Sunday 12th November 2017

Late news, 10 & 11/11, Millbrook: On 10/11 there were birds dropping into Millbrook Pond all day and then moving west up the valley. On 11/11 I did 10 minute counts hourly between 09:00 and 14:00 each time counting 250 -300 gulls, mostly Herring Gull but with some Lesser Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull. There was constant stream overhead all day. Adding up for the day and at a conservative estimate there was probably 10,000 gulls moving through over the weekend. All were heading W to NW. Never witnessed a movement like this in the 12 years we’ve been here. (B Taggart)

Newlyn Harbour: 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Kingfisher. (S Grose)

St Ives: 2+ Firecrest and 2+ Goldcrest passing through a private garden in Consols at 09:00. (T Harrison)

St Ives Island: 1765 Kittiwake, 2 Manx Shearwater, 6 Common Scoter, 1 Arctic Skua, 4 Bonxie, 1 Red throated Diver, 2 Little Auk, 3 Common Gull, 1 Wigeon and 1 Red breasted Merganser. (B Bosisto) Also 3 White-fronted Goose flew in off the sea and over the town, 1 d/p Arctic Skua flew inland, 4 Purple Sandpiper and 5000+ Kittiwake between 08:00 & 13:00. (S Rogers, B Mellow, R Veal, R Wilkins)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 1ad Yellow-legged Gull and 1 Spoonbill on Lelant Saltings. (B Bosisto, B Mellow, R Veal, R Wilkins) Also 1 Spoonbill (presumed same) and 1 Sparrowhawk at Carnsew Pool. (B Toms, M Curtis)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 1 Kingfisher, 6 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Greenshank, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Grey Plover, 5 Curlew, 21 Redshank, 19 Ringed Plover, 12 Sanderling, 15 Dunlin off King George V Memorial Walk, Copperhouse. (S Grose)

Trebah: 20+ Brambling in big mixed-species finch flock of 50+ Chaffinch and 15+ Goldfinch feeding on edge of farmland at entrance to Trebah Gardens. (J Irvine)

Porthpean: 2 Surf Scoter, 2 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Great Northern Diver. (D Eva)

Dozmary Pool: Drake Ring-necked Duck still.

Penzance: Adult Pacific Diver off Jubilee Pool, also 6 Great Northern Diver.

Marazion: Water Pipit still on the beach.

Sennen Cove: Grey Phalarope on the sea but flew west at 15:15. (R Musgrove)

Cot Valley: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler below the pumping station.

Penwithick: 1 Siskin, 2 Collared Dove, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 Robin, 5 Goldfinch, 4 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, 5 Long-Tailed Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 4 Chaffinch, 17 Starling, 1 Jay, 5 Jackdaw and 2 Pied Wagtail. (K Bowers)

Jackdaw, Pied Wagtail and Goldfinch – Kevin Bowers

Falmouth: 1 Song Thrush, 3 Blackcap in a private garden. (E Tackley)

Swanpool beach: 1 Pied Wagtail. (E Tackley)

North Cliffs, Camborne: 1 Chough (unringed) plus 1 Peregrine Falcon. (S Grose)


Saturday 11th November 2017

Porthpean: 2 Surf Scoter, 2 Long-tailed Duck and 4 Great Northern Diver still at 13:45.

Penzance: Pacific Diver and 10 Great Northern Diver off Jubilee Pool.

Dozmary Pool: Drake Ring-necked Duck still.

Par Beach pool: 1 Common Gull, 1 Mediterranean Gull. (S Grose)

Constantine: 1 Woodcock. (J Chapman)

Truro, Idless: 45+ Redwing feeding on garden hawthorn. (B Kennett)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 1 Spoonbill, 1 Turnstone, 6 Dunlin, 80 Golden Plover, 2 Common Gull. (R Veal) Also 1 Merlin. (P St Pierre)

Penzance: 1 Great Northern Diver in harbour; 4 more in Mount’s Bay. (R Veal)

Gwithian: 1 Hooded Crow (or the regular hybrid?) reported from road to Godrevy. (per P St Pierre)

Trago Mills, Liskeard: 2 Firecrest, 1 Dipper. (S Grose)

Millbrook pond: 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Glaucous x Herring Gull and 30 Med Gull. 2 Black Redstart and Firecrest in village. (AC Robinson and GK Gordon)

Lower Tamar Lake: 3m Goosander, 11 Tufted Duck, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 26 Coot, 2 Gadwall, 1 Shoveler, 10 Wigeon, c40 Mallard and 1 Great Black-backed Gull. 2 Willow Tit, 2 Great Tit, 3 Coal Tit, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Goldcrest, 3 Blue Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker from the hide. 3 Blue Tit, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit and 3 Chaffinch. (R Mudge)

