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2014 pelagic


The RSPB Beached Bird Survey needs more volunteers – can you help?

·         Do you live near the coast and like walking along the beach?

·         Do you have a basic knowledge of seabirds?

·         If so, please read on and volunteer for the Beached Bird Survey

The Beached Bird Survey is an effective way of monitoring trends in oil and other pollution incidents that affect seabirds.  The RSPB needs more volunteers to take part in this simple survey in SW England so we can increase our coverage of accessible coastline.  It involves walking an allocated stretch of beach and recording any oil and the number and species of any `beached’ birds.  Details of the survey and requirements are on the link below.

The annual Beached Bird Survey has been running since 1971.  It enables RSPB to track chronic oil pollution (caused by ships washing out tanks at sea, now illegal thanks to efforts of conservation organisations including RSPB).  Thankfully we have seen a decline in this chronic pollution over the years but our seas are not safe from pollution.  Major incidents have occurred in recent years where emergency Beached Bird Surveys enabled RSPB to assess the impact on seabirds and to take action (eg, after the PIB incidents in 2013, RSPB, in partnership with other organisations and the public, achieved a global ban on the previously legal discharge of this substance as tank washings at sea).If you would like to help seabirds and the marine environment by walking a beach in your area for the annual Beached Bird Survey in late February (and if you are potentially available to take part in any emergency Beached Bird Surveys organised after a major incident affecting seabirds), please get in touch. If you’ve a local beach in mind, we can allocate that to you if it is not already being surveyed or alternatively we may have some vacant stretches in your area that may be suitable.

To register your interest in volunteering for Beached Bird Survey, please contact Natasha Simmons ( with your name, contact details and coastline of interest.  We will hold some meetings for existing and new volunteers later this year to which you will be invited.  We will match new volunteers with beaches before Christmas and provide all the information you need ahead of the next Beached Bird Survey in February 2015.

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Friday 22 August 20104

Late News, 21/08, Carnon Downs: Swallows nesting in entrance porch of the garden centre with 7 young in nest, 2 ads flying in and out. (D Jenkins)

Marazion Marsh RSPB: 2 Mute swan, 2 Mallard, 3 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 5 Little Egret, 29 Moorhen, c25 Swallow, 2 Stonechat plus Reed and Sedge Warblers. (DK Parker)

Croft Pascoe: Wood Sandpiper still present. (R Farnes)

Wood Sandpiper Croft Pascoe Cornwall 21 Aug 2014 R Farnes Wood Sandpiper Croft Pascoe Cornwall 21 August 2014 R Farnes

Stithians Reservoir: 1 juv Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, 10 Sand Martins and 10 White Wagtail. (D Eva)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 2 Ruff, 3 Greenshank, 7 Little Egret, 10 Teal and 2 Wigeon on Lelant Water. 1 Bar-headed Goose with Greylags and Canada Geese, 84 Curlew and 5 Med Gull on Ryan’s Field and  Swallow flying in and out of nest site at the hide. 10 Little Egrets and 1 Greenshank at Copperhouse Creek. (D Jenkins & B Field)

Ruff Hayle Estuary 22nd August 2014Ruff at Lelant Saltings, Hayle. Brian Field.

Drift Reservoir (members only): Kingfisher and Little Egret this morning. (R Farnes)

Kingfisher Drift reservoir Cornwall 2 Aug 2014 R Farnes Little Egret Drift reservoir Cornwall 2 Aug 2014 R Farnes

Pendeen: 2 Great Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Bonxie, 3 Arctic Skua, 6 Whimbrel, 1 Wheatear, 1 Peregrine and 1 Sparrowhawk. (P & H Taylor)

Cot Valley: 1 Spotted Flycatcher this afternoon. (P & H Taylor)

Porthgwarra: 3 Balearic Shearwaters and a Sooty Shearwater by 08:00.


