Wigeon, Teal and Lapwings from the southern hide (Andy Pay)
This body of water is owned jointly by South West Water and South West Lakes Trust, it is a major birding site in the South West and comes with a very impressive species list. There is a footpath around the perimeter of the Reservoir. Alternatively it can be viewed, WITH CARE, from the public highway at the Southern Causeway (just east of the village of Penmarth at SW713351), the Northern Causeway (near the Golden Lion Public House at SW708373) and the dam at the eastern end where there is a large car park at SW719364
CBWPS manages the southern portion of the main reservoir and the southern and northern ‘cut-offs’ as nature reserves. There are two hides for members at the southern end of the site, one overlooking the south western corner of the main body of water and one overlooking the ‘cut-off’ from the western bank. Access to both hides is through unlocked gates on the roadside at the western end of the causeway.
PLEASE BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHEN PARKING AND CROSSING THE ROAD. VEHICLES OFTEN TRAVEL FAR TOO FAST HERE!
There is a new hide built by South West Lakes Trust overlooking the northern cut-off. Access is opposite the Golden Lion.
Locally resident birds include Little and Great Crested Grebe, Buzzard, Kestrel, Mallard, Coot, Stonechat, Raven and Reed Bunting. During the winter months their numbers increase and they are joined by Wigeon, Goldeneye. Goosander and Mediterranean Gulls are often present amongst the flocks of gulls. The surrounding fields often hold large numbers of wintering thrushes.
Sand Martins are the earliest of the spring migrants; other hirundines and Swifts arriving later when the weather improves. Warm winds from the southeast may bring Ospreys or Black Terns.
In addition to the resident breeding birds during late summer wildfowl and waders start to appear. Garganey can often be found among the water plants at both ‘cut-offs’.
During the autumn the water level is critical – if it is high and there is little or no exposed mud – then waders move on very rapidly. However, a decent amount of mud encourages them to stay and a wide variety of species may occur. Lapwing, Ringed Plover, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper are all regular.
Rare birds appear every year without fail. In recent years these have included Pied-billed Grebe, Lesser Scaup, White-rumped Sandpiper, Caspian Tern, Baillon’s Crake and Alpine Swift.
Mega sighting at Stithians Reservoir
Congratulations to Angela Tonry who spotted and photographed this Golden Eagle over Stithians Reservoir on Sunday 19th April 2009. This is one of a series of pictures which also included buzzards mobbing it for size comparison. It has been confirmed that it is not an escapee from a Cornish site. If it is accepted it will only be the second record for Cornwall. The previous one was nearly 200 years ago!