Upper Tamar Lake: 1f Goosander, 5 Cormorant, 16 Mallard, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Great Black-backed Gull, 250 Black-headed Gull and Herring Gull, 1f Stonechat, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 16 Mallard, c400 Starling. (R Mudge)

Newlyn: 1 Red-throated Diver and 5 Great Northern Diver off Roskilly. (C Gladman)

Towan Head: 1 Great Northern Diver (west), 1 Med Gull. (S Rowe)

Gannel Estuary: 43 Wigeon, 620 Herring Gull. (S Rowe)


Friday 10th November 2017

Late news, 9/11, Tresillian: Firecrest in private garden on Polsue Way. (A Nicholson)

Late photo, 9/11, Porthpean: 2 Surf Scoter. (J St Ledger)

Surf Scoter – John St Ledger

Dozmary Pool: drake Ring-necked Duck again this morning at 07:30. (J Turner, C Buckland) Also 6 Pochard, 24 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Grebe. (C Buckland)

St Gennys: 49 Gannet, 2 Great Skua, 27 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 13 Great Black-backed Gull, 62 Herring Gull, 12 Razorbill, 24 Guillemot, 19 Puffin, 8 Tern sp, 3 Red-throated Diver, 200+ Redwing in off the sea from the direction of Lundy, 2 Buzzard and 9 Raven between 09:00 & 10:00. (N Bastin)

Saltash: 2 White Wagtail in a private garden. (N & J Evans)

Penzance: Pacific Diver present off the Lido between 13:30 and 15:00. Also 14 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Common Scoter, at least 5 Great Northern Diver. (D Collins) Red-breasted Merganser in the harbour for a second day plus the regular drake Eider, also 15 Purple Sandpiper by Jubilee Pool. (M Elliot, L Proctor)

Hayle Estuary RSPB, Ryan’s Field: 2 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 4 Redshank, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Curlew, 2 Robin, 12 Black-headed Gull. (K Bowers) Also 1 Spoonbill still.

Black-headed Gulls, Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit – Kevin Bowers

Helford River, from Durgan: 1 Great Northern Diver. (J St Ledger)

Porthpean: 2 Surf Scoter, 2 (m+f) Long-tailed Duck, 5 Common Scoter, 13 Great Northern Diver and a Common Sandpiper on the rocks. (T Wilson)

Millbrook: 1st winter Caspian Gull seen well for one hour on the pond. Also 2 Firecrest and a Black Redstart in the village. (AC Robinson, GK Gordon)

Sennen: 2 Little Bunting SE of Trevilley Farm. 1st cal Caspian Gull Sennen Cove (K Wilson)

Siblyback Reservoir: 2 Hawfinch flew N late afternoon. Also female Scaup still present. (D Julian)

Gerrans Bay: 6 Great Northern Diver. Also Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. (B Porter)

Marazion: Water Pipit still present. (S Rogers)

Wacker Quay, River Lynher: 4 Little Egret, 4 Redshank, 4 Shelduck, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Dunlin, 5 Mallard. ( D Hastilow)

St Ives: flock of 130 Fieldfare. (R Veal)

Porth Reservoir: 5 Tawny Owl. (S Grose)


Thursday 9th November 2017

Late News, 08/11, Falmouth: 20 Long-tailed Tit flock, 1 Blackcap through Windsor Quarry. (D Chaney)

Late photos, 9/11, Tehidy: All by Bob Sharples.

Kingfisher at Tehidy Country Park, Cornwall, UK

Moorhen at Tehidy Country Park, Cornwall, UK

Black Headed Gull at Tehidy Country Park, Cornwall, UK

Marazion: Water Pipit still on beach near mouth of Red River. (TD Mills)

Newlyn: Pacific Diver again distantly off Roskilly. (TD Mills)

Crowlas: 2 Hawfinch low over at 7:45, 1 Merlin through. (R Veal)

St Gothian Sands: 1 Coot, 8 Snipe, 2 Dunlin, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew, 1 Common Gull and 1 Med Gull. (MJ Spicer)

Porthilly Point: 3 Common Gull, 12 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Kingfisher, 104 Oystercatcher, 1 Snipe (S Grose)

Gwennap: 1+ Nuthatch, heard only, church area. (R Hampshire)

Penryn: 4 Hawfinch over UoE this morning. (M Silk)

