News

January 2020 News

2019 Birding Review: With a new year and a new decade just started, Reuben Veal looks back over the highlights of what was another all round great year for birds in Cornwall, with some exceptional records including several new additions to the Cornish list – Cornish Birding Roundup 2019

Membership reminder: For those who pay for their society membership by cheque, please note that it is now due.

December 2019 News

Bird recording volunteers:  The National Trust in West Cornwall are looking for bird enthusiasts to help carry out bird surveys at some of our countryside sites, to measure the impact of our ever expanding habitat management work. In 2020 we have new work (including pony grazing) starting at Tregiffian, Porthcurno, Rospletha, Mayon cliff, Escalls, Cape Cornwall, Kenidjack and Treveal.  Complementing existing schemes we have in place, to give birds and other wildlife the right habitat conditions to thrive.

We have a list of sites across West Cornwall to survey, each one requiring just 2 visits between the end of March and end June.  If you think you can help us or would like further information, please contact Shaun on 07881 811481 or Shaun.Boyns@nationaltrust.org.uk.

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

Paddyfield Pipit colour A4 prints by renowned wildlife artist Martin Elliott, from a limited-edition of 30, signed and numbered at £20 each (plus £5 p&p). People can contact Martin by e-mail or ringing 07875295457.

Gull Identification field-classes: based at the Hayle Estuary led by Martin Elliott. This winter numbers will be limited to a maximum of 4 people at a time and aim be more flexible about time etc so £10 per hour per head for the first 2 hours then £5 per hour thereafter. People can contact Martin by e-mail or ringing 07875295457.

Guided Birdwatching Cruises: Our three hour Guided Bird Watching Cruises have live commentary throughout from leading ornithologists who have spent many years studying the birds and wildlife on the this award-winning stretch of water. We have large comfortable boats with outdoor upper decks and indoor heated lower decks with huge windows – great for viewing whatever the weather.  Refreshments are available along with Rod & Bens organic soup and the Chunk of Devon pasties are available to pre-order. We have availability on our cruises running to the beginning of March that you can see on the website here https://www.stuartlinecruises.co.uk/bird-watching/  If there are any dates that would be particularly suitable to you that are not listed please feel free to contact us and we can look at arranging an additional date for you.  Tickets cost just £12.50 per person or £10 per person for groups of 15 or more.

Mermaid II wildlife trip will sail 12:00 Tuesday 17/12 – 2 hours at £17 per head (pay on boat), again hoping to find the Pacific Diver! book through M Elliott (07875295457) and check on Monday to make sure it is still going if the weather changes and where to embark.

djc

November 2019 News

St Agnes Marine Conservation Group talk: Thurs 28th, 7:30pm.
Alice Trevail and Beth Clarke from Exeter Uni talk to us about their fascinating research into the lives of our ocean wanderers. See Facebook or the CBWPS calendar for more.

Wintering Warblers Project: Laura Giles, a student at the University of Exeter is requesting any sightings of crests and warblers in the county this winter. To help and for more information please see look on the website Here

Marazion Works: Have you noticed the works going on at Marazion Marsh this month?

This is part of the Cornwall Council’s Longrock Coastal Improvement Project and is designed to enhance the reed bed at Marazion Marsh for wildlife. Currently, new ditches are being created by an excavator to provide more open water for fish and aquatic invertebrates to inhabit, this in turn will provide for many amphibians, mammals and birds in the near future. Although things look unsightly at present, by late spring the reeds will start to regenerate and within 2 years the area will be reinvigorated. If you would like more information please visit the councils website by following the link below and click on Marazion Marsh. 

Link to Cornwall Councils website with details of the project: Longrock Coastal Improvements

The RSPB is a stakeholder advising the works on the marsh in this ongoing project.

Incomplete Records for BiC 2018: There are a number of records of birds reported in the county for which we still require documentation for them to enter the County Record and to be published in the Annual County Report. If you were in the county during 2018 and were involved in the finding of, or indeed, even saw, any of the birds in the linked page here;- Incomplete Records 2018 , then please contact the County Recorder; recorder@cbwps.org.uk with your submission or for any enquiries. Please help to keep the County Record as complete as possible!

Incomplete Records for BiC 2018: We have now begun work on Birds in Cornwall 2018. There are a number of records where a description is needed before they can be accepted into the County Record and feature in BiC 2018. Details of these records are provided via the link below. If you have submitted one of these records you may already have been contacted by the County Recorder about providing more information or a description. If you have not yet been contacted and you recognise one of these incomplete records as being yours please do get in touch via email recorder@cbwps.org.uk or by filling out the rarity form on the CBWPS website and sending it in. Please help to keep the County Record as complete as possible!

