January 2021 News

Honorary Treasurer Position Update:

Following the Chairmans appeal for a new Treasurer, and the publicity on the website and social media we are pleased to say that we had three expressions of interest, all from people very ably qualified to do the job. We were due to meet early in the New Year but then lockdown arrived and everything is now on hold. The resigning Treasurer has kindly agreed to hold the fort for the time being. We hope to meet as soon as restrictions are lifted to move things forward with a financial team including the appointment of a new Treasurer.

Online Bookshop: CBWPS have a new online bookshop. Thanks to legacies and kind donations from members we have a range of second hand birding and natural history books. click Here to browse and find a bargain!

Keep a look out for colour ringed Blackcaps!

An ongoing study, coordinated by Oxford University and BTO, is investigating the wintering behaviour, movements, and breeding origin of Blackcaps that winter in Britain and Ireland, as we still know surprisingly little about these birds that now spend the winter with us. A key component of this project is a long-term colour ringing study to help monitor the potential effects of climate change and evolution of this novel migration strategy.

Over the last three winters more than 600 wintering Blackcap have been colour-ringed and around 130 fitted with geolocators, across Britain and Ireland, to track their migration and movements. A large portion of these birds have been marked in Cornwall, particularly in the Falmouth/Penryn area, but they could turn up anywhere.

If you see a Blackcap or have them visiting you garden, please check their legs for rings. Each bird has a total of three colour rings and a metal BTO ring, two rings on each leg. The combination of rings allows us to identify each individual and we can provide a history of it’s movements. Please get a photo, or note the order of the rings on the right and left legs, so that we can identify the bird.
Please report details to Greg Conway and Benjamin Van Doren at: blackcap@bto.org

COVID 19 Update Jan 4th: With a new National Lockdown in please our advice to birders remains the same – follow the guidelines issued by the government. Please see the statement from the Society on the website Homepage

December 2020 News

 

Honorary Treasurer Position: Would you like an exciting role within Cornwall Birds (CBWPS)? We are looking for someone with financial experience, who is confident and forward-thinking to help us grow. You do not have to have previous board/trustee experience, please read more Here

Have your say about the future of nature in Cornwall:

If you have a spare moment this Christmas here is your chance to influence the future of nature in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council have launched a Nature Recovery Engagement hub which went live on Friday to capture your views on nature recovery in Cornwall. It hosts a nature recovery survey, a map for people to pin suggested nature recovery opportunities, and the consultation on the draft refresh of the Environmental Growth Strategy. The nature recovery survey will be open until the end of January, and the Environmental Growth Strategy consultation will close on 17 January.

Some of the things we would like to see include:

    • Our most important habitats at our most important sites (SPAs and SSSIs) are bursting with wildlife and their protection and expansion are used to drive nature recovery e.g. Marazion Marsh, Tamar Estuary, Bodmin Moor mires, Penwith Moors (this should be an SSSI), etc.
    • The recovery of Cornwall’s most iconic bird the chough along with other red listed species such as cirl bunting, corn bunting, kittiwake, shag, breeding waders, willow tit, etc.
    • An expanded nature-rich corridor along our most important landscape and seascape, Cornwall’s coast, with grasslands and arable richer in plants and insects, and seas and shore safe and rich in food for seabirds and other mobile species.

What would you like to be seen done where? Nature is in trouble so think BIG!

The nature recovery survey will be open until the end of January, and the Environmental Growth Strategy consultation will close on 17 January.

Follow this link and fill in the questionnaire https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/nature-recovery-plan. Please do share this link with others who may be interested.

Bookshop: We now have a new online bookshop! Thanks to legacies and donations from our membership we have received a fantastic selection of birding and natural history books with the added bonus that all proceeds go straight to CBWPS Cornwall Birds, helping to fund our continuing conservation efforts throughout the county. Find the Bookshop Here

Honorary Treasurer Position: Would you like an exciting role within Cornwall Birds (CBWPS) making a real difference to the monitoring and conservation of Cornwall’s precious bird life? We are looking for someone with financial experience, who is confident and forward-thinking to help us to grow and improve our financial resilience and long-term stability. You do not have to have previous board/trustee experience, although that would be helpful. We encourage applications from all sections of the community as we aim to increase the diversity of our Board, but if you have a passion for Cornwall’s birds and wildlife that would be advantageous. If this could be you please read more Here Update: this position is no longer open

Garden Listing: With a second lockdown upon us we are again running a garden listing league. Use email address (gardenlisting@cbwps.org.uk) and we will update the table with your sightings and highlights. See the page here for more details. Now with final tally to 1st December. (We will continue to update to years’ end as a year list)

Cornwall Birds Student Award 2020/21: This year we will again be offering an award to the student judged to have produced the best ornithological dissertation based on research conducted in Cornwall. For full details please see our student award page.

