Saturday 21st September 2019

Late news, 20/9, Scillonian III RSPB Wildlife Cruise: Penzance to Wolf Rock: 2 Eider (in harbour), 1 Fulmar, 72 Manx Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater,  123 Gannet, 3 Great Skua, 50 Kittiwake, 3 Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Herring Gull and 10 Guillemot. Wolf Rock to St Mary’s: 1 Fulmar, 23 Manx Shearwater, 118 Gannet, 14 Shag, 2 Kittiwake, 7 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Herring Gull and 1 Guillemot. St Mary’s to Wolf Rock: 79 Gannet, 10 Shag, 2 Kittiwake, 9 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 Herring Gull, 2 Sandwich Tern and 5 Guillemot. Wolf Rock to Penzance: 2 Fulmar, 10 Manx Shearwater, 107 Gannet, 4 Kittiwake, 5 Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Herring Gull, 8 Guillemot and 12 auk sp. (M Ahmad, DK Parker)

Davidstow: 1 juv Buff-breasted Sandpiper still present on the airfield. (M Eggleton et al.) Please respect other users of the airfield and keep the runways clear.

The Lizard: Juv. Rosy Starling still present. (D Eva) Also Wryneck reported again.

Castle-an-Dinas: Honey Buzzard being mobbed by Carrion Crows. (V Stratton)

St Clement: 3 Cattle Egrets in field with cattle next to Tresemple Pool + 10 Little Egrets, Whimbrel and 2 Greenshank on the river (T Wilson)

Marazion Marsh RSPB: Green Sandpiper flew towards the beach. (P Walsh)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: Osprey still present throughout morning on centre estuary post, 6 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 1+ Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 30+ Redshank, 1 Reeve, 8 Turnstone, 30 Ringed Plover, 60+ Dunlin, 1 Little Stint, 8 Little Egret and 7 Pintail on Lelant Water. 27 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 30+ Curlew, 3 Ruff, 2 Knot, 1 Lapwing, 2 Little Egret and 23 Mediterranean Gulls on Ryan’s Field. (R Veal, J Hawkey, R Butts, S Green) 2 Ospreys at mid day, one caught a mullet and both birds left heading south west. (S Murnan)

Osprey – Steve Murnan

Osprey – Steve Murnan

Osprey – Steve Murnan

Bude: 1 male Mandarin with Canada Geese on lake at The Weir Cafe. (M Slator)

Land’s End: 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchat, Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, 4 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin. (P St Pierre)

College Reservoir: 68 Coot, 1 Shoveler (D Eva)

Maer Lake: 1 Little Stint, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 15 Dunlin, 1 Ruff, 1 Common Sandpiper, 6 Black tailed Godwit, 5 Lapwing, 1 Curlew, 2 Snipe, 5 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler. (A Roberts, M Worden)

Rame: Juv Hen Harrier watched for over an hour before being chased off by Ravens towards the sea. Also 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 2 Raven, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Wheatear, 30+ Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 40 Linnet, 8 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Yellowhammer, 6 Stonechat, 2 Blckbird, 1 Whitethroat. (C Buckland)

Hen Harrier – Chris Buckland

Hen Harrier – Chris Buckland

Drift Reservoir (members only): 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Greenshank, 6 Little Egrets & 1 Wheatear. (J Hawkey)

Porthgwarra: 1 Balearic Shearwater and very few Manx Shearwaters, auks and Kittiwakes. Also good passage of Swallows heading east down the valley throughout the day and 1 Common Sandpiper plus 1 Mink – catching crabs in the rock pools at the mouth of the stream in the afternoon. (R Webb)

Devoran: 1 Spotted Redshank, 93 Redshank, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Dunlin and 114 Mediterranean Gull of all ages. (P Kemp)

Colliford Lake: 5 ad or near adult Yellow legged Gull and 2 juv Ringed Plover. (P Kemp)

Camborne, Tehidy Woods: 1 Kingfisher, 2 Little Grebe, 13 Mute Swan, 3 Coot, 50+ Rook in lower branches of the trees surrounding the main lake, competing with squirrels to be fed peanuts. (S Grose)

Newquay Harbour: 2 Turnstone, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 1 m Blackcap, 6 Greenfinch. (S Grose)

Porth Joke: 2 Whinchat. (S Rowe)

Polbathic Creek: Osprey at 07:45 landed briefly in tree at bottom of garden before flying upriver. Also 52 Redshank, Kingfisher plus Hummingbird Hawks still present through most of day. (A Blonden)

Monday 22nd July 2019

Late News, 19/7, Croft Pascoe 2 Spotted Flycatchers. (S & D Douglas)

Late news, 20/7, Land’s End: 1 Sooty Shearwater. (D Fletcher)

Late news, 21/7, Porthgwarra: 2 Arctic Skua, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 4 Puffin between 08:00 & 14:55. ( S. Rogers, R. Augarde, B Mellow)

Porthgwarra: 1 ad Mediterranean Gull, 30 Kittiwake, 100 Fulmar, 600 Manx Shearwater, 8 Balearic Shearwater, 300 Gannet, 1 Puffin, 2 ad Guillemot, 2 Common Scoter and 1 ad pale phase Arctic Skua between 07:30 & 09:00. (G McIvor) 33 Common Scoter, 13 Balearic Shearwater, 3 Great Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 4 Puffin, 6 Sandwich Tern, 8 Med Gull between 06:00 & 12:00. (B Mellow et al) Cory’s Shearwater reported past at 14:50.