Thanks very much,

Hilary & Phil, Editors Birds in Cornwall (BiC)

Please visit the link below on the website for the full list of records of birds required (including both date and location) throughout the year –

>County Records requiring further information in 2018<

Rarities in the county for which we still require full descriptions include such nationally rare species as Pacific Diver, Gyr Falcon, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Red-eyed Vireo, commoner scarcities such as Black Kite, Alpine Swift, Bee-eater and Red-rumped Swallow, and county rarities including Pink-footed Goose, Long-eared Owl, Nightingale and Tree Sparrow. For the full list of 65 species and dates please see the link above.

If you saw any of these species within the County in 2018 please check out the link above and check the dates. Even if you were not the original finder it would still be very useful to receive a description, or in some cases appropriate photographic evidence in order to not lose these records from the County Record. If in doubt please contact the County Recorder as above.

BiC 2017, the CBWPS Cornwall County Bird Report, is now out. Over 270 pages packed full of data, information and photographs of the county’s birds in 2017, with ringing report, articles and more. A great effort by the BiC team led by Phil and Hilary. The front cover depicts Amur Falcon, new to the county in 2017.

Walks and Events program: Reports from recent walks at Helston and Swanpool have been added to the website: HERE

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

Paddyfield Pipit; a first for the WP?: An article here on the website giving some background information on the species and the account thus far:- Paddyfield Pipit in Cornwall; 23rd October 2019

For Sale: An Opticron telescope lens for sale. Sold as unused and in original box. Offers. All proceeds will be donated to CBWPS. Buyer collects. Contact details HERE

CBWPS Development Day 2019: This Saturday 9th November. An opportunity for members to meet with the board and to help set the focus and agenda for the society for the coming years. We hope that the Development Day will be an informal event that will inspire, inform and engage, so please do join us and have your say! St Erme Community Centre, Trispen TR4 9BD from 11:30am – 15:00pm. More information HERE

Development Day 2019 – It was in 2016 that we ran the last Development Day, asking members to help us set the agenda for where we wanted the Society to be heading. This was a great success and we identified several areas that we should be focusing on as the board of the Society. Some of these we’ve been able to develop and some we haven’t, so this is a chance for us to review where we’ve got to and where we should be heading. So I hope you’ll be able to join us in November to set the new agenda and ensure that we’re doing what you, our members, want us to be doing.

In 2016, our discussions highlighted some of the below:

The need to shout louder
Review of our membership
Making the most of our reserves
A more identifiable and modern ‘brand’
Survey events, Conferences, Training, Walks/talks, Surveys

Have we achieved what we wanted to since then and are these still our priorities? Or do we take a conservation lead
and look to be more proactive and think bigger? The State of Nature 2019 report highlights key areas for conservation in the UK, so are these relevant to a small Society?:

  • Conserving special places
  • Restoring landscapes
  • Focusing on species
  • Resources for conservation (“we must remember that the most successful conservation action arises from partnerships, across governments, charities, business, landowners and individuals working together.”)
  • Connection to nature

We hope that the Development Day will be an informal event that will inspire, inform and engage, so please do join us!

9th November, 11:30am – 15:00pm, St Erme Community Centre, Trispen TR4 9BD

Mark Grantham, CBWPS CornwallBirds Chairman

For Sale: An Opticron telescope lens for sale. Sold as unused and in original box. Offers. All proceeds will be donated to CBWPS. Buyer collects. Contact John Hawkey on 07875543347

 

October 2019 News

Lower Tamar Lake feeders: due to problems with cats it is requested that photographers/birders do not put up bird feeders in the car park area itself. See Here for the bird feeder locations where both Willow and Marsh Tits can be seen on site.

Walk this Sunday: October 20th, 9.00am at Drift Reservoir for passage migrants with Roger Hooper. See the Calendar above for more details.

2019 AGM Report and Talk: A report of the Society AGM and Keith Cowieson’s excellent illustrated talk, From the Falklands to the Arctic can be found in the Events Report section on the website Here

Mermaid II wildlife trip: Saturday 13th Oct,  £25, meet at 14:45 for 15:00 sailing returning at 18:00. To book call 07901 731201 (Penzance)

Davidstow: We have been asked to re emphasise that cars should not go onto the active runways. Apparently there was an incident yesterday (2nd October). Also cars are not insured once they enter onto the airstrip. Please keep cars off the main runways! Many thanks. More information and map showing the active runways here – Davidstow Airfield

Congratulations to Mike McKee for making the front cover of British Birds magazine on the prestigious October Rarities Report edition, with his stunning photo of the Grey Catbird.