COVID-19 Update 2nd December: Society reserves are now open, however all hides remain closed, and the society walks and events program has been suspended until further notice. We will be publishing reports of rare birds in the County where it is felt it is safe to do so, please do continue to send in all records. See the Society Homepage for more information and a fuller statement from the board.

North Cornwall Choughs, Andy Taylor

Cornish Choughs: The Society is now maintaining the dedicated Chough sightings database for Cornwall, adding to the many thousands of records received from birders and members of the public since 2001. Please send your sightings to choughs@cbwps.org.uk including, date, place, 6 fig grid ref if possible, and notes on any colour rings observed.

Chough Update Dec 2020: A big thank you to everyone who sent in sightings of Cornish Choughs in this difficult year. Please see link below for an update from the team on what has been a good year for our birds, and of course do continue to send your sightings in over the winter –

Chough update Dec 2020

November 2020 News

Mermaid Wildlife Pelagic: Penzance, Wednesday 2nd December, 1pm – 4pm, £25 adults, £15 children. Phone to book, 07901 731201.

List of links from main Recent Sightings page sidebar for reference:

*Cornwall County List 2020

*SOS Save Our Swifts 2020

*12 Birds of Christmas Poll
….. *12 Birds Results

Summer seawatching in Cornwall

The above remain in place there; the following removed and placed here –

*Cornwall Birds: Review of the year 2018

*Yearlisting 2019 – now live

County List 2018

2017 records requiring further information

Stithians Work Party 12th Jan

The following added to the main page:

Garden and Lockdown listing Spring 2020

Garden listing 2.0 – Autumn Winter 2020

October 2020 News

Cornwall Birds Student Award 2020/21: This year we will again be offering an award to the student judged to have produced the best ornithological dissertation based on research conducted in Cornwall. The award will be advertised throughout Cornwall’s Colleges and Universities and entries will be accepted until 31st July 2021. The Award is being made in memory of renowned naturalist and long-standing CBWPS member, Vic Simpson. Vic left a legacy to Cornwall Birds and the Trustees agreed that we should honour his memory each year through the award, which is worth £150 to the winner. If you know anyone who you think might be eligible, please encourage them to enter. For full details please see our student award page.

Cornwall Birds Student Award 2019: The Cornwall Birds (CBWPS) ‘Birds in Cornwall Award for Student Research’ in memory of Vic Simpson (1941-2018) aims to recognise and promote the contribution to the long history of Cornish ornithology by masters and final year undergraduate students. The award is given to the student judged to have produced the best ornithological dissertation based on research conducted in Cornwall. To find out more please see: Cornwall Birds Student Award 2019

Notice: 2020 Annual General Meeting – By video

This year’s Cornwall Birds AGM will take place on Friday 13th November at 7.00pm. Because of the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the meeting will be held by Zoom video conference. If you wish to attend the meeting, please contact Phil McVey secretary@cbwps.org.uk or c/o Little Boslymon, Bodmin, PL30 5AP and the access details and papers will be provided.

The AGM’s official CBWPS business will be followed by presentations by the two joint winners of this year’s Vic Simpson Birds in Cornwall Student Award, Ellie Boone and Emily Cuff. Ellie’s topical entry is titled “Conflicts of interest. The urban gull problem” and Emily has studied an under-watched bird; “Prospecting behaviour in wild, social Western Jackdaws”.

The AGM notice, the draft minutes from the 2019 AGM, and the Financial Statements can all be found in the Members Area.

Derek Skinner: The Society is sad to announce that Derek Skinner died peacefully at Perran Bay care home aged 89 on 29th September and his committal service was at Penmount Crematorium on 10th October. Derek was a life member of the Society and will be remembered fondly by many of our long standing members. Our condolences to his family and friends.

September 2020 News

Walks and Events: Regrettably due to rising cases and the latest Covid-19 restrictions on meeting in public and group sizes the walks and events program has had to be suspended until such a time as it is considered legal and proper to restart again. We will keep you informed of any changes.

