Wednesday 22nd March 2017

Late video, 19/3, Par Beach Pool: White-fronted Goose. (John Chapple)


Late news, 21/3, Rosewall, St Ives: 1 female Black Redstart. (S Turner)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 1 Cattle Egret, 2 imm Spoonbill, 1 juv Iceland Gull, 2 sum plum Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Common Gull, 10 Mediterranean Gull, 27 Sandwich Tern, 1m Reed Bunting, 1 Chiffchaff. (R Veal, S Turner, M Bishop, M Scott-Ham)

spoonbill-1-hayle-220317-reuben-veal spoonbill-2-hayle-220317-reuben-veal

Spoonbill – Reuben Veal

Crowlas: 1f Brambling again in private garden. (R Veal)

St Erth: Yellow-browed Warbler in willows alongside lake at SW549347, Green Sandpiper on pond at SW565335. (M Scott-Ham)

St Gothian Sands LNR: 2 m Wheatear. (M & T Hasdell) Later 5 (3m,2f) Wheatear. (R Butts)

Pendeen: c20 Common Dolphin, 2 Harbour Porpoise, Black-throated Diver sitting on sea. (M Scott-Ham)

Bartinney: 1 male Hen Harrier. (P Taylor)

Sancreed: 1 Swallow on wires briefly then north, first of the year in village, 10 Sand Martin, 3 Chiffchaff, 71 Golden Plover north. (D Flumm)

Drift Reservoir: 70 Sand Martin. (D Flumm)

Sennen: 2 Sandwich Tern in the bay this morning. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Marazion Marsh RSPB: 5 Mute Swan, 3 Canada Goose, 2 Greylag Goose, 8 Mallard, 12 Teal, 1 Wigeon, 3 Tufted Duck, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Egret, 4 Little Grebe, 29 Moorhen, 2+ Swallow, 3 Stonechat, 2 Reed Bunting and 1 Siberian Chiffchaff still. (DK Parker) Also 1 drk Shoveler, 3 Grey Heron, 1 buck Roe Deer in field behind Longrock Pool. (A James) 2 Swallow on wires at Longrock Pool. (R Butts)

shoveler-marazion-220317-alan-james little-egret-marazion-220317-alan-james
heron-marazion-220317-alan-james roe-deer-marazion-220317-alan-james

Shoveler, Little Egret, Grey Heron and Roe Deer – Alan James

Helston: Bonaparte’s Gull again at the boating lake.

Helford River: 20 Cattle Egret in cattle field on west side of Frenchman’s Creek, seen from east side, with 22 Little Egret and 1 juv Iceland Gull. (D Britton)


Cattle Egret – Dave Britton

Swanpool: 1 Cetti’s Warbler singing, 1 Yellow-browed Warbler still, both on west side, Green Woodpecker heard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sparrowhawk. Offshore 5 Razorbill, 2 Guillemot and 2 Harbour Porpoise. (D Chaney)

College Reservoir: 30 Sand Martin, 1 Swallow. (D Chaney)

Trevose Head: 5 Wheatear. (D Lockstone)

Porthilly Point: 5 Common Gull, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Sandwich Tern, 62 Wigeon. (S Grose)

Gannel Estuary: 1 Chough flew north high over Penpol Creek at 18.30, 6 Cattle Egret. (S grose)

River Camel from Wadebridge to Tregunna Bridge: 24 Mute Swan, 4 Canada Goose, 25 Shelduck, 15 Mallard, 9 Wigeon, 1 Teal, 2 Red-legged Partridge, 1 Pheasant, 1 Shag, 1 Little Grebe, 5 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 7 Little Egret, 1 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 120 Oystercatcher, 25 Grey Plover, 200 Golden Plover, 1 Lapwing, 1 Ruff, 25 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 30 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 55 Black-tailed Godwit, 45 Curlew, 3 Black-headed Gull, 1 Common Gull, 150 Herring Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 6 Great Black-backed Gull, 5 Wood Pigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Wren, 2 Dunnock, 2 Robin, 5 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Great Tit, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Magpie, 7 Jackdaw, 11 Rook, 15 Carrion Crow, 5 Starling, 7 House Sparrow, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Bullfinch. (M Scawen et al)

Par Pool: 1 imm Caspian Gull, no sign of the White-fronted Goose. (R Butts)

Upper Fowey Valley: 1 Mistle Thrush. (R Butts)

Dozmary Pool: 12 Tufted Duck, 1 Lesser Scaup, 1 Little Grebe, 1 fem Shoveler, 1 pair Teal, 1 fem Goldeneye, 12 Lapwing, c500 Golden Plover over, c20 Pied Wagtail, c10 Meadow Pipit, 1 Water Pipit. (R Butts)