Swanvale: 3 Yellow-browed Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest and c15 Long-tailed Tit plus 3 Water Rail heard. (DK Parker) 

Swanpool: 19 Tufted Duck, 1 Pochard, 36 Coot, 2 Water Rail and 5 Moorhen. Also 1 Black-throated Diver offshore. (DK Parker)

Treverva: 1 Firecrest. (D Chaney)

Illogan: 2 Great Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 6 Long-tailed Tit, 15 House Sparrow, 2 Blackbird, 2 Dunnock, 1 m Greenfinch, 5 Goldfinch, 1 Robin in private garden (J Baker)

Porthpean: 2 Surf Scoter, 2 Long-tailed Duck (m+f), 1 Common Scoter, 4 Great Northern Diver. Also 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker in car park. (J St Ledger, J Turner, M McKee, R Kirkwood) Also 12 Great Northern Diver, Common Sandpiper and a pair of Peregrines knocking feathers out of a woodpigeon twice….and still it escaped! All on a kayak trip from Porthpean to Mevagissey. (R Kirkwood)

Surf Scoter, Dave Parker

Pentewan Bay: 2 Common Scoter, 9 Great Northern Diver (3 groups of 2 parents plus single offspring, constantly communicating with each other) on the above mentioned Kayak trip. (R Kirkwood)

Great Northern Diver, Rupert Kirkwood

Dozmary Pool: 15 Fieldfare, 40+ Golden Plover, 30+ Lapwing, About 20 Tufted Duck with 1 male Ring-necked Duck, 6 Pochard, 1 Little Grebe, Raven. (R Butts, T Pinfield)

Lower Tamar Lake: 3 male Goosander, 40+ Wigeon, 1 Treecreeper, 5/6 Willow Tits constantly visiting the hide feeders, 1 male Sparrowhawk. (R Butts, T Pinfield)

Crowdy Reservoir: 1 distant Hen Harrier, 6+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Raven. (R Butts, T Penfield)

Camel Estuary, Burniere Hide:1 Barn Owl. (S Grose)


Wednesday 8th November 2017

Late news, 7/11, Sancreed: fem Brambling again, 1 Woodcock, 3 Snipe, 18 Skylark, 1 Firecrest (D Flumm)

Newlyn: Pacific Diver showing well at 11:15-11:25 off Sandy Cove. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Penzance: Pacific Diver again towards Longrock, 2 Common Scoter, 14 Purple Sandpiper, 9 Turnstone, 1 Grey Wagtail off Battery Rocks. ( P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Whitecross, nr Crowlas: 4 Hawfinch over this morning at 07:30 and alighted in trees in private garden (J Evans)

Porthpean: 2 Surf Scoter and 2 Long-tailed Duck (m+f), 4 Common Scoter and 5 Great Northern Diver. (C Urquhart, T Phelps)

Porthgwarra: 2 Ring Ouzel by the stonebridge at the bottom of 60ft Cover, Woodcock at Trevean pool and a Vagrant Emperor at the Dried-up Pool by Halfway Wall. (M Wallace)

Longrock: 2 Great Northern Divers offshore early morning. (DK Parker)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 1 Spoonbill and 1 Black Swan with 7 Mute Swan. (DK Parker)

St Gothian Sands LNR: 2 Mute Swan, 27 Tufted Duck, 2 Coot, 3 Little Grebe, 2 Dunlin and 1 Common Darter. (DK Parker)

Lamorna Cove: 1 Water Pipit, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Kingfisher. (M McKee)

Newquay: 1 Male Black Redstart in Pargolla Road. (D Grose)

Towan Head, Newquay: 10 Purple Sandpipers behind Headland Hotel N Fistral rocks at 09:00.  (M Lammas)

Gannel Estuary: 2 Common Sandpiper. (S Rowe)

Camel Trail, Wadebridge to Tregunna: 27 Mute Swan, 19 Canada Goose, 25 Shelduck, 12 Mallard, 55 Wigeon, 1 Teal, 8 Red-legged Partridge, 2 Little Grebe, 4 Cormorant, 1 Shag, 3 Grey Heron, 26 Little Egret, 3 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 75 Oystercatcher, 13 Ringed Plover, 1500 Golden plover, 250 Lapwing, 40 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 70 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 24 Black-tailed Godwit, 80 Curlew, 180 Black-headed Gull, 1 Common Gull, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 90 Herring Gull, 24 Great Black-backed Gull, 4 Wood Pigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 2 Kingfisher, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Wren, 2 Robin, 1 Black Redstart, 6 Redwing, 9 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrest, 6 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Magpie, 7 Jackdaw, 30 Rook, 60 Carrion Crow, 2 Raven, 15 Starling, 7 House Sparrow, 3 Chaffinch, 1 Greenfinch, 7 Goldfinch, 2 Bullfinch. (M Scawen et al.)