Thursday 21 August 2014

Late News, 20/08, Rumps/Pentire Head: 2 Blackbird, 10 Black-headed Gull, 1 Buzzard, c50 Carrion Crow, 2 Chiffchaff, 25 Cormorant, 1 Dunnock, 10 Fulmar, c50 Gannet, c50 Goldfinch, 30 Great Black-backed Gull, c300 Herring Gull, 6 House Martin, 20 House Sparrow, c50 Jackdaw, 4   Kestrel, 6 Kittiwake, 30 Linnet, 7 Magpie, c100 Manx Shearwater, 10 Mediterranean Gull, 6 Oystercatcher, 2 Pheasant, 1 Pied Wagtail, 6 Raven, 1 Robin, 30 Rock Pipit, c50 Rook, 20 Shag, 1 Skylark, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4 Stonechat, c50 Swallow, 1 Wheatear, 2 Whitethroat and 30 Wood Pigeon. (The Martin Cutland Nature Walk per C Travis)

Late News, 20/08, Porthgwarra: 1 Whinchat, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit 2 Wheatear on the moor. (H Bradshaw)

Porthgwarra: 1 Balearic Shearwater (07.30 – 08.00), 2+ Tree Pipit on moor and 2 Sparrowhawk. (H Bradshaw)

Nare Head: 2 Choughs for at least an hour. (K & H Sparks)

Stithians Reservoir: 2 Ruff (juv), 7 Common Sandpiper, 1 juv Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 male Blackcap and 1 Grey Wagtail. (J St Ledger)

Ruff Stithians Cornwall 21st Aug 2014 John St Ledger Ruff Stithians Cornwall 21 Aug 2014 John St Ledger

Ruff at Stithians. John St Ledger

Argal Reservoir: 4 Swift feeding at 07:00. (J St Ledger)

Drift Reservoir (members only): 2 Wheatear, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Egret, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and 5 Common Sandpiper. Also Clouded Yellow and Grey Squirrel. (B Field, C Moore & S Maycock)

Black-tailed Godwit Drift Reservoir Cornwall 21 Aug 2014 S Maycock Kingfisher Drift Reservoir Cornwall 21 Aug 2014 S Maycock Wheatear Drift Reservoir Cornwall 21 Aug 2014 S Maycock

Black-tailed Godwit, Kingfisher & Wheatear, Simon Maycock.

Hayle Estuary RSPB:  3 Ruff, 5 Greenshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Little Egrets and 1 Wigeon on Lelant Water, 106 Ringed Plover, 64 Dunlin & 2 Turnstone at Carnsew Pool and 6 Mediterranean Gulls in Ryan’s Field. (J Hawkey)

Gorrangorras: 36 Redshank, 9 Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper, 4 Dunlin and 1 Curlew. (D Chaney)

Argal Reservoir: 11 Great Crested Grebe (including some large young), 3 Mute Swan (2 ad 1 young), 15+ Mallard, 1 Little Egret (only my second here), 1 Grey Heron, 2 Common Sandpiper, 25 Black-headed Gull, c20 Mallard, 200+ Swallow, 1 House Martin, 3 Sand Martin, 300+ Linnet flock (including lots of juv), 3+ Whitethroat, 1 Grey Wagtail and 6+ Willow Warbler. (D Chaney)

College Reservoir: 100+ Herring Gull, 1 Great Black-headed Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 35+ Mallard, 3 Great Crested Grebe (ad, 2juv), c5 Moorhen, c5 Coot, 1 Grey Heron and 1 Grey Wagtail. (D Chaney)

Porthgwarra: 2 Great Shearwaters at 07:55 and 2 Balearic Shearwaters.


Wednesday 20 August 2014

Croft Pascoe: 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper and 1Dunlin on the pool again at 07:00. (Recently part scraped by English Nature exposing mud. View from car only or waders take flight). (J Selby & J Hawkey)

Stithians Reservoir: 1 Ruff, 3 Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpiper, 4 Redshank, 1 Dunlin, 7 Curlew, 1 Sparrowhawk (male) and 1 Peregrine. Also numbers of Whitethroat and Willow Warbler. (J St Ledger & J Cope)

Ruff Stithians Cornwall 20th Aug 2014 J St Ledger Green Sandpiper Stithians  Cornwall 20th Aug 2014 J St Ledger Common Sandpiper Stithians  Cornwall 20th Aug 2014 J St Ledger

 Ruff, Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper at Stithians. John St Ledger.

