Thursday 4th February 2021

Late news, 2/2, Perranuthnoe: 1 Sparrowhawk f, 1 Kestrel, 2 Grey Seal, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Weasel. (J Evans)

Late news, 2/2, Little Cudden: 2 Black Redstart both with female looking plumage. (J Evans)

St Gothian Sands LNR: Adult Glaucous Gull again. (S Rogers)

Marazion: Juv Glaucous Gull on the sea briefly and then flew to the Long Rock. (DK Parker, L Proctor)

Mousehole: 2 juv Glaucous Gull, 1 Yellow-legged Gull at St Clement’s Isle. (M Elliott)

Rosemorran: 1 ad Yellow-legged Gull. (M Elliott)

Rosemullion: 1 Long tailed Duck still present, 1 immature pale phase Pomarine Skua. (D Eva)

Land’s End: 8 Chough, 36 Meadow Pipit, 1 Snipe, 100 Jackdaw. 1 Common Scoter past south. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

St Buryan: 1 Peregrine over Farm Shop. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Creegbrawse, Chacewater: 7 Redwing. Sparrowhawk, 2 Tawny Owl early morning (heard only). (B.Toms)

Stithians: 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4 Tufted Duck, 4 Mallard. (Keith Hambly-Staite)

Boskenna: 1 Cattle Egret, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Wagtail, 70 Chaffinch. (N R Rogers)

Loe Pool, Helston: 7 Cattle Egrets, 1 Bittern, 16 Shoveler and 7 Pochard (A Witheywood)

Bittern – Andrew Witheywood

Cattle Egret – Nigel Rogers

Tywarnhayle: (13.55 – 14.25) 1 Herring Gull, 6 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 2 Magpie, 8 Jackdaw, 7 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, 1 singing + 3 other (4 in all) Chiffchaff, 2 Blackbird, 5 Robin, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail. (RB & PC Girling)

Hayle Kimbro Pool area: 1 Hen Harrier (m), 1 Jack Snipe, 36 Snipe (L Sampson)

Helstone: 1 Green Woodpecker from a private garden. (S Grose)

Crowdy Reservoir: 2m Goosander, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Northern Diver, 371 Black headed Gull, 11 Lesser Black backed Gull. (S Grose)

Rock Helipad Field: 2 Mistle Thrush 1 Peregrine Falcon, 1 Tawney Owl, 7 House Sparrow. (S Grose)

Towan Head: 18 Red-throated Diver, 80+ Common Scoter. (S Rowe)

Lockdown 3 Diary:

Last weekend my powers of concentration were tested to the limit. I had to remember which of four bird lists I was adding to: the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch; the BTO’s Garden BirdWatch; Cornwall Birds’ Garden Listing League or my own garden list! A Raven flying overhead wouldn’t count for BTO or RSPB but is fine for CB. Was that Collared Dove within the RSPB’s allotted hour or outside it? Does that very short stay by a Mistle Thrush qualify for GBW? Good grief, it was like playing 3D chess.

I am a recent convert to lists. I used to get pleasure enough from simply watching birds, but keeping lists is not like train-spotting or stamp collecting. It actually builds into a useful record – and a reminder of what was present and where and when. It is years since I had a Siskin in my garden and while Chaffinchs and Goldfinches are ubiquitous, a Greenfinch is an usual sight and a Bullfinch a rare delight. To me they are the most exotic of our garden birds, the male’s deep blush pink somehow managing to evade detection. But of all the surprises over my weekend of manic listing, none was more depressing than the absence of House Sparrows. They have nested in our eaves for twenty years and they were here a few weeks ago, but mysteriously they have vanished. Generally they don’t travel far so I’m worried they may have gone for good.

Simon Marquis (palores@cbwps.org)

dkp/sgr

Garden Listing 3rd February 2021

Dobwalls: At last, a Sparrowhawk over the garden makes 36. A regular visitor in the summer, chasing our nesting House Sparrows, but we’ve not seen one since before Christmas. (Chris and Janet Duffy)

Constantine: Although I was regularly seeing egrets in November and December, I have not see a single one this year. I suspect that if there is flu about this might be the reason I am not seeing them as all my egrets come from the Helford River. Today, however, I noticed nine egrets in a field with cattle in the Trelowarren area. It is a long way off and I cannot say for sure whether they were Little or Cattle, probably Little. This takes my list to 48. (Tim Pinfield)

Mabe Burnthouse: Looking out of the lounge window as you regularly do as a birder and thinking it really was time a Cormorant flew over – and one did. Bringing the tally up to 35. (Dan Chaney)

Garden Listing 2nd February 2021

Callestick: A flock of 90 Golden Plover was circling the fields today and flew directly over the garden taking the total to 47. (Tony Wilson)

Trethurgy: Goldcrest and Rook bringing the total to 37. (Geoffrey and Jacky White)

Garden Listing 1st February 2021

Mabe Burnthouse: The mizzle cleared enough to get me out into the garden this afternoon and to add two new species for the yearlist – the seeping calls of a disturbed flock of Redwing flying over and a bit later a Great Tit in top of a distant hedge, finally. (Dan Chaney)

Feock: Siskin, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Buzzard now added. (Bec Penny)

Nuthatch – Bec Penny

Feock: Carrion Crow and Tawny Owl added to my list.
The owls were calling early this morning. The first time I have heard them for ages. The nearby woodland where I think they nest and certainly roost has been devastated by some slash chopping of trees. We used to hear them at all times of the day, but now much more rarely. (Rosalind Smith)

Tresillian: Total now 41 with the following: Raven, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Mistle Thrush. (Andrew le Masurier)

Lanlivery: Update 31st January: As usual, all the birds disappeared during the hour I set aside for the RSPB garden watch, but I spent 10 minutes watching my first garden Treecreeper of the year, bringing the running total to 36 species. (Phil McVey)

Marazion: Water Pipit for 59. (Dave Parker)

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

A combined total of 23 species:

Truro, 31/01: 1 Blackcap, 1 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Robin (lining a nest), 2 Wren, 1 Dunnock, 2 Great Tit, 5 Blue Tit, 4 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Chaffinch, 1 House Sparrow, 50 Rook, 5 Jackdaw, 1 Magpie, 5 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove. (L Sampson)

Coverack, 30/01: 27 House Sparrow, 11 Goldfinch, 10 Chaffinch, 8 Dunnock, 6 Blue Tit, 5 Blackbird, 4 Robin, 3 Great Tit, 2 Woodpigeon, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Magpie, 1 Starling. Overall a fair representation of the garden bird population, although a few species (eg. Collard Dove) missing. 2 Woodpigeon were a surprise as they don’t normally make it into the garden. Looking back over previous years, there’s been no long-term change in count numbers for any species apart from one: Dunnocks have steadily increased to almost double-figures from just a regular couple less than a decade ago. (Dan Beadle)