Stithians Reservoir: 3 Greylag Goose. (R Hampshire)

Lanner Green: 3 Goldfinch, pair Chaffinch, Greenfinch, m Bullfinch in private garden. (R Hampshire)


Tuesday 21st March 2017

Maer Lake: 2 Spoonbill flew in at 12.00, still feeding at 14.30. (M Arval)

spoonbill-1-maer-lake-210317-martin-arval spoonbill-2-maer-lake-210317-martin-arval

Spoonbill – Martin Arval

Drift Reservoir: c100 Sand Martin. (D Flumm)

Sancreed: 8 Sand Martin, 2 Chiffchaff, 120 Lesser Black-backed Gull north. (D Flumm)

St Erth: 1 Cattle Egret and 7 Little Egret in Tredrea Lane. (MJ Spicer)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: Spoonbill present again.

Lizard Point: 1 Little Gull, 5 Sandwich Tern, 30+ Puffin. (A Blunden, I Maclean)

Gannel Estuary: 1 Greenshank, 14 Curlew, 6 Cattle Egret at the Penpol roost. (S Grose)

Porthilly Point: 1 Sandwich Tern, 31 Wigeon. (S Grose)

Penzance: Blackcap in private garden. (R Farnes)


Blackcap – Rod Farnes

Siblyback Reservoir: 1 Hobby hunting Sand Martins, flew off towards Cheesewring, harrassed by Kestrel, 14 Sand Martin, 2 Kestrel, 12 Meadow Pipit, 60+ Herring Gull, 1 Black-headed Gull, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 2 Cormorant, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Buzzard, 2 Redwing. (P Sharp)


Weekly Roundup 13th – 19th March 2017

After last weeks’ crake excitement it was mostly back to normal, with a scattering of early migrants continuing to enter the county, with some of the regular rarities and wintering birds hanging on.

An attempt to survey the county’s Cattle Egrets was arranged for Sunday the 19th; suspicions that a larger number of birds were in Cornwall than were being reported on any one day were confirmed with, despite incomplete coverage of the county, an impressive 77+ birds counted. The majority of these were on the Lizard, roosting at Helston Loe Pool and Frenchman’s Creek the other side of the peninsula on the Helford, with a good count also at St Clements near Truro. That not all sites elsewhere in the county were counted means the true number could well be higher yet.

The Spoonbill remained on the Hayle, with a Bittern at Long Rock pool. An adult Shag on Carnsew Pool was slightly unusual away from the coast proper, whilst a flock of 30 presumably continental migrant Cormorants were seen flying north inland near Maenporth.

There was a Little Ringed Plover at St Gothian NR on the 16th. Rarity is of course relative; a Red-legged Partridge at Sancreed Beacon perhaps only the 2nd record there in 23 years.

The Bonaparte’s Gull remained at Helston Loe Pool throughout; enjoy it whilst you can.

Iceland Gulls sightings continued at a number of sites around the county, including at Marazion on the 13th, an adult at College Reservoir on the 14th, and presumably the same seen a few days after on farmland nearby, a first winter at Hayle and a juv off Marazion, a juv at Porth Res on the 15th, an adult and juv at Drift and so on throughout the week. Maybe an Iceland Gull survey needs to be organized next?! No Glaucous Gulls reported however.

Gulls continue to move through (waves of Lesser Black- backs noted, and Black-headed Gulls likely to become increasingly scarce over the next few weeks), Mediterranean Gulls also passing through and the Long Rock Little Gull now gone. Marazion hosted a 1st w Caspian Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull on one date, with a 3rd winter YLGull on the Gannel on the 17th.

The odd Sandwich Tern began to be reported towards the end of the week, with 15 at Newlyn on the 19th the only sizeable number.

A pair of rare geese (most geese are rare in Cornwall) featured with 1 albifrons White-fronted Goose in a field with Canada Geese at Par Beach on the 17th with a late report of a Pink-footed Goose at Marazion on the 17th which flew in from the NE with 5 Greylag Geese, circled the reserve and flew back NE towards Hayle that morning.

A report of a Barnacle Goose in the county perhaps relates to one of the dodgy hybrids about, or if genuinely of the species, doubts would still have to remain over its true, wild provenance. The tame Mandarin remained at Porth Reservoir.

A drake Scaup at Helston Boating Lake would appear to be a new bird with the College Res bird still being present in the first half of the week at least.  Three Garganey were at Walmesley on the 16th, with a pair on the sea off Marazion that evening With a sprinkling of Long-tailed Ducks about offshore. The Lesser Scaup on Bodmin remained.