Argal Reservoir: 1 Swift over at 07.15. (J St Ledger & J Cope)

Drift Reservoir (members only): 4 Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 1 Black – tailed Godwit, 1 Dunlin, 1 Kingfisher, 6 Great crested Grebe, 2 Raven, 1 Whitethroat, 8+ House Martin and 100′s of Swallows. Also 2 Muscovy Duck in the old boat house. (D Jenkins, R Farnes & A Mckechnie)

Green Sandpiper Drift Cornwall 20 Aug 2014 Rod Farnes Common Sandpiper Drift Cornwall 20 Aug 14 Rod Farnes Green Sandpiper Drift Cornwall 20 08 2014 Rod Farnes
Green Sandpiper Drift Cornwall 20 08 14 Rod Farnes Dunlin Drift Cornwall 20 Aug 2014 Rod Farnes Black-tailed Godwit Drift Cornwall 20 Aug 2014 Rod Farnes
Greenshank Drift Cornwall 20 Aug 2014 Rod Farnes Kingfisher Drift Cornwall 20 Aug 2014 Rod Farnes Whitethroat Drift Cornwall 20 Aug 2014 Rod Farnes

Selection from Drift by Rod Farnes.

Black-tailed Godwit Drift Cornwall 20 Aug 2014 Alex Mckechnie

Black-tailed Godwit. Alex Mckechnie.

Mount’s Bay: A big movement of hirundines (500 1000) southward ahead of the rain front over Mounts Bay at 11.00. At least 4 Swifts with them. (P Fraser)

Bude Marsh: 2 Peregrine Falcons hunting over the marsh, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Grey Heron. (R Mudge)

Pendeen: Great Shearwater 11:45-11:55 and 2 more at 12:15-12:30.

Porthgwarra: 1 Balearic Shearwater past Gwennap Head and Hooded Crow still at Roskestal Farm.


Tuesday 19 August 2014

Pendennis Point, Falmouth: 100+ hundred Manx Shearwater, Gannets passing west distantly plus 4 Fulmar closer in. 15+ Med Gull in the Carrick Roads feeding as part of c.100 small gull flock. 1 Whimbrel and 3 Redshank on the east side of Pendennis, 1 Turnstone and 3 Ringed Plover flew west, 3 Rock Pipit and 1 White Wagtail on the point
3 Swallow around the rocks and 1Buzzard. (D Chaney)

Castle Beach, Falmouth: 10 Oystercatcher and 1 Med Gull. (D Chaney)

Swanpool:  1 Ringed Plover, 1 Med Gull, 1 Curlew, 1 Willow Warbler on the coastal path, 2 Kingfisher, 12 Tufted Duck and 2+ juv Fulmar on cliffs. (D Chaney)

Land’s End: 4 Wheatear and 1 juv Cuckoo. (P & H Taylor)

Croft Pascoe: 2 Green Sandpipers. (D Eva)

Crousa Downs: 2 Marsh Harrier. (D Eva)

Drift Reservoir (members only): 7 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 Kingfisher. (B Dodd)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 1 Ruff (juv), 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Greenshank, 4 Redshank and 1 Wigeon.(J St Ledger)

Porthgwarra: Great Shearwater and Balearic Shearwater.


Monday 18th August 2014

Ringing report: 2 colour-ringed juv Mediterranean Gull on Towan beach, near Portscatho, observed by Stuart Croft on 13/8/14, were both ringed 29/6/14 at Barbâtre, Polder de Sebastopol, Vendée, FRANCE  46,56N 2,09W. This is their first sighting away from their nesting site.

Charlestown: 2 Rock Pipit and 1 Peregrine. (D Hastilow)

Drift Reservoir (members only): 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, 1 Kingfisher and 1 Wheatear. (A McKecknie)


Common Sandpiper, Alex McKecknie

Truro: 1 juv Siskin again in private garden. (D Jenkins)

Porthgwarra, Roskestal: 1 Hooded Crow again. (R Farnes)

RFarnes_HoodedCrow2_180814Hooded Crow, Rod Farnes RFarnes_HoodedCrow1_180814 Hooded Crow, Rod Farnes

Marazion Marsh RSPB: 4 Mute Swan, 4 Mallard, 9 Moorhen, 3 Grey Heron, 1 Reed Bunting and 2 juv Stonechat plus Reed and Sedge Warblers. (D Parker)