Falmouth: 1 Hawfinch, 1 Brambling, 66 Fieldfare and 5765 Woodpigeon over between 07:20 & 08:00. (B Porter)

Carrick Roads: 15 Black-necked Grebe (distant), 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Redshank and 37 Turnstone viewed from Sailing Club at Mylor Churchtown. (J St Ledger)

Stithian’s Reservoir: A pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Sparrowhawk hunting Snipe at cut off hide Stithians. (S Williams)


Upton Towans: Short-eared Owl this morning (M Grantham)

East Looe seafront: 1 Black Redstart, 1 Dunlin, 1 Eider, 6 Meadow Pipit, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Stonechat, 1 Oystercatcher, 3 Shag, 7 Turnstone, 1 Sparrowhawk, large flocks of Herring and Black-headed Gull. (D Spooner)

Hannafore: 1 Kingfisher, 2 Stonechat, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Grey Wagtail. (D Spooner)

St Marryn: Peregrine hunting Woodpigeon with 2 successful hunts. (R Hughes)

Tremayne Quay: 6 Greenshank, 5 Redshank, 5 Curlew, 10 Grey Heron, 5 Little Egret, 3 Little Grebe, 40 Mallard, 9 Shelduck, 4 Mute Swan. (M Nattrass)


Tuesday 7th November 2017

Late news, 6/11, Loe Pool: 1 Bewick/Whooper Swan reported. (J Colyer)

Late news, 6/11, Looe Island: 2 Blackcap, 79 Black-headed Gull, 3 Blackbird, 1 Buzzard, 81 Canada Goose, 70 Carrion Crow, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Chiffchaff, 16 Cormorant, 6 Curlew, 10 Dunnock, 1  Firecrest, 11 Gannet, 1 Goldcrest, 20 Goldfinch, 1 Great Northern Diver, 29 Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Grey Wagtail, 107 Herring Gull, 1 Kingfisher, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 11 Little Egret, 19 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Kestrel, 8 Mallard, 5 Meadow Pipit, 4 Mediterranean Gull, 17 Oystercatcher, 3 Pheasant, 6 Pied Wagtail, 2 Raven, 11 Robin, 4 Rock Pipit, 16 Shag, 3 Whimbrel, 9 Wood Pigeon, 9 Wren. Plus 7 Grey Seal. (D Spooner)

Penzance: Sum plum Pacific Diver off the Bus station but still distant, also 2 Great Northern Diver. (P St Pierre)

Dozmary Pool: Drake Ring-necked Duck still.

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 1 Spoonbill on Lelant Saltings also c81 Golden Plover. (DK Parker, M Pass)

Marazion: Water Pipit and Yellow Wagtail still on the beach strandline about half way along the dunes. (M Pass)

Porthpean Beach: 2 Surf Scoter, 3 Common Scoter, 1 pair of Long-tailed Duck and 1 Great Northern Diver in partial breeding plumage. (D Reeves)

Stithians Reservoir: 1 m Sparrowhawk, 1 m Mandarin, 1 Firecrest (Southern cut-off). (J St Ledger, T Lovelock, T Mills)

Sparrowhawk, Tony Mills

Sparrowhawk, Tony Mills

Colan, Fir Hill woods: 2 Firecrest, 1 Nuthatch, 2 Treecreeper, 7 Bullfinch and 20 Goldcrest. ( S Grose)

Tregadillett: 1 Firecrest in garden. (B Craven)

Sunny Corner, Truro: 1Spotted Redshank. (M Jones)

Swanpool: 2 Water Rail. (S Court)

Porth Reservoir: 7 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck, 9 Coot, 2 Wigeon, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Snipe, 1 Woodcock, 1 Sparrowhawk. (S Grose)

Tamar Lakes: 1 White-fronted Goose. (J Elvin)

Tregonetha Downs: 3 Tawny Owl, 2 Coot, heard only. (S Grose)


Review of the Week – Sunday 5th November

Birding highlights and news this week.

Having mentioned last week that the total number of bird species seen last year is heading for an all-time record, it was perhaps inevitable that no new species were recorded in the county this week, the longest period with no new additions since mid August. However, there was plenty of interest in the county, with several good new birds appearing.