COVID-19 Update 14th Sept: Society reserves are now open, however all hides remain closed, and the society walks and events program has been suspended until further notice. We will be publishing reports of rare birds in the County where it is felt it is safe to do so, please do continue to send in all records. See the Society Homepage for more information and a full statement from the board. (14th September update included here – )

Coronavirus/COVID-19 and CBWPS Sanctions

Covid-19 Update: In light of recent government updates on the continued gradual easing of lockdown we would like to explain our updated approach here:

General Birdwatching:
We can now enjoy our hobby without restrictions on travel, so whilst it is great to be able to visit the many special birding sites around the county and respectfully enjoy the social side of birding once more, we are still delighted with the number of members who continue to enjoy their local patch and garden and we continue to encourage this greener approach. Please do continue to send your bird records to the sightings team, the data we receive helps to produce our annual bird report which continues to be a useful tool for bird conservation In Cornwall. We would like to also reinforce the key government messages which will help us all stay safe whilst out birding:

• Six people from different households are now allowed to meet up, there is no limit on the number of people from two households
• At all times maintain the recommended social distancing of ‘1 meter plus’. Socially distancing from the advisable 2 meters should be easily achievable in most situations in the countryside.
• Maintain good hand hygiene, especially with regards to shared contacts such as gates.

Reserves: It was agreed unanimously by the Board that all of the CBWPS hides should remain closed for the foreseeable future. This is due to the difficulty in ensuring that social distancing can be maintain in such limited single entrance spaces as well as adequate sanitation schedules being adhered to by unpaid volunteers. However, access to reserves (and any parking) will be managed locally by wardens as they are the people best-placed to understand the risks and put measures in place to reduce them. We will try to keep everyone updated as to where is open and where isn’t but do bear with us on this.

Bird News: The sightings team will continue to publish sightings of bird news in Cornwall. This will include both county and national (BBRC) rarities however if we feel there is a substantial risk with regards to appropriate social distancing we may decide not to publicise news in order to protect our valued members.

Field Meetings: Please see our website and social media for our new Field Meetings for the remainder of 2020.

We hope this goes some way to outline our current thinking and wish all our members well in these testing times.

Cornwall Birds AGM: Because of the continuing Coronavirus restrictions, this year’s AGM scheduled for the 26th September will not take place. However, we are making arrangements for a ‘virtual’ AGM to be held on Friday 13th November. Further details will be posted on the website and made available in the next edition of Palores. Thanks for your understanding and any questions please contact Phil McVey secretary@cbwps.org.uk

Walks and Events: The Camel Trail Nature Walks will be starting up again this Wednesday 2nd September. Start time 10am for approximately 4-5 hours. Bring a snack. These walks cover flora and fauna as well as birds and take place every Wednesday from this September to 28th April 2021. Walks start at 10am and will be led by Jack Humphrey, Bernard Ide, Alan Taylor and Mike Scawen. Meet by the river behind Bridge Medical Centre and Wadebridge Wines, Wadebridge. Map ref: SW990724. PL27 7AH.

Society Hides: Please note that all the society hides remain closed to everyone. This is due to the current coronavirus situation and restrictions (maintaining safe distances, narrow doorways and inability to deep clean surfaces regularly). This is of course inconvenient for birders but unfortunately the situation we are in.
In most cases viewing can be carried out from nearby roadside/other locations and we of course look forward to a time when the hides can be fully open to all!

COVID-19 Update 1st Sept: Society reserves are now open, however all hides remain closed. We will be publishing reports of rare birds in the County where it is felt it is safe to do so, please do continue to send in all records. See the Society Homepage for more information and a full statement from the board.

August 2020 News

Walks and Events program: We’re pleased to be able to say that the board has decided that this can now been resumed (24th August 2020). If you are able to lead any walks or events please contact Simon Marquis at field_meetings@cbwps.org.uk . We will announce any events or walks on the website sightings page and will update the Calendar as they come in.

COVID-19 Update 13th July: Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation the Society walks and events program has been suspended until further notice. Society reserves are now open, however all hides remain closed. We will be publishing reports of rare birds in the County where it is felt it is safe to do so, please do continue to send in all records. See the Society Homepage for more information and a full statement from the board.

Cornish Choughs: The Society is now maintaining the dedicated Chough sightings database for Cornwall, adding to the many thousands of records received from birders and members of the public since 2001. Please send your sightings to choughs@cbwps.org.uk including, date, place, 6 fig grid ref if possible, and notes on any colour rings observed. Another record year for Cornish Chough in 2020 with 14 pairs successfully breeding and fledging 43 chicks – the highest number so far.