Davidstow: 8 Ringed Plover (6 ad & 2 juv) and 3 Dunlin. (L Day)

Maer Lake: 1 f Ruddy Shelduck, c700 Canada Geese, 1 Snow Goose type, 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Knot, 1 Redshank and 5 Dunlin. (L Day)

Men-Aver Beach: 60 Mediterranean Gull on the reef this afternoon, including 35 juveniles. (M Grantham)

Ruan Lanihorne: 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper and 1 Kingfisher. (D Hall)

Hayle Estuary RSPB, Copperhouse Creek: 7 Common Sandpiper. (S Turner)

Buttermilk Hill: 12 Whitethroat, 3 Dartford Warbler  (male and 2 juveniles), 9 Stonechat, 6 Raven, 5 Common Buzzard, 20 Curlew and 1 Cuckoo (this is the same juvenile that I had 2 days ago). (V Stratton)

St Ives: 1 Great Shearwater and 6 Sooty Shearwater past. (Sennen Cove Birdwatching)

Falmouth, Pendennis Point: 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 juv Marsh Harrier, many Manx Shearwater, Gannets, plus 1 Wheatear and pod of Dolphin. (S Perfect)


Sunday 17th August 2014

Late News, 11/08, Nanquidno: 2 juvenile Hooded x Carrion Crow (both showing obvious Hooded characteristics, one somewhat more then the other) at Nanjulian, in fields north of the farm with Carrion Crow, viewed from the end of the public road. (J Clarke)

Late News, 15/08, Bodmin town centre: Female Peregrine Falcon captured a pigeon and landed on the flat roof where she started to pluck and eat her prey. (K Thomas)

Late News, 15/08, Drift Reservoir (members only): 2cy Yellow-legged Gull. (B Richards)

Yellow-legged Gull, 2cy, Drift Reservoir, Cornwall, 14 Aug 14 (3) B Richards Yellow-legged Gull, 2cy, Drift Reservoir, Cornwall, 14 Aug 14 (5) Brett Richards


Late News, 16/08, Sancreed: 3 Swifts. (DS Flumm)

Marazion Marsh RSPB: 4 Mute Swan with 5 cygnets, 9 Mallard, 1 Cormorant, 26 Moorhen, 1 Water Rail, 1 Little Grebe, 5 Grey Heron,  1 Kingfisher, 2 Stonechat, 1 Cetti’s Warbler plus Reed and Sedge Warblers. Also 1 Clouded Yellow butterfly. (DK Parker & R Menari)

Pendeen: 2 Sooty Shearwater, 6 BalearicShearwater and hundreds of Manx Shearwater, 4 Great Skua, 2 Dunlin, 1 Med Gull, 1 Swift, 7 Bottle-nosed Dolphin & 1 Ocean Sunfish. between 06:30 & 09:30. (DS Flumm)

Porthgwarra: 5 Balearic Shearwater and 1 Black Tailed Godwit between 07:30 & 09.00. (H Bradshaw) ! Cory’s Shearwater and 2 Sooty Shearwaters also reported and the Hooded Crow again at Roskestal Farm.

Kingsmill Lake: 70+ Curlew, 2+ Whimbrel, 11 Dunlin, 27+ Greenshank, 2 Redshank, 13 Canada Geese, 2 Cormorant,11 Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, 3+ Med Gull, 30+ Black-headed Gull, 2 Herring Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Coal Tit, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Jay and 1 Swallow at high tide. (C Ellis)

Devoran: 106 Curlew (including a returning colour-ringed bird from Netherlands and a bird from the Severn estuary, more info here), 5 Whimbrel, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 33 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 19 Oystercatcher, 6 Dunlin and 1 Turnstone at high tide. (M Grantham)

Truro: Juv Siskin in a private garden again. (D Jenkins)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 14 Med Gull inc 1 juv Ryan’s field.  2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank, 1 male Wideon, 9 Little Egret and 8 Teal on Lelant Water. (S Turner)

Cot Valley: 4 Spotted Flycatchers. (S Turner)

Drift Reservoir (members only): 3 Peregrines hunting, 1 Little Egret, 1 Swift plus lots of hirundines. (S Turner)

Wadebridge: 3 Wood Sandpiper and 1 Kingfisher at Treraven marsh. (P Kemp)

Ruan Lanihorne: 1 Juv. Marsh Harrier successfully hunting again for the 4th evening at 20:15 viewed from Ruan Quay. Also 2 Common Sandpipers. (D Hall)

Crows-an-Wra: Great White Egret flew over the A30 at 09:55.



