Friday 31st March 2017

The results are in for the March 19th Cattle Egret Survey; the article including the results of this survey on the Cattle Egret influx 2016/2017 can be found HERE 

Late news, 30/3, St Minver: 1 Hoopoe by track to Epp Haven Beach.

RSPB Scillonian III Wildlife Cruise:

Penzance to Wolf Rock: 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 10 Razorbill, 8 Guillemot, 6 Herring Gull, 47 Gannet, 10 Fulmar, 2 Puffin, 5 Kittiwake, 13 Manx Shearwater, 5 Common Dolphin.

Wolf Rock to St Mary’s: 6 Gannet.

St Mary’s to Wolf Rock: 4 Gannet, 1 Fulmar.

Wolf Rock to Penzance: 16 Gannet, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 2 Kittiwake, 11 Manx Shearwater, 1 Razorbill, 1 Guillemot, 1 Cormorant. (D Conway, P Taylor)

Drift: c320 Sand Martin. (D Flumm)

Sennen Cove: 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Swallow, 9 Sand Martin. (D Flumm)

Morvah: 8 Sand Martin, 1 Swallow. (Sennen Cove Birdwatching)

Sancreed: 3 Fieldfare & 3 Little Egret still present. (D. Flumm)

Hayle Estuary: 2 Spoonbill, 2 Iceland Gull, 1 ad Ring-billed Gull. (M Halliday) Lelant Saltings: 1 Little Ringed Plover and 11 Sandwich Tern. (M Ahmad, MJ Spicer)

Ring-billed Gull, Mark Halliday

Ring-billed Gull, Mark Halliday

Spoonbill, Mark Halliday

Iceland Gull, Mark Halliday

Iceland Gull, Mark Halliday

Mediterranean Gulls, Mark Hallliday

St Erth: 2 Cattle Egret and 9 Little Egret. (MJ Spicer)

Foage Valley, Zennor: 3 Swallows. (J Hawkey)

Manaccan: 1 Hoopoe at 09:55 on verge by the entrance to Minster Meadow. (L Langley)

Gannel Estuary: 4 (2 pale-bellied, 2 dark-bellied) Brent Goose, 25 Sand Martin. (S Rowe) 6 Cattle Egret. (S Grose)

Falmouth, Gyllyngvase to Swanpool: 1 Slavonian Grebe, 1 Whimbrel, 4 Sandwich Tern. (J St Ledger)

Kennall Vale, Ponsanooth: 2 Dipper. (J St Ledger)

Liskeard: 1 Osprey flew north-east at 10:30. (D Julian)

Lanivet: 1 Swallow heading north. (P Davies)


Thursday 30th March 2017

Hayle Estuary RSPB: ad Ring-billed Gull, 16 Mediterranean Gull inc 12 summer adults, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit from Quay House Inn at 13:00. (S Turner) Ad Ring-billed Gull still, 21 Mediterranean Gull, 2 1w Iceland Gull, 2 1w Common Gull on Lelant Saltings at 15:00. (B Dallas) 2 Spoonbill on Copperhouse Creek this afternoon. (M Grantham)

St Erth: 3 Cattle Egret, 12 Little Egret in field at Tregrea Lane at 07:20. (B Dallas)

Rock: 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 male brimstone butterfly feeding on aubrieta plants in private garden. (S Grose)

Brimstone Butterfly – Shaun Grose

Falmouth Bay: 1 Turnstone, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Mediterranean Gull, light westerly Gannet passage, with 3+ Risso’s Dolphins and c10 Common Dolphins distantly from Pendennis Point. (D Chaney)

Manaccan: Hoopoe present again today. (C Urquhart)

Perranuthnoe: Hudsonian Whimbrel still this morning at Boat Cove.

