Tuesday 28th February 2017

Late news, 25/2, Helston: 17 Cattle Egret in a field on Meneage Road. (J Stone)

Late news, 27/2, St Clements: 5 Cattle Egret at Menadews Farm. (W Chegwidden)

Late news, 27/2, Coverack:  1 juv Little Gull and 1st winter Iceland Gull. (S Kolodziejski)

Late news, 27/2, Lanhydrock:  2 Woodlark flew over Lanhydrock golf course this afternoon. (D Julian)

Lamorna: 3 Iceland Gull (ad and 2 juv) late afternoon.

Hayle Estuary: 1 juv Iceland Gull again.

Marazion: 1w Little Gull at Marazion off Beach café (M Wallace)

Coverack: 1 juv Iceland Gull at Coverack this afternoon, also 1w Little Gull (T.Phelps)

Falmouth: 500 Chaffinch in set-aside field next to Bickland Water Trading Estate, 1 Black Redstart on rooftops on N Parade. (D Chaney)

Gorrangorras: 4 Snipe, 14 Curlew, 17 Teal, 3 Little Grebe, 3 Greenshank, 26 Redshank. (D Chaney)

Gannel Estuary: 7 Cattle Egret again from carpark early am. (M Lammas), 1 juv Iceland Gull late pm. (S Rowe)

Dozmary Pool: 1m Lesser Scaup.

Malpas, Truro: 20+ Teal at Sunny Corner. (J Blackburn)


Weekly Roundup 20-26th February 2017

A Summary of this week’s birding news in Cornwall.

Milder than recent weeks, with some pleasant sunny days and blustery at times..

A quieter week again, birdwise. No surprise in that the Hudsonian Whimbrel and Pacific Diver were both still reported, the diver only reported once midweek though. Sea conditions may well have partially contributed to that (or it decided to hang out further offshore) – as the nearby Hudsonian was reported almost daily for a change.

There were fewer Cattle Egrets reported this week, with one completely egret-free day midweek. However numbers on Sunday were back up, with reports of 7, 12 and 15+ being reported at weeks’ end on the 26th, on the Gannel Estuary, Truro, and the Helford. Fairly widely spaced …

The Spoonbill remained on the Hayle, with the two birds still at Walmesley on the 23rd.

The Lesser Scaup at Dozmary Pool was still present throughout (although no news on the Mute Swan there), but no reports of the other rare wildfowl. The drake Scaup was still at College Reservoir, with 15 Red-breasted Merganser in the Carrick Roads and 11 Pintail at Walmesly comprising the most interesting non-seawatching records. There were also 135 Wigeon at the latter site.

The Avocet was still at Hayle for the first part of the week at least, with Spotted Redshanks at Kingsmill and Tresillian. A singe Purple Sandpiper at Pendennis Point the first there this year, with the 2 Ruff at Walmesley still; 160 Golden Plover there included a full summer plumaged male.

The only gull of any real note was the Ring-billed Gull on the Gannel Estuary midweek. However, Glaucous Gulls increased from 1 to 3 at least, with juveniles seen at Mousehole, Coverack and St Austell, with a slightly higher number of Iceland Gulls seen at various locations. Common Gull numbers were up, with 19 at Padstow, and Mediterranean Gulls also starting to be increasingly reported; 18 on the Tresilian River on the 23rd a site record, along with good numbers of Black-headed Gull counts (a fair few now acquiring their dark chocolate brown hoods);

1 Slavonian Grebe and 7 Black-necked Grebe were in the Carrick Roads, with the Red-necked Grebe off Falmouth still and 2 Black-necked Grebes reported at Drift on the 24th only.

Seawatching was productive for some, with 7 Common Eider past Falmouth on the 23rd and 2 Velvet Scoter, 2 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throated Diver, 10 Black-throated Diver and 2 Manx Shearwater past Lizard Point on the 24th.The 23rd was the best day for reports from traditional sites on the north-facing coast, with 1 Great Skua and 622 Fulmar in a 2 hour seawatch from Cape Cornwall, 4 Great Skua, 4 Red-throated Diver, 1 Manx Shearwater and a significant passage of c7500 Fulmar in a 4 hour seawatch from Pendeen, with 4 Balearic Shearwater from Godrevy Point completing the picture.

Pomarine Skuas were seen from Lands End and Penzance, with 2 at the latter off Jubilee Pool on the 26th.

Merlin, Short-eared Owl and Hen Harrier were all reported once, as was Sparrowhawk. It has been reported that this has been a very poor winter for Sparrowhawk records; the situation in Cornwall reflecting a genuine problem, or birds just being under-reported?