Sensitive Breeding Birds: Now that the breeding season is upon us we will be resuming our policy of withholding reports of sensitive breeding (and potential breeding) birds in the County. Please keep sending in your reports as even though they may not appear on the website they will still go into the county database and thus be available for the annual report, research and conservation. Remember, the welfare of the birds comes first. The full list of species including RBBP and Schedule 1 species can be found on the website here. Please always bear this in mind when sharing information on social media too.

Birding in Lockdown: Links to Garden Lockdown Listing League and our Birding Ideas Page, helping to make the most of extra time as a result of the lockdown.

Cornwall Swift Survey 2020: Following the latest guidance from the government and based on the position of the BTO amongst others we will be carrying out and collating results from this tetrad-based breeding survey where safe to do so. Details and recording form can be found here: Cornwall Swift Survey 2020. It is likely that the survey will continue into 2021 at least.

BiC 2018: ‘Birds in Cornwall’ the Cornwall Birds County Bird Report, is now out. Over 280 pages packed full of data, information and photographs of the county’s birds in 2018, with ringing report, articles and more. Excellent work by the BiC team led by Phil and Hilary, the report comes free with CBWPS membership. The front cover depicts the Grey Catbird near Lands End, one of the standout rarities in the county in 2018.

 

July 2020 News

Steve Madge: It is with great sadness that we have to inform our members that our society president for many years, Steve Madge, passed away yesterday after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Our deepest condolences to all of his family.

His obituary can be found on the website here – Steve Madge 1948 -2020

Steve Madge at Looe

Chough Update 2020: Another record year for Cornish Chough with 14 pairs successfully breeding and fledging 43 chicks – the highest number so far. As ever, there have been some good news stories:

  • Three pairs fledging five young – the first full clutches since 2015/
  • A one year old male reared one chick.
  • Five new pairs attempted to breed for the first time and one was successful.

Many thanks to everyone who sent in their Chough sightings to choughs@cbwps.org.uk Your records were incredibly useful throughout the lockdown period in identifying pairs on territory, and now for tracking Chough families and their fledglings.

COVID-19 Update 13th July: Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation the Society walks and events program has been suspended until further notice. Society reserves are now open, however all hides remain closed. We will be publishing reports of rare birds in the County where it is felt it is safe to do so, please do continue to send in all records. See the Society Homepage for more information and a full statement from the board.

Cornish Choughs: The Society is now maintaining the dedicated Chough sightings database for Cornwall, adding to the many thousands of records received from birders and members of the public since 2001. Please send your sightings to choughs@cbwps.org.uk including, date, place, 6 fig grid ref if possible, and notes on any colour rings observed.

Sensitive Breeding Birds: Now that the breeding season is upon us we will be resuming our policy of withholding reports of sensitive breeding (and potential breeding) birds in the County. Please keep sending in your reports as even though they may not appear on the website they will still go into the county database and thus be available for the annual report, research and conservation. Remember, the welfare of the birds comes first. The full list of species including RBBP and Schedule 1 species can be found on the website here. Please always bear this in mind when sharing information on social media too.

Cornwall Red Kite Influx 9th -11th May 2020: A relatively recent addition to the birding calendar in Cornwall has been the annual spring influx of Red Kites into the county. Read more … Cornwall Red Kite Influx 2020

Birding in Lockdown: Links to Garden Lockdown Listing League and our Birding Ideas Page, helping to make the most of extra time as a result of the lockdown. A great 13 minute video of Walmsley Sanctuary by final year student at UoE Penryn, Dylan Jackaman can now be found on the above ‘Birding Ideas Page’ – well worth a watch.

First Spring Arrival Dates: Now that most of our commononer passage and resident species have arrived in the County it is time to have a quick look at the season so far – Table of First Spring Arrival Dates 2020. We will look at an expanded list including more of the regular ‘scarcities’ as Spring progresses.

Cornwall Swift Survey 2020: Following the latest guidance from the government and based on the position of the BTO amongst others we will be carrying out and collating results from this tetrad-based breeding survey where safe to do so. Details and recording form can be found here: Cornwall Swift Survey 2020. It is likely that the survey will continue into 2021 at least.

Steve Madge: It is with great sadness that we have to inform our members that our society president for many years, Steve Madge, passed away yesterday after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Our deepest condolences to all of his family.