A Barn Owl was rescued from a house chimney in Millbrook and released. Bit sooty but otherwise seemingly ok. Maybe it thought it wanted to be a guttata (Dark-breasted Barn Owl), but never a good move. A Short-eared Owl was at St Agnes Head on the 15th. Sparrowhawks and Merlins were reported more widely than of late. Peregrines too, but breeding will certainly have started for some pairs by now; as noted elsewhere we won’t necessarily be reporting specific reports of bird such as these from now on.

Seawatching results included, from  Lizard Point: 67 Manx Shearwater, 2 Red-throated Diver and 1 Puffin on the 13th with 35 Puffin, 1 Great Skua and 200+ Common Dolphin on the 15th , with 2 Balearic Shearwater, 31 Manx Shearwater, 52 Fulmar, 505 Gannet, 310 Kittiwake and auks, including 10 Puffin, seen at Porthgwarra on the 18th.

A hybrid Hooded x Carrion Crow was seen at Sennen, with 15 Chough reported from Carn Gloose.

Gerrans Bay finally came into its own after very few records this winter so far, with 40 Black-throated Divers reported on the 14th , along with 16 Great Northern Diver and 2 Slavonian Grebe, with c.60 BTDivers on the 19th and a massive 112 diver sp (presumed to be three quarters Black-throated) midweek.

The Black-necked Grebe was again seen at Stithians Reservoir, now onto its 3rd official WeBS count, but apparently not reported otherwise. The Drift birds were unreported this week.

What would make many a birders day, week or year even? For many it coud well be a Hoopoe, with one seen on the 16th at Seaview International Holiday Park, Boswinger near Gorran Haven and again still to the 19th. Not especially rare, but that’s not what it’s all about. More the funky hairdo and touch of Mediterranean exotica.

Swallows may make a summer (swallows have been seen, although presumably not at traditional breeding sites yet), but Sand Martins make a spring if you happen to be birding at one of Cornwall’s lakes or reservoirs. Drift saw the highest numbers, with 95 on the 14th and 130 on the 17th, other counts included 40 at College Reservoir on the 18th. The odd Swallow and House Martin were reported too. Regular watchers of any lakes or waterbodies will be keeping their eyes peeled in the hope of an overshooting Red-rumped Swallow perhaps over the next few weeks …

2 Yellow-browed Warbler remained in Swanpool, with the Tehidy bird still present Chiffchaff were on the move in small numbers. Wheatears continued to be reported in small numbers; 6 Wheatear on Looe Island the only sizeable number reported.

Chiffchaffs singing more, Blackcaps too (presumably our winter birds still), and Rooks amongst others seen nest-building,

Of winter birds, 9 Fieldfare were at Sancreed on the 15th; still a few weeks to go before the changeover is in full swing.

Late news from last week (Sun 12th) was of 2 Little Bunting still at Nanjizal, although presumably not visible from public areas

In other groups, the cetaceans from the Lizard aside, the only notable sighting was of a Female Vagrant Emperor dragonfly in a private garden at Newlyn on the 15th. With another seen on the Scillies and a large movement of this migratory species noted from Africa (where they occur normally), something to keep an eye out for perhaps.

Looks like we may be in for some sunnier weather than of late; although a bit of a drop in temperature with winds from the north east.


Monday 20th March 2017

Late news, 15/03, St Austell Bay: 7 Common Scoter, 1 f Velvet Scoter, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 4 Great Crested Grebe off Par Beach. (B Bosistow)

Late news, 18/03, College Reservoir: 40+ Sand Martin, 1f Goldeneye. (D Chaney)

Late news, 19/03, Trevose Head: 4 Puffin, 1 Hooded Crow, 2 Scandinavian Rock Pipit. (B Bosistow)

Late news, 19/3, Walmsley Sanctuary: 113 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Ruff,1 Common Redshank,1 Barnacle Goose, 24 Gadwall, 6 Pintail, 65 Sand Martin, 1 Water Pipit. (B Bosistow)

Late photos, 19/3, Par Beach Pool: albifrons White-fronted Goose.

white-fronted-goose-2-par-190317-steve rogers white-fronted-goose-1-par-190317-steve rogers

White-fronted Goose – Steve Rogers

Gannel Estuary: 6 Cattle Egret, 4 Little Egret. (S Rowe)

Portholland Beach: 1 2w Glaucous Gull flew onto rocks at 13.30. (K Blackman)

Amalveor: Ringtail and Male Hen Harrier this evening. (R Menari)

Men-an-Tol: ringtail Hen Harrier at 18:10. (DK Parker)

Marazion: 2 Swallow, 6 Sand Martin and 3 Tufted Duck on Longrock Pool. (DK Parker)

Wherry Rocks, Penzance: 6 Sandwich Tern at 13.15. (R Butts)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 2 1w Iceland and 2w Yellow-legged Gull. Spoonbill also still present.