A Water Pipit was at Hayle, with 3 Lapland Bunting at Polgigga. Six Willow Tits at Lower Tamar Lake a heartening count, but few other notable passerine species reported this week. c70 Pied Wagtails reported pre-roost from St Ives the only sizeable gathering reported recently.

Yellow-browed Warblers were still reported from Tehidy Country Park, College Reservoir and Swanpool, with Siberian Chiffchaffs at the latter site and at Helston Sewage Works.

14 Chough over Cape Cornwall is a good count for Cornwall by any standards.

Signs of spring were apparent with displaying Great Crested Grebes (including a pair at Argal Reservoir making Birdguides pic of the week), singing Blackcaps (including 5 in Truro), drumming Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a flock of c50 Redwing singing/in sub-song pre-roost at College Reservoir.

The mammal highlight was of a Minke Whale not far offshore from Pendennis Point, Falmouth on the 23rd, an interesting winter record. No other cetacean reports received, although interestingly a Humpbacked Whale was off the south coast of Devon the same day. Early butterflies included Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell in Malpas and Truro, presumably brought out of hibernation by the warm sunshine on the day.

Highlight for some this week will have been the joint CBWPS/BTO/Univeristy of Exeter seabirds conference in Penryn this Saturday, ‘Above and Beyond the Cornish Coast’. Thanks to all who worked towards organising this, the speakers, and attendees. An excellent event by all accounts, photos and some interesting snippets highlighted on the cbwps twitter feed (direct link from the cbwps pages twitter feed; you don’t have to be on twitter itself to view) or using the #cornishbirds17 hashtag.

Back outside, and with the first spring migrants proper (Wheatear, Sand and House Martins) being reported elsewhere in the country, it feels like the first summer migrant could turn up any day now, although spring proper should still be a way off …

A bit of a return to winter on the cards for the following week, with wintry showers and blowy conditions forecast.


Monday 27th February

Late news, 26/2, Mousehole: 1 ad Iceland Gull flew in c18:15 (possibly ssp Kumlien’s), 3 2w Yellow-legged Gull, 1 ad Scandinavian (argentatus) Herring Gull, 1 drk Eider, 39 Cormorant on St Clement’s Isle. (R Veal)

Late news, 26/2 Penzance, Jubilee Pool: 1 pale phase Pomarine Skua, 1 Black-throated Diver, 6 Great Northern Diver, 1 drk Common Scoter, 30+ Kittiwake, 6 Guillemot, 8 Razorbill offshore in the afternoon. 1 ad Kittiwake, 8 Purple Sandpiper on Battery Rocks. (R Veal)

Late news, 26/2, Crowlas: 1f Brambling again in private garden. (R Veal)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 19 Golden Plover over. (R Veal) Ryan’s Field: 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, 111 Curlew and 44 Redshank. (MJ Spicer)

Perranuthnoe: 1 Hudsonian Whimbrel still at Boat Cove.

Penzance: 1 Pomarine Skua.

Ryan’s Field: 18 Bar-tailed Godwit, 111 Curlew and 44 Redshank. (MJ Spicer)

Tehidy: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler. (R Farnes)

Yellow-browed Warbler, Rod Farnes

Yellow-browed Warbler, Rod Farnes

Mount Hawke: 2 Bullfinch (M+F) in provate garden. (RB & PC Girling)

Helston Sewage Works: 1 Firecrest, 2+ Goldcrest , 2 Grey Wagtail, 1m Bullfinch and several Chiffchaff. (A McKechnie)

Goldcrest, Alex McKechnie

Goldcrest, Alex McKechnie

Grey Wagtail, Alex McKechnie

Grey Wagtail, Alex McKechnie

Polbathic Creek: 2 Barnacle Geese. (A Blonden)

College Reservoir: 1m Scaup, 20 Tufted Duck, 14 Wigeon, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff. (D Chaney)

Swanpool: 200 Gannet, 8  Razorbill offshore, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Med Gull, 2 Yellow-browed Warbler (1 halfway along west side; 1 at N end just inside Swanvale). Also 4 Harbour Porpoise, 1 Grey Seal. (D Chaney)

Swanvale: 2 Water Rail, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff. (D Chaney)

Falmouth: 1 Red-necked Grebe off Castle Beach. (D Chaney)

Dozmary Pool: 1m Lesser Scaup, 3 Goldeneye.

Kingsmill Lake:  3 Greenshank,  2 Spotted Redshank. (M Beer).