Saturday 16th August 2014

Late news, 15/8, Scillonian crossing, Penzance to Wolf am: 96 Manx Shearwater and 3 distant large shearwaters. Wolf to Penzance pm: 95 Manx Shearwater and 2 Common Scoter outside Penzance. (B Craven & D Curtis)

Late news, 15/8, Goonhilly Downs: 1 Nightjar. (A Nicholson)

Marazion Marsh RSPB: 4 Mute Swan with 5 cygnets, 8 Mallard, 1 Cormorant, 41 Moorhen, 1 Little Grebe, 7 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 1 Peregrine, 1 Snipe, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Kingfisher, c50 Swallow, 3 Stonechat, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Cetti’s Warbler plus Reed and Sedge Warblers. Also 4+ Clouded Yellow butterflies. (DK Parker)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 160 Canada Geese, 11 Greylag Geese, 1 Wigeon, 67 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 32 Mallard, 7 Grey Heron, 8 Little Egret, 28 Redshank, 22 Oystercatcher, 3 Greenshank and 2 juv Mediterranean Gull.  Ryan’s Field: 4 Little Egret, 78 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Oystercatcher, 11 Mediterranean Gull, 31 Canada Geese,  5 Grey Heron, 43 Curlew, 1 Redshank, 76 Black-headed Gull and 1 Kingfisher. (V Stratton & DK Parker)

Buttermilk Hill: a large fall of migrants today particularly 40 plus Whitethroat on the North side of the Hill and 12 on the South side of the hill, 23 Willow Warbler and 12 Chiffchaff plus 1 Cuckoo, 26 Swallow (adults and juveniles), 28 Meadow Pipit, 3 Dartord Warbler (2 juveniles and an adult male), 4 Raven and 5 Buzzard, including one juvenile. (V Stratton)

VStratton_Cuckoo2_160814juvenile Cuckoo VStratton_Cuckoo1_160814

by Viv Stratton

Drift Reservoir (members only): 2 Common Sandpiper,  2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Kingfisher,  2 Dunlin and many house martins and swallows. (S Maycock)

SMaycock_Kingfisher_160814Kingfisher, Simon Maycock SMaycock_Swallows_160814Swallow, Simon Maycock

Croft Pascoe Pool: 1 Wood Sandpiper. (J & P Rutter)

St Gothian Sands LNR: 1 Fulmar, 8 Little Grebe, 2 Coot, 10 Snipe, 1 Swift, c40 Sand Martin, 3 Swallow, 1 Whitethroat, 6 Stonechat and 1 Wheatear. (MJ Spicer)

Porthgwarra: 1 Hooded Crow still at Roskestal. (MJ & JPR Spicer)

MSpicer_HoodedCrow1_160814Hooded Crow with Jackdaw MSpicer_HoodedCrow2_160814by Jay Spicer

Millbrook: 1 Hobby chasing House Martins this afternoon and 2, maybe 3, Hummingbird Hawkmoths in the garden. (B Taggart)

Charlestown: 2 Rock Pipit and 1 Robin. (D Hastilow)

DHastilow_RockPipit1_160814Rock Pipit, David Hastilow DHastilow_Robin_160814Robin, David Hastilow

Maer Lake NR: 1 Ruddy Shelduck still.

Pelagic out of Penzance: 1 Cory’s Shearwater.

Rumps Point: 1 Great Shearwater reported.

Ruan Lanihorne: 1 Marsh Harrier again, plus 1 Kingfisher and 1 Common Sandpiper. (D Hall, C & D Hughes & J Comber) Plus 1 Barn Owl (A Nicholson)

Lamoran: 1 Tawny Owl. (A Nicholson)

Late news, 15/8, Troon, Carwynnen Quoit: Clouded Yellow butterfly. (P Dinning)