Porthilly Point: 41 Mediterranean Gull, 7 Sandwich Tern, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Dunlin, 2 Curlew, 29 Oystercatcher, 2 Raven, 1 Skylark, 11 Greenfinch, & Sand Martins. (S Grose)

Nr Goonhilly: 2 Spotted Flycacther in private garden. (F Trewin)

Spotted Flycatcher – Freddie Trewin

Argal Reservoir: 2 Mute Swan and 7 young, 2 Canada Geese and 4 young, 10 Great Crested Grebe (D Eva)

College Reservoir: 5 Great Crested Grebe ( 1 incubating ) , 82 Canada Geese (D Eva)

Stithians Reservoir: 2 Lapwing, 1 Snipe (D Eva)

Sancreed: Juvenile male Green Woodpecker for last fortnight in an otherwise poor breeding season at the village; both our pairs of Swallows and four pairs of House Sparrows failed to rear any young this year, the former not even rebuilding/laying in last year’s nests. Both our tit boxes also remained unoccupied. Insect scarcity and poor weather may be to blame. (D Flumm)

Green Woodpecker – Dave Flumm

Green Woodpecker – Dave Flumm

Green Woodpecker – Dave Flumm

Helston boating lake: Presumed escaped Ferruginous Duck still present. (D Flumm)

Eden Project:  Adult Moorhen feeding 1 young on pond adjacent to The Core. (R. Barlow)

Porth: Steady southerly passage between 13.00-16.15 of 175 Common Swift, 225 Barn Swallow and 35 House Martin. Also 2 Humming-bird Hawk-moths and 8+ Common Dolphin offshore. (S Gale)

St Keverne: Spotted Flycatcher at Roskilly’s Ice Cream. (D Fletcher)

Penzance: 4 Eider off Chyandour. (B Dodd) 5 Common Swifts over the railway station at 14:00. (R Butts)

Longrock: Great Crested Grebe off Jordan’s Cafe. (B Dodd, P St Pierre)

Wadebridge: 47 Redshank opp Bridge bike hire. (S Grose)

Porth Reservoir: 9 Great Crested Grebe +7 Juv. (S Grose)

Marazion: 19 returning adult Sanderling and 1 Ringed Plover on the beach. (S Rogers)

**Trindade Petrel** – New Species for Cornwall, UK and c13th for Western Palearctic.

Trindade Petrel, Porthgwarra, 29th July 2018: Two first-hand reports.

Before I start, I must mention the very sad passing of Brian Field yesterday and the effect this had on all of us. Despite the excellent passage of seabirds, we could never fully focus on this. We discussed many fond memories we had of Brian, as he was such a kind, warm and inspirational person who was such a valued part of the birding community. Unfortunately, it was for this reason that many great local seawatchers weren’t able to make it and our thoughts lie predominantly with them and Brian’s family rather than the petrel.

Yesterday morning, the wind was a particularly strong south westerly and had been forming way into the Atlantic Ocean. Birders from across the UK, who were excited about the prospect of a large movement of shearwaters and other interesting species, had arrived at first light, initially having to sit in poor visibility for two hours before their efforts paid off and the first of many large shearwaters started to pass the headland. It was an exciting morning as the numbers of species grew as did the volume of birds passing. Could it get any better?

At 12:08pm there was a slight lull in proceedings, following a fairly regular passage line of large shearwaters, and a few were tucking into their lunch. Then suddenly, Ray Archer shouted ‘Fea’s Petrel’ and everyone rushed back to their scopes. After a few seconds the first sea watchers were arriving on the bird, half way between the Pinnacle and the Runnel Stone and initially closer in than the Runnel. As the bird made a steady but assured passage west more and more were arriving on the bird and questions surrounding the identity began to be raised. But the more pressing question was its whereabouts for those who hadn’t yet connected. Frantic directions ensued from the marker-less ocean until perhaps a minute after discovery when the bird passed ever so slightly behind the Runnel Stone where everyone (all 20-25 observers) were able to get onto the bird. More and more doubts crept in as to the identity until Martin Elliott shouted words to the effect of ‘it’s a Trindade Petrel!!!’

Most had been looking for a bird more similar to Fulmar in appearance, whereas the closest bird this resembled was a mini Cory’s Shearwater and the new identification made more and more sense. Within 30 seconds to a minute the bird had headed around the rocks and was lost to view, but not before good views of multiple features had been obtained. By this time the identification as Trindade looked good, Martin Elliott and John Gale made field sketches and people who had seen the underwing pattern and tail pattern clearly were quizzed to ensure that the drawings were accurate! It was like being interrogated by the Police force! An incredible buzz grew around Gwennap Head as people stood up and congratulated each other. Had we really just seen a first for Britain!?!