Lower Tamar Lake: 2m Yellowhammer, 1 Willow Tit, 3 Reed Bunting, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 10 Goosander (7m 3f), 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Nuthatch. (R Mudge)


Sunday 26th February 2017

Late News, 25/02, Mylor Bridge, Passage Hill: 1 Blackcap singing (R White)

Penzance: 2 Pomarine Skua off Jubilee Pool, but no sign of Pacific Diver this morning. (D Balmer) 

Mousehole: 1 imm Pomarine Skua circling a fishing boat before disappearing behind St Clement’s Isle 14:30. (R Butts)

Hayle Estuary: 1 2cy Iceland Gull on Hayle Estuary, 1 Spoonbill on Copperhouse Creek this morning. (D Balmer)

Coverack: Juv Glaucous Gull, juv Iceland Gull in the harbour at Coverack this morning. (T Phelps)

Gannel Estuary: 7 Cattle Egret for 2nd morning, viewed from carpark at 9 am, 7 Mediterranean Gull. (M Lammas)

Truro, Menadews Farm:  12 Cattle Egret in field with cattle. (B Toms, M Curtis) 1 Cattle Egret from road later.(A Hill).

Tresillian river: 14 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, at least 5 Mediterranean Gulls in large gull flock including over 200 Black-headed Gull, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gull and many (uncounted) Herring Gull, 25 Teal, over 40 Shelduck . (A Hill)

Frenchman’s Creek: 15+ Cattle Egret in trees this am (P Tongue)

St Clement: 1 Marsh Tit, 3 Siskin on feeders. (B Toms, M Curtis)

Pendower Beach:  5 Common Scoter, 6 Black-throated Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver. (B Toms, M Curtis)

St Just-in- Roseland: 4 Cirl Bunting.(B Toms, M Curtis)

Dozmary Pool: Lesser Scaup still at 10:00am

Port Isaac: Black Redstart on lifeboat slipway this morning. (S Grose)

Chapple Farm: 7 Common Gull in field at Quintrell Downs. (S Grose)


Saturday 25th February 2017

Late News, 24/02, St Austell: Glaucous Gull seen from kayak at Duporth Beach. (R Kirkwood)


Glaucous Gull, Rupert Kirkwood

St Clements: 9 Cattle Egret at Menadews Farm viewable from the road, large numbers of gulls on the river this morning near Tresemple Pool including 1 Common Gull and at least 37 Mediterranean Gull. (M Jones)

Hawkers Cove, Padstow: 13 Common Gull, 2 Stock Dove, 1 Fieldfare, 12 Raven, 1 Red-throated Diver. (S Grose)

Gannel Estuary: 7 Cattle Egret, 1 Water Pipit, 1 Common Sandpiper (S Rowe)

Porthleven: 1 Cattle Egret over Shrubberies Estate. (I Maclean)

Penzance: 1 sub-ad Pomarine Skua. (L Proctor)

Mousehole, St Clements Isle: 1 juv Glaucous Gull and 1 juv Iceland Gull. (L Proctor)

Hannefore Point, Looe: 1 Dunnock. (R Napp)


Dunnock, Rick Napp

Dozmary Pool: Lesser Scaup 

Perranuthnoe: Hudsonian Whimbrel still

St Austell: Juv Glaucous Gull briefly over Charlestown then flew east. Also 2 imm Black Redstarts on the cliffs at Duporth beach (T Phelps)

Hayle Estuary: Spoonbill, Water Pipit and 5 Goosander (D Julian)

Kynance Cove: Male Hen Harrier flying over fields on the approach to Kynance Cove

Falmouth: Black Redstart on the Moor


Friday 24th February 2017

Late news, 23/2, Tresillian River: 18 Mediterranean Gull (record count here), 25  Black-tailed Godwit, 1+ Greenshank plus Water Rail at Tresemple Pool. Large number of other Gulls on the creek, sheltering from high winds (Black Headed c700, Herring Gull c300, Lesser Black Backed c40, Great Black Backed c30) (A Nicholson)

Tehidy Country Park: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, still by pond in front of cafe. (B Toms, M Curtis)

Lower Tamar Lake: 1m Yellowhammer, 6 Willow Tit, 1m Reed Bunting, 8 Chaffinch, 5 Blue Tit, 2 Dunnock, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Little Egret, 4 Coot, 7 Tufted Duck, 2 Nuthatch, 3 Coal Tit, 20 Snipe, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Song Thrush, 1f Goosander. (R Mudge and H Kendall)

Menadews Farm: 12 Cattle Egret in field to left of road to farm. (D Jenkins)

Tresemple Pool: 7 Black-tailed Godwit. (D Jenkins)

St Clement on river: 1 Greenshank & 1 Black-tailed Godwit. (D Jenkins)

Stithians Reservoir, Stuart Hutchings hide:1 Goldcrest. (W Chegwidden)

St Agnes Head: 1 Short-eared Owl. (S Mickleburgh)

SMickleburgh_SEO2_240217Short-eared Owl, Sue Mickleburgh SMickleburgh_SEO1_240217Short-eared Owl, Sue Mickleburgh

Drift Reservoir, (members only): 4 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe (trilling. also see attachment if you want it),  2 Black-necked Grebe, c15 Wigeon, c18 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall, 1 Shoveler, white Mandarin (male not found),  6 Buzzard soaring together (later following plough), 1 Snipe 2 Chiffchaff. ( Lots of Scarlet Elf Caps fungi).  (N.R.Phillips)

NRPhillips_LGrebe_240217Little Grebe, N Roy Phillips.

