot)

Amur Falcon prints: Martin Elliot has produced an atmospheric picture of last years Amur Falcon, a first for Cornwall and only the UK’s second. It is available as a limited edition, signed archival giclée print. The size is A4 and will cost £28 including P+P. Prints can be bought directly from Martin on 07875 295457.

 

Other items – other national and global news items that we would like to bring your attention to, often as mentioned on the twitter account.

Mist nets on ebay: Ebay have been selling spring traps and mist nets on a global scale, apparently in high volume over 1400 current listings).  There is no legitimate use for small spring traps and licensed ringers source mist nets elsewhere. Please sign it, and also consider sharing it with anyone who might be opposed to this.

Petition at Change.org – Stop ebay selling mist nets online

Last Song of the Nightingale: These excellent folk are hoping to make a documentary about Nightingales, to raise awareness and inspire people to save them – before the Nightingale sings its last song. The principle applies to all our vulnerable and disappearing wildlife. Please help out if you can and watch the video:

Last Call – 2017 records requiring further information: There are a number of county and BBRC rares still requiring description or submission to the county recorder. Without the birds being submitted they will be unable to go on the county record or be published in the forthcoming 2017 BiC Annual Report. A full list and information can be found on the website HERE .

CBWPS 12 Birds of Christmas – vote now for your favourite 2018 bird photo from the Daily Sightings page over the last year at cbwpsword/12birds-of-christmas . We’ll be posting up a new selection each day, to find the 12 best pics of 2018, followed by a final vote to find your overall favourite!

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News – mid October 2017

Summer seawatching in Cornwall – Where to go, When to go, and an Introduction to the Basics – article Here

Seawatching – Summer 2017 – Dave Flumm looks at the extraordinary Great Shearwater and Wilson’s Petrel influxes this summer. Read the Article Here

Access at Davidstow Airfield: Davidstow Airfield is an active airfield and we have been reminded that there is NO right to roam here and that cars must NOT drive onto the airfield at all. We have been advised that we can WALK onto the grassy areas, but not the runways. Cars should be parked alongside the road. Failure to comply, could lead to access being withdrawn altogether.

Help requested: Please look out for this collection box missing from Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital, carved for them in 1958, more important than contents:

Breeding Swifts – Dr Thais Martins of the Centre for Applied Zoology, Cornwall College Newquay is on a quest to find out where swifts are breeding in the County. She would like to know not just where screaming parties are, but more specifically where nesting sites are. If you can supply any records, they can be sent to recorder@cbwps.org.uk and we can collate and forward them to Dr Martins.

‘Birds of Guyana’ talk – Friday October 27th, 7.30pm. at Chacewater Village Hall. A talk by Ian Gasper about birding in this tropical South American country. Trogans, hummingbirds, cotingas, tanagers and toucans. A birding paradise.
Admission is £3 and refreshments are available. Contact: Roger Hooper 01209 820610

Tawny Owl Study – I am a BSc Applied Zoology student at Moulton College, Northamptonshire. I am conducting my third year research project on Tawny owls and aiming to investigate if they have regional accents.
I was wondering if anyone may have any recordings of Tawny Owls from around your local areas that I could have access to as part of this study? Or if members of your bird group would be interested in going out and collecting some recordings of Tawny owls in the wild.
Along with any recordings, the date, location and if possible the type of device in which the recording was taken would be required if available.
If this is something that you would be able to assist me with, please contact me on my email address – katmounsey@icloud.com to discuss further details. Many thanks, Katherine Mounsey

Save Europe’s Vultures from Poisoning with Veterinary Diclofenac

From Mark Avery’s blog we encourage you to read the below and sign the petition. 

https://markavery.info/2017/ 09/01/guest-blog- international-vulture- awareness-day-ian-parsons/

Dear Swift Friends, You may be aware of the sad yet ridiculous tale of the European Commission and the veterinary use of a drug, the anti-inflammatory Diclofenac. This drug is in common use throughout the world to treat such conditions as joint inflammation, it can thus extend the useful lives of dairy cattle. However, once it came into widespread use in India the vulture population there was wiped out, by some accounts 99% of all India’s vultures died. Diclofenac residues in dead cattle affect Vultures’ kidneys, and kill them within a few days.

Incredibly, years after the entire environmental and veterinary professions knew the risk, the European Commission licensed the same drug for veterinary use in Europe, while apparently at the same time funding the feeding of Vultures with farm animal carcases in Spain to support Vulture populations there. Quite how such an insane state of affairs came about, when there are equally cheap and effective alternatives to Diclofenac available, is an interesting problem to ponder over as the nights draw in and the world becomes ever darker.