Kynance Cove: 1 Wheatear. (M&P Holt)

Old Lizard Head: male Black Redstart, 2 Chough. Also several Stonechat in the area. (M&P Holt)

Crowlas: 1f Brambling, 1 Chiffchaff in full song in private garden. (R Veal)

Rosemullion Head: 2 Black-throated Diver. (J St Ledger)

Falmouth Bay: 4 Common Scoter west. (D Chaney)

Gorrangorras, Penryn River: 9 Little Egret roosting, 1m Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Greenshank, 4 Redshank, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Oystercatcher – at mid-morning high tide. (D Chaney)

Stithians Reservoir: 1 f Goldeneye, 40 Canada Goose. (D Chaney)

Gwennap Churchyard: 1 Nuthatch. (R Hampshire)

Charlestown: 1 Sparrowhawk in private garden. (D Hastilow)

sparrowhawk-charlestown-200317-david hastilow

Sparrowhawk – David Hastilow

Par Beach: 1 European White-fronted Goose feeding on factory roof on the way to Spit Beach! 1 1w Caspian Gull and 1 1w Yellow legged Gull on buildings by the beach, large numbers of gulls in the bay. (B Bosistow)

Bissoe: Osprey sat on top of a tree between here and Cross Lanes. (A Luxmoore)


Sunday 19th March 2017

Late news, 17/3, Gerrans Bay: 1 Sandwich Tern. (R and S Sharp)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 2 Sandwich Tern at high tide, 2 juv Iceland Gull, 2 2w Yellow-legged Gull, 5 (3 sum plum) Med Gull, drk Goosander, 1 sum plum Black-tailed Godwit on Lelant Saltings. 1 imm Spoonbill on Ryan’s Field. (R Veal, M Halliday). Also 16 Bar-tailed Godwit. (D Britton)

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Sandwich Tern, Mark Halliday

Sandwich Tern, Mark Halliday

St Erth: 3 Cattle Egret. (D Britton)

Drift: 95 Sand Martin. (D. Flumm)

Tol Carn, Newlyn: 15 Sandwich Tern, 1 ad Common Gull, 1 Great Crested Grebe c.15:30. (Roy Phillips)

Penzance: 2 Sandwich Tern. (P St Pierre)

St Ives Bay: 12 Great Northern Diver, 2 Sandwich Tern. (S Rowe)

Godrevy Towans: 1 Sparrowhawk. (R Hampshire)

Bowithick: 1 female Merlin, 3 Wheatear. (D Eva)

Helston: 1st winter Bonaparte’s Gull still at the boating lake. (C Selway, I Maclean) Also 16 Cattle Egret at Loe Pool this evening and 2 Firecrest. (I Maclean)

Lizard Point (09:30-11:00): 40+ Puffin, 5 Manx Shearwater. (I Maclean)

Frenchman’s Creek: 35+ Cattle Egret. (T Chatfield, C Chatfield)

St Clement: 19 Cattle Egret, 1 Little Egret roosting at 17:40, most flew towards Malpas at 17:50. (J Lander) Later at least 20 Cattle Egrets (probably 23) amongst 33 Egrets. (D Britton)

Devoran: 3 Cattle Egret. (J Beaumont)

Porth Reservoir: 11 Great Crested Grebe, 20 sand Martin, 1f Mandarin. (S Grose)

Gannel Estuary: 1 juv Iceland Gull, 1 Greenshank. (S Grose)

Pentewan River: 1 Dipper (A Curwen)

Pendower Beach: 2 Red-throated Diver, 3 Black-throated Diver, 8 Great Northern Diver & 6 Common Scoter. (D Britton)

Par Beach Pool: 1 albifrons White-fronted Goose still present. (S Rogers)

Gorran Haven: 1 Hoopoe still at Boswinger at Sea View International Caravan site. (D Britton) Video by Rob Nicholls.