The only BBRC rarity this week (but a big one) was the presumed returning Pacific Diver in Mounts Bay for its 11th season (with odd gaps), a welcome winter sign for Paul St Pierre on the 4th. Otherwise an unconfirmed report of an American Cuckoo sp. at Penberth on the 2nd would certainly have been bird of the week if proven to be at the time.

The White-rumped Sandpiper at St Gothian LNR, a good find last week by Mike Spicer, continued to show well for the first half of the week until Thursday at least. Two further Olive-backed Pipits were seen – one at Mousehole on the 31st  the other at Trevose Head in flight on the 3rd November, potentially the 15th and 16th records for the county.

A Hoopoe was seen and heard in woodland at Helford on the 1st. A juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was showing rather well in gardens at Treen, with another report in Penzance. A Common Rosefinch was at Pendeen, Siberian Chiffchaff and a Serin on the Lizard, further Richard Pipits, and a Red-breasted Flycatcher was at Kenidjack.

The week was a good week for egrets, with 4 Great White Egret in flight at Carn Glose on the 1st and 5 Cattle Egret at Gwithian on the 31st, with 12 at Devoran from the 3rd, with singles elsewhere. Other Great White Egrets were scattered throughout the week at other locations, and there was also a notable influx of 19 Little Egret into Marazion midweek. The Glossy Ibis was again seen, and Spoonbill numbers remained good.

An American Golden Plover over Constantine was perhaps unexpected for the observer, with the reported Hooded Crow in the west perhaps being the long-staying Hooded/Carrion Crow hybrid.

Two Surf Scoter were off Porthpean on the 5th – seemingly an adult and 1stw female, bringing the total this year to 3 after a fly-by back on October 3rd past Pendeen.

A Sabine’s Gull was noted past St Ives, and 5 Balearic Shearwater on the ‘Introduction to Seawatching’ event on the Lizard (along with a Lapland Bunting in flight). Otherwise the buildup in winter seabirds remains slow. A Caspian Gull was noted at Colliford.

The 2 Snow Goose of unknown origin (ie, not thought to be genuine wild birds from Nearctic regions) were again seen in the east of the county, with a couple of White-fronted Goose (both the Greenland, and the rarer in Cornwall, European subspecies) and a Pink-footed Goose.

There were still a few reports of traditional summer birds – a few reports of Swallow, with singles of House Martin, Reed Warbler, Yellow Wagtails and Turtle Dove. At least some of which had presumably travelled from the eastern part of their range rather than being lingering British individuals.

The change in the seasons continued, with new arrivals including a noticeable upturn in Blackcap, with other birds such as Woodcock and other winter visitors arriving. Hawfinches continued to be seen at a number of locations, with over 32 reported. 13+ Yellow-browed Warbler reports were received in comparison. Visible migration continued to be good in the first half of the week, with 10,030 Woodpigeon and 134 Stock Dove at Sancreed notable, and good numbers of Fieldfare also seen.

The first Bittern of the season was seen at Marazion Marsh, a Goosander was at Drift Reservoir, and 13 Black-necked Grebe were noted at the traditional wintering site of the Carrick Roads. Hen and Marsh Harriers, Merlins, Water Pipits and the inexorable increase in Black Redstarts continued and mostly complete the picture in the continuing change of the seasons.

The big news announcement this week within the society is the introduction of a Student Membership, for active students and young persons up to the age of 23. This will be with a reduced membership rate, and will include a hard copy of BiC for the relevant year, with a digital subscription to the Palores magazine. Hopefully this will broaden and increase our membership base within the county, and encourage the younger generation to both take up the hobby and actively participate in conserving our county’s birdlife. Please see the membership pages for further information, or email

One small change on the website is a page dedicated to images and sightings of garden birds in the county. This will hopefully serve a number of purposes, including encouraging the monitoring of our garden birds and more people to submit records. Cornwall Birds – Garden Bird Sightings Photo page

Hopefully we will be able to provide some update on the progress of rarity submissions for 2015 and 2016 within the county soon – please note that rarity submission forms for both National and County rarities are available in the right hand menu bar on the main website pages.

Now is also the time to send in any artwork for the County Report (Birds in Cornwall – BiC 2015/16) – images can be in any style/medium which will publish well and fits in with the general styling of the report, of specific individual county or nationally rare/scarce birds seen or of generalised bird species which can be encountered in Cornwall.

Finally, the other big news item this week is that our Publicity Officer, Beth Heasman (who will also be taking on the role of Walks and Events Secretary in the near future) is now no longer Beth Heasman – Congratulations on her marriage to Greg Cross at the weekend!

Dan Chaney, 06/11

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