Now ‘s the time to try and reverse this madness; we need vultures as Nature’s non-polluting hygienic waste disposal system, we need them even more maybe to study their amazing immune systems to help us survive new and existing diseases, we need them as magnificent inspiring visions in the sky, and we need them to name castles after in Game of Thrones!

Please follow the link and sign the petition! http://www.banvetdiclofenac.com/en/act/

Best wishes, Edward

www.swift-conservation.org – Keeping the Skies Alive

Cait Hutchings

Cait Hutchings Funeral Arrangements

It is with great sadness that we learn of the sudden passing of Cait Hutchings, former CBWPS Board Member, a popular figure and well-known to many in Cornwall birding circles. Our best wishes are with her family and close friends at this time.

Cait’s funeral will take place on Monday 21st August at 11am at Penryn Methodist Church, followed by burial with Stuart and a wake to be held at the Thirsty Scholar pub, in West Street not far from the Methodist Church. 

Cait’s family wish there to be no black worn at the funeral; family flowers only please; and donations if desired to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Please note that there isn’t a huge amount of parking space in Penryn. The main central car park accessed from St Gluvias Street (left beside the Town Hall) gets pretty full. There is more parking further afield: one car park on Commercial Road behind Mill Autos; a few spaces on the quay; and if you’re lucky a few spaces along Commercial Road itself. I should think there’s little chance of getting a space in the tiny car park in Saracen Way, just beside the Church, and even if there are spaces there please leave them for family members.

I’m sure the funeral will be well attended, so please double up on cars whenever possible, and allow plenty of time in case you have to park at a distance from the Church.

It may make sense for those travelling from further afield to meet up at the petrol station end of Asda car park for car-sharing into Penryn itself. Non-residents parking may also be available in Penryn.

Young Scientist of the Year 2017

Dear CBWPS members

Ed Thurlow and I won the GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year Award 2017 at the BigBang Fair in March with a project investigating garden birds’ responses to coloured supplementary feeders. I was hoping you would like to take part in this “citizen science” project or promote it further.BBC Springwatch featured the project and encouraged schools to participate. The larger the data set that can be gained, however, the stronger the conclusions. It would be of great interest to all of those involved (birds included) to see results from a national project. We have been fortunate enough to gain coverage of the project in national and local media. As a result of our BigBang Fair win we are representing the UK to compete at EUCYS (EU Contest for Young Scientists in Tallinn) in September and hope the project will be further publicised so others can take part.If this would be of interest to you, read on to see the  relevant information: methodology and the science behind the results. The link to the survey to collect results can be found here – (https://www.surveymonkey.co. uk/r/98JW8MZ)

As a keen birder, I feel that this would be a great way to get people involved and hopefully help our garden birds!

Thank you in advance,

George Rabin and Ed Thurlow

The Experiment

Equipment

Five identical seed port bird feeders made of clear plastic.Four paint colours: Red, Yellow, Dark Blue and Green, acrylic or preferably oil paint.Bird food: sunflower seed hearts, peanuts, suet pellets and meal worms are good bird foods.Bird feeder pole/tree (to hang the feeders).Scales.

Methodology

1) Gather your 5 bird feeders and 4 paints. Set one of these feeders aside, as this will be your control

2) Take the other 4 bird feeders and paint each one a different colour. Avoid painting the feeding ports as this could harm the birds (most feeders can be dismantled to do this). Add a strip of tape down the side that can be removed to make a gauge to see the food level or just open the lid to see how the level is dropping.

3) When dry, fill up each bird feeder.

4) Place outside and try to space out feeders evenly and at a similar height as this will stop the birds preferring one due to its position rather than colour.

5) How much recording you do is up to you. If possible, count the number of visits to each feeder by any species for 15/20 minutes each day. Try to make a note of which species use which colour. In terms of counting the visits, the more the better! Add up all the visits to get a rank for each feeder.

6) Once one feeder reaches below 1/3 full, weigh all the feeders (to get a rank) and refill all the feeders. Calculate the overall amount of food eaten from each feeder to get an overall rank.

7) Continue the experiment for as long as you wish

8) The survey https://www.surveymonkey.co. uk/r/98JW8MZ asks questions about the popularity of the feeders (ranked 1-5), which species preferred each feeder, and other details about how you did the experiment.

Science behind the results

In the initial experiment, the birds displayed a preference for the dark blue feeder. It seems likely that the preference is down to the way that birds use and perceive this colour. High energy wavelengths are often used in communication, for example. Red and yellow were least popular because they are aposematic colours (nature’s warning colours).

 

 

djc