Monday 6th April 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.

Late news, 5/4, Downas Cove: 4+ Sandwich Tern, 1 drake Mallard on the sea in a rough swell. When it was almost sunk, the mallard took off and just cleared the next wave, before landing on a rocky island just off the headland. (D Beadle)

Late news, 5/4, Sennen: 1 Hoopoe in garden. (G Hodgson)

East Looe: 5 Sandwich Tern. (D Spooner)

Devoran: 1 Osprey at 09:10 (no rings visible, mobbed by Shelduck then a Corvid), 1 Common Tern (which flew off up the River Kennall), 2 Greenshank, 2 Curlew, 8 Shelduck, 4 Teal. 1 Green Woodpecker (calling). (J St Ledger)

Osprey – John St Ledger

Greenshank – John St Ledger

St Ives Isalnd: 1 Glaucous Gull, 1 Common Sandpiper, considerable movement of Kittiwakes, Sandwich Terns and Gannets offshore.

St Erth: singing Reed Warbler along river, 1 Swallow, 16 Mallard ducklings. Interestingly, the mother is one of a brood of 7 raised at Hayle Estuary last year, where 3/7 of the brood were blonde. In this years brood, 5/16 of the ducklings are blonde. (R Veal) Also Barn Owl this evening. (M Spicer)

Nanquidno: 2 Sandwich Tern. (C Moore)

Portheras Cove: 1 Sandwich Tern. (P Clement)

Newlyn: Iceland Gull still in harbour. (M Ahmad)

Polgigga: 3 House Martin over. (K Wilson)

Penzance: 10 Sandwich Tern on Lariggan Rocks. (T Mills)

Lamorna Cove: 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 House Martin, 1 Swallow. (M McKee)

Gluvian: 4 Swallow, 1 House Martin (B Bosisto)

Liskeard: 1 Red Kite over. (D Julian)

Mousehole: 33 Sandwich Tern, 3cy Yellow-legged Gull. (M Elliott)

Coverack: 4 Swallow over Trevothan (D Beadle)

Crowlas: 3 Swallow, c17 Golden Plover still. (R Veal)

Constantine: 1 Common Tern. (R Birchett)

Skewjack: 60+ hirundine sp. (mainly Swallow) this evening. (M Wallace)

Ventongimps Moor: A walk from my house produced 4 Common Snipe and 3 Willow Warbler. (T Wilson)

Sancreed: Swallow back at our house, four days earlier than last year; 4 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff. (D Flumm)

Talskiddy: 2 House Martin, 4 Swallow, 2 Stock Dove. (P Roseveare)

Dobwalls: 2 male Siskins on feeders, 1 Swallow (C&J Duffy)

Newquay: 6 Mallard ducklings, Herring Gull (blue ring W:429), 1 Little Egret, 4 Moorhen at the boating lake. (E Henderson)

Trevose Head: 3 Swallow, 4 Sand Martin, Buzzard being mobbed by Raven. (S Lilley)

Feock: female Wren brings finishing touches to her chosen nest. (K Dalziel)

Wren – Kate Dalziel

Crackington Haven: 2 Swallows 2 Sand Martins, Chiffchaff and Linnet in garden. (J&B Teague)

Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth: 1 Sandwich Tern and 1 Guillemot at 18:30. (P Oldcorn)

Freathy: 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Guillemot , 1 Swallow and 2 Wheatear this morning. (M Jordan)

Marazion: 1 Great Northern Diver, f Teal, 25+ Common Scoter offshore. (D Parker)

Buttermilk Hill: 1 Wheatear, 2 Golden Plovers, 22 Linnets, 3 pairs of Stonechats, 5 Common Buzzards. (V Stratton)

Gulval: The pair of swallows that raised three broods in the garage in 2019 arrived again (together this time) right on cue this morning 6th April at 6.30am. In 2019 the male arrived on the 5th April and the female 2 days later.  This is their seventh breeding season here involving the same male.  A different female joined him in 2017. (J Hawkey)

Cornwall Lockdown Diary, Day 14

I can’t let the Blackbird off the hook any longer. His spring song is top of the charts for me – and for many others. So hard to describe sound at the best of times, and words won’t do justice to the show-stopping magnificence of the Blackbird’s performance. But I can hear him now, so here goes…

He sings from near the top of a tree near our bedroom window from just before the sun comes up. Not the first bird of the day: that honour (chez nous at any rate) goes to the Wood Pigeon and the Robin. But now the stage is his. The notes spill out languidly, flute-like and pin-sharp. Phrase after phrase after fruity phrase of mellifluous syllables, improvised and dazzling. Mark Cocker, in Birds Britannica, remarks on “the spontaneously composed freshness of the song”. To my ear, it is also the pauses between these outpourings that add to the drama. You await a new burst, savour it and then yearn for the next. It is a deeply soothing experience. One I can remember from a very young age, and one bound up with these, my favourite months of the year. By July it will be over. In these troubled times, introduce it to someone close who doesn’t know it. It will be today’s little act of transformative kindness.

Simon Marquis (palores@cbwps.org.uk)

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