Congratulations to Ray Archer for the find of a difficult to detect bird; Martin Elliott for the correct identification as well as Mark Wallace for superb directions.

Reuben Veal, 30th July 2018


    In the circumstances Ray Archer did well to call this bird as a gadfly petrel at all! The light had been good shortly before (squalls permitting), but as the cloud broke patches of glare began to appear and it was in one of these the bird was first seen. Calling “Fea’s!”  would be natural for anyone used to sea-watching from UK shores- no other Pterodroma would ordinarily be on your radar! But he did the job and almost everyone was quickly on the bird.

    It was only then that things got confusing. Even those without previous experience of Fea’s type petrels in the field will have seen plenty of photographs or illustrations but this just did not conform- to the point that several birders (myself included) actually came off it temporarily  because we thought we were looking at the wrong bird!

     The bird’s flight was distinctive; a continuous series of almost elastic looking flaps, not as rapid as Manx, slightly deeper and more like Sooty Shearwater but without the latter’s power and obvious curling or flexing of the primary tips. The bird kept low to the water, and did not shear or glide more than brief banking over wave crests which meant the underparts were hard to see.

    The combination of uniform brown upperparts without pale primary shafts, white underbody with dark under-tail coverts, dark underwing with white band on the secondary coverts,  inner greater primary coverts and primary bases, small, relatively uniform brownish head with paler throat, and longish narrow tail can only be shown by pale morph Trinidade Petrel Pterodroma arminjoniana! The only other taxa which come close “Herald” Petrel Pterodroma heraldica  from the Pacific ( with which Trinidade was “lumped” previously) but they do not show as much white on the underwing coverts, or “Trinidade” Petrels breeding on Round Island in the Indian Ocean- both being far fetched to say the least! Trinidade is regular off the Eastern seaboard of the US and has occurred in the Eastern North Atlantic.

Martin Elliot, 30th July 2018

Trindade Petrel, John Gale


Eds  – The record will be subject to ratification by the relevant rarity committee for full acceptance to the British List. This represents an amazing record, with the nearest breeding population in the South Atlantic off Brazil, with nearest regular sightings in the warm Gulf Stream waters off the South Eastern USA, although still something of a speciality there, with a single record off Bermuda in 2015. There have also been a small number of WP records, mostly from the Azores.

The supporting cast for birders on the day included maxima reported of 92 Great, 32 Cory’s, 47 Sooty and 13 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Arctic and 13 Great Skua, 56 Storm Petrel, 4 Puffin and 5 Yellow legged Gull. Two Wilson’s Petrels were also seen further around the coast the same day.


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Spoonbills Tamar December 2009

On the Dec. 13th Tamar cruise a Spoonbill was observed with the following colour rings.

Left Leg- light green over yellow over light green Right leg- Red over yellow flag over metal.

Otto Overdijk of the Dutch Spoonbill Workng Group replied to the request for information with the following news:

Indeed, now I can identify this bird. A juvenile bird ringed at Den Oever
29/7/2009 ( just  North from Amsterdam, Wadden Sea Coast Lat 52.934N Lon 5.031E )
This is a new breeding site in Netherlands situated at a dike. See pho
to below. This dike has no connexion with the mainland. It’s a dike to slow-down the current. That it has no connexion with land means also that birds are safe, there are no foxes or other ground predators. Also no people come and set feet onto this dike so it also very quite for Spoonbills.

Working group Spoonbills International

species     :Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia leucorodia)            7325/106859colourrings :LYL/RYfa       ringing place:NL  Den Oever, Banaan 5256N-0502E metalringnr :NLA .8050697    ringing age :nestling ringing date:29-07-09               sexe :unknown

Date Country Site Observer Days Dist
16-09-09 NL Den Oever  nabij haven Leon Kelder 49 0 km
24-09-09 NL Den Oever  nabij haven Leon Kelder 57 0 km
15-09-11 GB River Lynher, Cornwall Bruce Taggart 109 696 km
13-12-09 GB River Lynher, Cornwall Bruce Taggart 137 696 km

See the Dutch Spoonbill Working Group and follow some of the birds in Google earth!.

Please report all colour ringed Spoonbill sightings to Otto Overdijk at

Bruce Taggart

Spoonbill on the Tamar

On February 2nd 2009 a colour ringed spoonbill was observed on the River Tamar by Nigel Climpson. Contact with Otto Overdijk at the address below produced a very rapid response and the observed history of the bird. The bird was ringed at the nest in July 2006 in Holland. It has subsequently been observed in France and Holland and in the autumn of 2007 was seen at Brownsea Island. No other reports in the UK until now. 

Photograph by Nigel Climpson
Please report all colour ringed Spoonbill sightings to Otto Overdijk at