Marazion: Little Gull reported again at Red River mouth. Also on Longrock Pool briefly at mid day and then on the beach off The Station House. (DK Parker, M Pass, L Proctor)

Lamorna: 1 Nuthatch. (R Veal)

Sennen: 6 Swallow, 8 Sand Martin, 1 Snipe. (R Veal)

Nanquidno: fem Black Redstart, 1w Glaucous Gull flew towards Sennen at 12:05 then later on Sennen beach. (I Grindle)

St Ives: 38 Sandwich Tern, 10 Purple Sandpiper, 10 Sand Martin. (Cornwall Birding)


Wednesday 29th March 2017

Falmouth Bay: 9 Sandwich Tern west, 1 Slavonian Grebe from Swanpool Beach. (D Chaney)

Falmouth: Male Black Redstart visiting private garden intermittently for the past few weeks. (R Bransden – photo)

Black Redstart – R Bransden

Gorrangorras, Penryn River: 3 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Oystercatcher, 3 Little Egret, 1m Red-breasted Merganser at high tide this morning. (D Chaney)

Helston: Hoopoe in private garden near Culdrose. (Cornwall Birding)

Manaccan: Hoopoe reported this afternoon. (Cornwall Birding)

Marazion: 2 1w Little Gull and 1 Sandwich Tern off the Red River mouth this afternoon. Also a rather smart sum plum Black-headed Gull. (DK Parker)

Black-headed Gull and Little Gull – Dave Parker

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 2 Spoonbill on Ryan`s Field. (Sennen Cove Birdwatching)

Newquay: 6 Cattle Egret over Trevithick Manor Farm. (S Grose)

Porth Reservoir: 12 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Swallow, 50+ Sand Martin. Also 2 large pike spawning in shallows below car park. (S Grose)

River Camel, from Wadebridge to Tregunna: 18 Mute Swan, 9 Canada Goose, 35 Shelduck, 12 Mallard, 19 Wigeon, 13 Teal, 1 Pheasant, 2 Little Grebe, 3 Cormorant, 6 Little Egret, 1 Buzzard, 1 Moorhen, 40 Oystercatcher, 4 Ringed Plover, 12 Grey Plover, 1 Ruff, 11 Knot, 1 Turnstone, 15 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 50 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 35 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Curlew, 5 Black-headed Gull, 60 Herring Gull, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 35 Great Black-backed Gull, 2 Wood Pigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 1 Swallow, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Wren, 2 Dunnock, 3 Robin, 5 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Great Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 7 Magpie, 7 Jackdaw, 11 Rook, 40 Carrion Crow, 2 Raven, 7 Starling, 5 House Sparrow, 4 Chaffinch, 4 Greenfinch, 5 Goldfinch, 2 Bullfinch. (M Scawen et al)

Downderry: 2 Sandwich Tern and 2 Mediterranean Gull just offshore early this morning. (A Payne)


Tuesday 28th March 2017

Late news, 26/3, St Mawes: 1 Sandwich Tern. (R Sharp)

Perranuthnoe: Hudsonian Whimbrel at Boat Cove at 10:30. (P Fox)

Tresillian: 1 imm Iceland Gull on the river opposite Tresmple Pool at 10:00 with a small group of Herring Gulls. (M Jones)

Land’s End: 40 Guillemot, 15 Razorbill on the Armed Knight. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Kenidjack Head: 2 Black Redstart (m+f) this morning. (P Clarke)

Porthleven: 1 Black Redstart in Shrubberies Estate for 21st week – first seen 1st Nov 2016. (I Maclean)

Penryn: Yellow-browed Warbler and singing Firecrest on the university campus this morning. (B Porter)

Gannel Estuary: 6 Cattle Egret, 3 Little Egret in to roost at Penpol Creek 19:55. (S Grose)

Carnhell Green: Great White Egret over flying east at 11:50. (Cornwall Birding)

Penlee Point: ‘many’ Chiffchaff this morning. (R Napp)

Chiffchaff – Rick Napp

Newquay: leucistic Starling in Sainsbury’s car park. (P Harris)

Goonhilly Downs: 1 Marsh Harrier. (P Bedford)

A390 near Chiverton Cross: 1 Mistle Thrush. (C Yates)

Marazion Marsh RSPB: 2 Stoats chasing Rabbits. (C Yates) Great White Egret flew west from boardwalk. (J Parker)

Marazion: Ring-billed Gull, Little Gull and 7 Sandwich Tern at Red River mouth. (B Mellow)


Weekly Roundup 20th – 26th March 2017

Mostly a quiet week, with the return of some old favourites, and springs inexorable progress; a bit more variety but not particularly the numbers yet.

The Bonaparte’s Gull was still to be seen on occasion at Helston Boating Lake (22nd and 24th), with a similar aged bird on the Hayle Estuary on the 26th. The Hudsonian Whimbrel put in a surprise re-appearance on the 24th too, after an absence of several weeks, and still there on the 26th.  It has wandered before – doing a recce, or perhaps spooked further along the coast for some reason?