For sale: A one-off painting of the St Ives Brown Booby (31cm x 27cm) for £120 +£5 p&p. Plus 20 limited edition prints (28.5cm x 24cm) for £25 each plus £5 p&p. Contact the artist, Martin Elliott direct on 07875 295457.

 

July 2019 News

CBWPS Cornwall Birds AGM 2019: From the Falklands to the Arctic at this year’s AGM; don’t miss the Cornwall Birds 2019 Annual General Meeting, which will be held at Stithians Reservoir this Saturday 13th July.

The official CBWPS business will be followed by ‘From the Falklands to the Arctic, and lots in between – 50 years of bird watching and photography’ by Keith Cowieson. Keith was born and brought up in Aberdeen and joined the RAF straight from school spending the next 36 years in a variety of flying and staff postings worldwide. A lifelong birdwatcher, Keith was fortunate during his RAF career to indulge his passion around the world.

The AGM starts at 4.00pm (full details on the back page of the Spring Palores), and after Keith’s talk there will be an opportunity to join Board members for a walk around the north end of the reservoir. Stithians Lake Watersports Centre is easily accessed from the A394 Falmouth – Helston road and there is plenty of parking. See you there!

 

 

June 2019 News

Updating Membership Records: Could all members please ensure that the email addresses as held by the membership secretary are correct, especially if you have changed your email address in the recent past. A number have recently bounced or seem to be out of date as no replies have been received from them. Please also check that your membership status is correct – note for example that Senior Memberships are from 65 years.

If you would like to change from receiving a printed copy of Palores to a digital pdf copy, or do not wish to receive BiC (Birds in Cornwall) as part of your membership do please let us know, as in both cases this will save the society both in printing and postage costs. Please contact Carol, Membership Secretary at membership@cbwps.org.uk

New Membership Secretary: as of 1st May Carol Hughes has taken over from Angela Moore as Membership Secretary for the Society. The Society is very grateful to Angie for her many years of tireless service as Membership Secretary, and wishes her all the best in her future endeavours. Membership enquiries and requests should continue to be sent to the usual membership@cbwps.org.uk address

May 2019 News

Middle Amble Marsh Update May 2019: An update on access issues to this joint CBWPS/CWT reserve can be found on the website HERE

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.  Responsibility for the database (formerly coordinated and maintained by the RSPB), passed to us in April 2019. Please send your sightings to choughs@cbwps.org.uk including, date, place, 6 fig gird ref if possible, and notes on any colour rings observed. Photos are always welcome too.

National Urban Gull Survey: 23rd April – 7th May: As the final part of the National Seabirds Count Survey, fieldwork in 2019 will focus on a survey of urban-nesting gulls. It’s impossible to completely count every breeding bird in such a difficult environment, so the survey will focus on key squares surveyed in previous years, with additional allocated sites in likely areas. If you can help please see the survey page Here

Mark Cocker at Kestle Barton: Mark is a notable author of creative non-fiction (Birders:Tales of a Tribe; Birds Britannica; Crow Country). He is also a naturalist and environmental tutor, who writes and broadcasts on nature and wildlife in a variety of national media. Last year (2018) he celebrated thirty years as a Guardian country diarist. He also released a new book on the fate of British nature since the twentieth century – Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife Before It Is Too Late?

Over many decades British society has been guided to the idea that the natural world is best approached as a sub-department of science. In his radical and controversial new book Our Place, Mark argues that this under-estimates the importance of wildlife and landscape for people. In his talk at Kestle Barton on the Lizard at 2pm on 1 June 2019, he asks us to reconsider the inspirational role of the natural world and its place in all forms of creativity, whether literature, music, the visual arts or the sciences.

All the activities over the weekend are free but booking is essential for our planning purposes. Please contact info@kestlebarton.co.uk for more information and booking or visit their website www.kestlebarton.co.uk

New Membership Secretary:  as of 1st May Carol Hughes has taken over from Angela Moore as Membership Secretary for the Society. Carol writes: “I was born in Cornwall and have lived the majority of my life in the small village of Ruan Lanihorne. I gained an interest in wildlife as a whole quite late in life, but have been a member of Wild Roseland (link) since its inauguration and hold several positions. I have been recording for the BTO, Wildlife Trust and UK Butterfly Conservation for many years and help with a number of wildlife surveys. I have recently taken up an interest in moths and was lucky enough to find a first for Cornwall in my first year.”