Mevagissey: 1 Snipe (A Curwen)


Saturday 18th March 2017

Late news, 15/3 Newlyn: Female Vagrant Emperor in a private garden. (L & G Proctor)

Late news, 17/3, Marazion Marsh RSPB: Pink-footed Goose flew in from the NE with 5 Greylags circled the reserve and flew back NE towards Hayle at 09:00. (DK Parker, P St Pierre)

2 Balearic Shearwater, 31 Manx Shearwater, 52 Fulmar, 505 Gannet, 310 Kittiwake, 144 auk sp (Guillemot/Razorbill) and 10 Puffin. (DK Parker)

Marazion: 1 pale phase Pomarine Skua in fairly heavy moult offshore at 10 am, chasing Herring Gulls close into the shore. Also 1 Great Northern Diver and 3 (1m) Common Scoter. (R Veal) 

Marazion Marsh: 15 Sand Martin (including 1 possible partially leucistic bird), 3m Tufted Duck, 1m Shoveler. (R Veal) Also 1 Bittern flew across Longrock Pool c.16:30. (J Veal) 

Crowlas: 1f Brambling again in private garden. (R Veal)

Trewey Common: 4+ (2m) Yellowhammer in bushes near the only house at SW451362 viewed from the road. (R Veal)

Hayle Estuary: 2 3cy Yellow-legged Gull. (C Urquhart)

St Gothian Sands: 1 2w Iceland Gull, 1 Golden Plover south and 1 Coot. (MJ Spicer)

Tehidy CP: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler still by café. (B Field)

Helston, Loe Pool: 16 Cattle Egret. (P St Pierre) 1st winter Bonaparte’s Gull still on the boating lake.

Mullion Harbour: 2 Iceland Gull on water between harbour and island. (S Grose)

Coverack: 1 Iceland Gull.

Kennack Sands: 4 Black-throated Diver (1 in adult summer plumage), 1 Sandwich Tern. (G Adams)

Swanvale, Falmouth: 2 Yellow-browed Warbler still. (Cornwall Birding)

St Clements: 10+ Cattle Egret still at Menadews Farm. (Cornwall Birding)

Ruan Lanihorne: 1 Dipper at Set Bridge. (Cornwall Birding)

Boswinger: 1 Hoopoe still at Sea View International caravan site. (R Nicholls, R Nicholls and M Pass)

Hoopoe, Rowena Nicholls

Hoopoe, Rowena Nicholls

Lethytep, Lanreath: 6 Sand Martin. (P Hambly)

Looe Island: 6 Wheatear. (C Lewis) 

Wheatear, Claire Lewis

Wheatear, Claire Lewis

Gannel Estuary: 1 3w Iceland Gull, 1 3w Yellow-legged Gull, 38 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Med Gull this afternoon. (S Rowe)

Trevarrian: 1 Cattle Egret by airfield between St Mawgan and Trevarrian. (L Curry)

Porth Reservoir: 10 Sand Martin, 7 Great Crested Grebe (D. Eva)


Friday 17th March 2017

Late news, 16/3, Bridge, St. Columb Major: 1 Barnacle Goose. (I Hoare)

Late news, 16/3, Bude: 10 Turnstone, 3 Teal, 1 Wren, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Goldfinch, 2 Goldcrest and 1 Cetti’s Warbler heard (H Wilkins)

Sennen: hybrid Hooded Crow still, 1m Wheatear on Mayon Cliff. (P Taylor)

Bosistow Lane, Polgigga: 1 juv Iceland Gull. (M Wallace)

Cape Cornwall: 3 Black Redstart in ‘last’ garden, 1 male 2 females. (J Brodie-Good)

Drift: 130 Sand Martin. (D. Flumm)

Longrock Pool, Marazion Marsh RSPB: 10 Sand Martin, 1 Swallow. (D. Flumm) Also 1 Bittern and 1 House Martin.

Hayle Estuary: 2nd winter and ad Yellow-legged Gull, also 3 Cattle Egret and 2 juv Iceland Gulls. (M Halliday) Also 1 Greenshank , 16 Curlew, 1 Spoonbill. (C Richards)

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

St Erth: 9 Little Egret. (MJ Spicer)

Connor Downs: 1 Merlin. (Cornwall Birding)

Gwithian: 1 Wheatear at Gothian Sands NR

Tehidy CP: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler.

Camborne: 1 Iceland Gull in ploughed field by former A30.

Helston: 1st winter Bonaparte’s Gull still at the boating lake.

Argal Reservoir: 1 ad Iceland Gull in cauliflower fields at Treverva, also 5 Med Gull and 300+ Herring Gull. (D Chaney)

Gerrans Bay: 1 Long-tailed Duck, 6 Common Scoter, c.60 Black-throated Diver, c.12 Great Northern Diver, 2 Slavonian Grebe, 12 Med Gull and 2 Common Gull. (MJ Spicer)

Par Beach: 1 albifrons White-fronted Goose in field with Canada Geese. (B Hibbett, R Wilkins, MJ Spicer)

Stepper Point: 2 Wheatear below coastguard building. (S Grose)

Bude: 4 Linnet. (H Wilkins)