A Great White Egret seen flying into the pines to roost on the evening of the 25th was seen by those assembled the next morning to fly off north east at 7:20am; no reports since. After the big effort to count Cattle Egrets last weekend, numbers reported were down slightly this week, although still daily. Quite possibly down to observer effort, but with birds such as the 6 on the Gannel Estuary still being there this week. A juvenile and near adult Spoonbill were on the Hayle, with 2 birds seen to fly into Maer Lake on the 21st.

130 Golden Plover at Trevedra Farm near Sennen still on the 23rd, 60 Sanderling along the beach at Marazion, 3 Greenshank and a Whimbrel remained on the Penryn River at Gorrangorras. Green Sandpipers were seen at Chapel Amble and St Erth.

2 Grey Partridge were seen at Winnards Perch on the 24th, with 2 Red-legged Partridge on the Wednesday Camel Trail Walk. Porth Reservoir saw 11 Great Crested Grebe still, with displaying birds to be seen throughout the county at suitable sites.

An immature Glaucous Gull at Portholland beach near Mevagissey had been feeding on a beached dead dolphin for about 2 weeks with another 2nd winter bird at Swanpool on the 24th.  The latter site also hosted an Iceland Gull the following day, with records again scattered throughout the county; up to a dozen birds perhaps? Caspian Gulls were seen at Par on the 20th and 22nd and a Little Gull was seen past Lizard Point on the 21st.

It looks like last weeks Pink-footed Goose may have eventually pitched up at Drift, with a bird there on the 26th, with a European White-fronted Goose seen feeding on a factory roof (!) near Par in the first half of the week; but it did spend more time in the slightly more traditional location of Par Beach Pool itself.

The Lesser Scaup was still at Dozmary Pool. A pair of Mandarin turned up at Marazion Marsh on the 24th. 120 Wigeon and 1 drake Goosander (with an apparently damaged bill) remained at Hayle. 3 Greylag Geese were seen at Stithians on the 22nd, 2 at St Gothian Sands on the 26th, and a Garganey was at Lanreath on the 23rd. The drake Velvet Scoter remained off Marazion.

An early Osprey was seen sat on top of a tree between Bissoe and Cross Lanes on the 20th by a passing motorist, with Red Kite and Merlin at Bartinney on the 25th, more Merlins elsewhere and an early report of a Hobby hunting Sand Martins on the 21st at Sibleyback before being chased off by a Kestrel. This would be one of the earliest ever Hobbys reported in the county, although it should be noted that the first arrival dates of our visiting migrants are getting earlier and earlier. Birdtrack records show a scattering of birds around the country from this date onwards last week. Another 3 Red Kites were seen flying west on the morning of the 26th by egret watchers at Marazion.

Ringtail and male Hen Harriers were seen at  Amalveor, with another ringtail at Men-an-Tol on the 20th, a female Marsh Harrier at Windmill Farm again, and a Short-eared Owl was seen to fly in-off the sea at St Ives on the 25th.

The RSPB Scillonian Pelagic to St Mary’s and back on the 24th saw reasonable numbers of Manx Shearwater (100+), with 2 Great Skua, Puffins and a small numbers of the smaller cetaceans (Common Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises).

Swallows and House Martins continued to be reported from scattered locations, usually in ones and twos only. Sand Martins, as to be expected this early in the season, were more widely reported, with the greatest numbers again from Drift, with 220 on the 24th.

A party of Red-rumped Swallows were reported off the coast at one location – if verified and pinned down at an accessible location they would certainly have been birds of the week. Although multiple birds have occurred in autumn there has yet to be a multiple spring occurrence in the county.

The first Ring Ouzel of the year was at St Ives on Buttermilk Hill on the 25th.

Yellow-browed Warblers remained at Swanpool and Penryn UoE campus until the 25th at least, with new birds heard in Hayle on the 23rd and at St Erth in willows alongside the lake on the 22nd. A Siberian Chiffchaff was at Marazion on the 24th.

The first Willow Warblers of the year were 3 ringed at Nanjizal on the 23rd, with the next the following day at Porthgwarra. Wheatear and Black Redstarts were reported in small numbers; no double figure counts of the former yet. A Stonechat showing features of the continental race was seen at Morvah on the 26th. A Cetti’s Warbler in song and showing well at times at Swanpool, Falmouth was apparently the first in the area since November 2001.