The Society is very grateful to Angie for her many years of tireless service as Membership Secretary, and wishes her all the best in her future endeavours.

Membership enquiries and requests should continue to be sent to membership@cbwps.org.uk , where they will now be directly received by Carol. Other details can be found on the Society Contact and Membership pages in the ‘About’ section in the header above.

Roy Phillips: It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Roy Phillips after losing his fight with cancer. He was well-known to many local birders and was well-respected for his birding skills and reports. He was a regular contributor to CBWPS and his most recent report on the 12th, announced the fledging of robins in his beloved garden. He will be greatly missed.
The funeral of Roy will be at Treswithian Downs Crematorium, TR14 0BX, on Monday 13 May at 2:30pm. Everyone is invited to tea and snacks afterwards at Trevithick Inn Table Table, Treswithian Rd., Camborne TR14 0TR, about 2 mins drive from the crematorium. We ask that, if possible, you let the family know if you would like to come, so that they have an idea of numbers to cater for. Please contact liztregenza@outlook.com, or phone  01736 351793.

May 2019 News: Please see the News section for updates and expanded versions of all news snippets from this ‘Recent Sightings’ header section – updated 19th May

N Roy Phillips: It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Roy Phillips on 22nd April this year. A tribute to Roy can be found on the website Here .

New Membership Secretary: as of 1st May Carol Hughes has taken over from Angela Moore as Membership Secretary for the Society. The Society is very grateful to Angie for her many years of tireless service as Membership Secretary, and wishes her all the best in her future endeavours. Membership enquiries and requests should continue to be sent to the usual membership@cbwps.org.uk address

Mark Cocker on the Lizard: Mark is a well known birding author (Birders:Tales of a Tribe; Birds Britannica; Crow Country), naturalist and environmental tutor, who writes and broadcasts on nature and wildlife in a variety of national media. He will be giving a talk at Kestle Barton on the Lizard at 2pm on 1st June 2019, based around the concepts in his new book ‘Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife Before It Is Too Late?’ and asks us to reconsider the inspirational role of the natural world and its place in all forms of creativity … read more Here

The activities over the weekend are free but booking is essential for planning purposes. Please contact info@kestlebarton.co.uk for more information and booking.

April 2019 News

CCAF: Recruitment of new members to the Cornwall Countryside Access Forum (CCAF) is currently underway. This aims to represent all interested parties in the County in areas such as Tourism, Environment and Access. It would be especially good for the general birding and wildlife community to be represented on the forum.

If anyone is interested in applying, full details and an application form are available via the Council’s website. The following links to the relevant page: Cornwall Countryside Access Forum (CCAF) – Recruitment 2019

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.  Responsibility for the database (formerly coordinated and maintained by the RSPB), passed to us in April 2019.

Please send your sightings to choughs@cbwps.org.uk including, date, place, 6 fig gird ref if possible, and notes on any colour rings observed. Photos are always welcome too.

National Urban Gull Survey: 23rd April – 7th May

As the final part of the National Seabirds Count Survey, fieldwork in 2019 will focus on a survey of urban-nesting gulls. It’s impossible to completely count every breeding bird in such a difficult environment, so the survey will focus on key squares surveyed in previous years, with additional allocated sites in likely areas. If you can help please see the survey page Here

Dead Otters: Please can anyone spotting dead otters on the road report them to the Environment Agency, as they collect them and have them post mortemed. Contact Jess Thomasson on jess.thomasson@environment-agency.gov.uk

Pied Crow: Wild or Escape? A link to an earlier discussion about the provenance of the Pied Crow from BirdGuides.

Channel Wagtail: A link to a BirdGuides article on the complexity of Yellow Wagtail plumages.

County Listing 2019: for all doing anything of a county list this year: Yearlisting 2019 – now live whether it’s a Patch, Green, casual or full-blown County List.

The Cornwall County List 2019 can be found here (currently 186 species as of 17/02)

Membership Subscriptions: As per the latest Palores there will be a slight membership rate rise in the New Year. This is in keeping with rising costs and yet still represents great value for money. It should be noted that there is no need to physically post either form – members can amend their own Standing Orders (SO) online with their bank (or in branch), and Gift Aid Declarations do not require a signature – hence a scan of the form or information therein (name and address) can be forwarded on to the Membership Secretary by email.

Taking out a digital Palores (emailed pdf version) in your membership will also save the society a substantial sum which can be put towards other society aims. And for those on lower membership rates, it is of course perfectly acceptable to pay the slightly higher full adult rate if you wish!