Falmouth, off Castle beach: 1 Red-necked Grebe. (J St Ledger)

Marazion Marsh RSPB Reserve: 3 Little Egret, 4 Mute Swan, 2 Moorhen, 2 Crow, 1 Stonechat, 5 Grey Heron, 1 Dunnock. (K.Bowers)

KBowers_Heron_240217Grey Heron, Kevin Bowers KBowers_Dunnock_240217Dunnock, Kevin Bowers KBowers_Stonechat_240217Stonechat, Kevin Bowers

Lizard Point: 1 pair Velvet Scoter E, 2 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throated Diver, 10 Black-throated Diver, 2 Manx Shearwater. (I Maclean, A Blunden)

Land’s End: 1 Snipe, 8 Raven, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Pied Wagtail, 8 Meadow Pipit, 2 Chough, 1 Kestrel, 1 Pomarine Skua past. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Crowlas: 1f Brambling again in private garden early am, 1 Merlin over fields at dusk, 4 Little Egret. (R Veal) 

Polgigga: 3 Lapland Bunting, 1 m Hen Harrier at Higher Bosistow. 1 juv Iceland Gull at Raftra Farm.

Hayle Estuary RSPB Reserve: m and f Goosander on Ryan’s Field this morning and 1 juv Iceland Gull on the Estuary.

Helston:1 Siberian Chiffchaff at the sewage works and 1 Firecrest nearby.

Charlestown, Duporth Beach: 1 Glaucous Gull.

Dozmary Pool: 1 ad m Lesser Scaup.

Malpas: 1 Peregrine, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Wren with nesting material. D Chaney)

College Reservoir: 1 Scaup, 50 Redwing singing/sub-song before heading off to roost. (D Chaney)


Thursday 23rd February 2017

Late news,  22/2  Hannafore:  1 Chiffchaff and 1 Black Redstart also 1 drake Eider and 1 Slavonian Grebe. (M Beer)

St Clement: 8 Cattle Egret, 10 Little Egret at Menadews Farm. 5 more egret landed out of sight. (S Grose)

Trevean Cove: 1 pair of mating Kestrel.  (A James)

AJames_Kestrel1_230217  AJames_Kestrel2_230217Kestrel, Alan James AJames_Kestrel3_230217 

Walmsley Sanctuary: 2 Spoonbill still, 160 Golden Plover (one male in full breeding plumage), 65 Dunlin, 126 Black-tailed Godwit, 240 Canada Geese, 2 Ruff, 1 Stonechat, 1 Little Egret, 11 Pintail, 135 Wigeon, 1 Buzzard. (T Hardware)

Looe: 1 Brambling (m) (regular garden visitor over last two weeks), 4 Siskin (2m, 2f), 4 Long-tailed Tit (1 ringed). (P Sharp)

Gannel Estuary: 1w Ring-billed Gull, 4 Cattle Egret this afternoon. (S Rowe)

Swanpool: 1 Mediterranean Gull. (D Chaney)

Falmouth, Pendennis Point:  6 Oystercatcher,1 Guillemot, 4 Fulmar, 20 Gannet fishing offshore, 7 Eider flew in from the east, landed on sea for 10 minutes, then flew SW, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 6 Turnstone, 5 Kittiwake, 3 Carrion Crow Also 1 Minke Whale briefly c400 m out, heading east. (D Chaney)

Tehidy Country Park: 3 Mistle Thrush & 1Green Woodpecker. (S Grose)

Drift Reservoir (members only): 100+ Canada Goose, 1 Greylag Goose, 9 Tufted Duck, 2 Mandarin, 15 Mallard, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Wren. (K.Bowers)

KBowers_TuftedDuck_230217Tufted Duck, Kevin Bowers KBowers_Mandarin_230217Mandarin, Kevin Bowers

Pendeen: 4 Great Skua, 4 Red-throated Diver, 1 Manx Shearwater and a significant passage of Fulmar, c7500 in 4 hour seawatch. (R Wilkins)

Cape Cornwall: 1 Great Skua and 622 Fulmar in 2 hour seawatch. (N Wheatley)

Coverack: 1 juv Iceland Gull.

Godrevy Point: 4 Balearic Shearwater past.

Hayle Estuary RSPB Reserve: 1 Iceland Gull and 1 imm Spoonbill.