6 Lapland Bunting (including a nice male in summer plumage) were seen at Trevose Head on the 26th, a Corn Bunting was seen at Whipsiderry, St Enodoc Golf Course held 3 Yellowhammer  and the Brambling remained at Crowlas. 2 Redwing were at St Erth.

There were 70 occupied Rook nests at Church Cove on the Lizard and Mute Swans were observed sitting, with the first eggs now laid.

The society received news of Peregrine Falcons at a number of locations, along with other Schedule 1 breeders such as Goshawk and Dartford Warbler, so they are still out there, although specific locations withheld for obvious reasons – please keep the reports coming.

Butterflies seen this week included Speckled Wood and Painted Lady. The big invertebrate news this week is the continuing sprinkling of Vagrant Emperor dragonflies with a couple of records from the Lizard and Windmill Farm in particular on the 25th. A successful reptile walk there on the 26th saw 3 Adders (2m, 1f), along with 5 Slow Worm and 2 Common Lizard.

The first week of April should see numbers and variety of summer migrants increasing; what  else is on the way? It’s set to be windy again this coming week, with south westerlies and rain later.


From around the globe; Siberian Chiffchaff and Hudsonian Whimbrel – Rob Creek


Monday 27th March 2017

Late news, 24/3, Coverack: 1 Iceland Gull. (P Bedford)

Late news, 26/3, Gillan Creek: 1 Common Sandpiper. (P Bedford)

Nanjizal: 1 Dusky Warbler, 3 ‘continental’ Robin, 2 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff. (K Wilson)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 1w Bonaparte’s Gull flew in at c18:00 and landed on Lelant Saltings as viewed from Carnsew Pool. Also 2 (1w+subad) Spoonbill, 14 Sandwich Tern, 7 Grey Plover, 3 Dunlin, 1 juv Shag, 6 sum plum Med Gull, 2 1w Common Gull, 120 Wigeon, 7 Teal, 3 sum plum Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Sand Martin on Lelant Saltings. 1 Cattle Egret on Ryan’s Field then flew SW at 17:20. (R Veal)

Castle Beach to Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth: 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 3 Sandwich Tern, 1 1w Kittiwake (on beach). Also 1 Grey Seal with freshly caught ray sp, c20 Common Dolphin. (J Irvine) 4 Sandwich Tern, 5 Mediterranean Gull. (D Chaney)

Stithians Reservoir (N end): 11 Magpie, 1 pair Canada Goose, 8 Tufted Duck, 1 Peacock Butterfly. (R Hampshire)

Helston: 1 Cattle Egret at Degibna SW653257. (M Scott-Ham)

The Lizard: 1 Merlin at Soapy Cove, female Stonechat feeding young in nest at Kynance. (M Scott-Ham)

Trevose Head: 14 Swallow. (B Tregunna)

Rosenannon Downs: 5 Chiffchaff, 5 Reed Bunting, 1 Lapland Bunting, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Red-legged Partridge, 2 Grey Partridge, 56 Golden Plover, 1 Grey Heron, 9 Snipe, 3 Tawny Owl, 1 Short-eared Owl at 20:15. (S Grose)

Rame Head: 1 male Hobby NW over church at 14:45. (A Robinson, O Robinson)

Sancreed: imm Iceland Gull, 5 Med Gull, 8 Black-headed Gull following plough. (D Flumm)

Iceland Gull – Dave Flumm

Porthcurno: 2 Sandwich Tern, 1 Little Egret. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Morvah: female Black Redstart at bottom of cliff. (N Phillips)

Godolphin Cross: singing Blackcap. (C Richards)


Sunday 26th March 2017

Late News, 24/03, Scillonian Pelagic Penzance to Wolf: 105 Manx Shearwater, 1 Great  Skua, 3 Puffin, 238 Gannet, 57 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 27 Kittiwake, 20 LBB Gull, 3 Fulmar, 1 Eider, 2 Common Dolphin. (V Stratton & B Craven)

Late News, 24/03, Wolf to Penzance: 6 Manx Shearwater, 2 Puffin, 3 Common Scoter, 88 Gannets, 19 Guillemot, 16 Auk sp, 88 Gannet, 4 LBB Gull, 8 Kittiwake,7 Fulmar, 3 Common Scoter, 100+ Herring Gull.  6 Common Dolphin, 3 Harbour Porpoise (B Craven & V Stratton)

Late News, 24/03, Wolf to St Marys: 11 Manx Shearwater, 10 Puffin, 1 Great Skua, 1 Great Northern Diver etc.

Late News, 24/03, St Marys to Wolf: 2 Great Northern Diver, 3 Common Dolphin, 1 Harbour Porpoise, etc.( V Stratton & B Craven)

Marazion Marsh RSPB: Great White Egret flew off east at 07:20, and 3 Red Kite west at 07:30. (P St Pierre, L Proctor) 1 House Martin, 1 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler singing, with 60+ Sanderling on the beach (B Toms, M Curtis)  c200 Sand Martin and 6+ Swallow. (R Veal)

Marazion Marsh RSPB:  1 Great White Egret flew from pines 07:20 n/e up the valley towards St Erth. 3 Red Kite flew towards Gulval ridge 07:30, 2 Swallow, 2 House Martin 15 Sand Martin 1 Willow Warbler singing, 2 Sandwich Tern off the beach. (B Mellow, R Augarde)

Crowlas: 1 Willow Warbler this am. (R Veal)

Perranuthnoe: Hudsonian Whimbrel at Boat Cove still.

Drift: 1 Pink-footed Goose, 1 2w Iceland Gull, 3 Gadwall. (B Mellow, R Augarde)

Newlyn Harbour: 1 Kingfisher, 27 Turnstone, 1 Common Scoter offshore. (S Grose)

Cot Valley: 2 Mistle Thrush, 1m Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaff, 3 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Sparrowhawk. (S Grose)

Carn Goose: 18 Sand Martin, 1 Swallow. (S Grose)

Bude Marshes: 3 singing Chiffchaff, pair of Reed Bunting, 3 Little Egret, 11 Moorhen, 27 Rook over the active rookery, 10 Robin, 6 Blackbird, 5 Wood Pigeon, 1 Dunnock, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Mute Swan, good numbers of Mallard and gulls. (H Kendall)

Nanquidno: 1yr Iceland Gull, 2 White, 4 Pied Wagtail. (D.Flumm) 1 2w  Iceland Gull. (B Mellow, R Augarde)


Iceland Gull – Dave Flumm

St Gothian Sands LNR: 30+ Sand Martin, 11 Wigeon, 28 Tufted Duck, 2 Shoveler m+f, 2 Greylag Goose, 3 Common Gull. (S Grose)

Spring has arrived in our garden at last! (R Farnes)

Blue Tit video – Rod Farnes

Windmill Farm: 1 Merlin, 1 Sand Martin, also  3 Adder (2m, 1f), 5 Slow Worm, 2 Common Lizard on Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian Group (CRAG) walk. (D Wright)

Adder, Common Lizard – Dougy Wright

Porth Reservoir: 11 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Sparrowhawk, 10 Sand Martin. (S Grose) 1 juv Iceland Gull, 11 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 16 Sand Martin, 4 Stock Dove, 6 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk. (S Rowe)

St Ives: 1 Turnstone nr. Lifeboat House, 1 Sandwich Tern flying along Pothmeor Beach 13:45. (D Jenkins)

Hayle:  1 1w Bonaparte’s Gull  flew off east with Black-headed Gulls up St Erth valley 1420hrs, 2 Med Gull 120 Wigeon and 1 drake Goosander. (B Mellow, R Augarde)

Morvah: Light passage of sand martins along coast, 2 Swallows, 1m Stonechat showing characteristics of the race  S t rubicula.  (R Phillips)

St. Germans: 1 Mute Swan sitting; 1st egg laid overnight. ( Previous years – 2016-23rd;  2015-26th;  2014-29th.April(new female); 2013-27th; 2012-30th.) etc. (A Blonden)

Gannel Estuary: 6 Cattle Egret, 3 Sand Martin, 1 Greenshank this evening, plus 3 Tawny Owl and 1 Barn Owl at 23:00. (S Grose)

Helston: 2 Cattle Egret at Degibna church

Trevose Head:  1 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Song Thrush, 6 Lapland Bunting ( inc a nice male in summer plumage), 4 Wheatear. (B Bosisto)

Winnards Perch: 1 Siskin. (B Bosisto)

Chapel Amble: 1 Green Sandpiper.  (B Bosisto)

Church Cove, Lizard: 70 occupied Rook nests. (M Lord)