News

March 2020 News

Save Our Swifts Update: Please note that there is a degree of uncertainty on what we will be able to achieve with the project this year. It is possible that since Swifts are late nesters we may have an opportunity to carry out surveying this year. In any case please still look at what you can do with nestboxes (link page Here) and bear in mind that this project will likely now be a two year project.

Garden Listing League: To help with those self-isolating at home, and as many of us are able to spend more time in the garden this spring, we have set up a Garden Lockdown Listing League here on the website. To take part just email your tally and updates to us. Should be a help in keeping motivation going, spending time birding and improving your garden list (you may just get hooked) in these strange times.

Birding Ideas in Lockdown: With little prospect of getting out and about in the County over the coming weeks, the arrival of nicer weather (finally) with the onset of Spring, and more free time for many, it’s important to keep our spirits up and find innovative ways to do our ‘birding’ as we face these difficult times. The bird news team have started putting together a page of ideas to help keep your motivation going and we will be looking at further ways we can engage the birding community here in Cornwall. Please follow the link >Here< for garden birding ideas, things to do and more. If you have any other suggestions for ideas or have come across any links that we can share with our members please send them to the usual bird-news.org.uk email address. Keep birding, keep safe and well!

COVID -19 Update 26/03/20: In view of the current Coronavirus situation and following Government guidance and recommendations, the Society walks program has been suspended and all CBWPS Hides are now closed until further notice. We will continue to publish Daily Bird News, but please note that this will be restricted to sightings from members gardens, local area outdoor exercise or incidental to other necessary travel purposes only, and selected reports may be published with restricted data or remain unpublished. Please continue to send in all your records, stay safe, and bird responsibly. 

COVID-19 update 25/3/2020: The Board and wider Bird News Team have corresponded at length about whether, and to what extent, the daily sightings page should continue in the light of the recent Government announcement. This has been a very difficult decision and the consensus we reached yesterday was that:

  • Publication of the daily sightings page will continue, but we will only publish news of garden birds or birds seen on local dog or exercise walks. We won’t publish any news from excursions which are likely outside of these very tight but very necessary restrictions.
  • The Bird News Team will continue to accept your sightings (and we really do encourage you to send them in), but some records may not be published on the website as outlined above. The record of daily sightings is a fundamental part of the Society’s recording process, and even if your records do not immediately see the light of day on the website they will form part of this very valuable resource.
  • Note also that the selected reports in Palores are compiled from this and particularly notable sightings will continue to be reported at a later date.

We hope that you’ll understand and agree with these measures and we’ll have some better news in the near future and promote ways that we can all contribute and share our garden birds with each other.

BTO Rookery Survey: For more details please see CornwallRookerySurvey Please note that this survey will only now be available for those who are already signed up and able to complete the survey from home or on essential travel routes.

COVID-19 update, 22/03: In view of the current Coronavirus situation and following Government guidance and recommendations, please note that the Society walks program has been suspended and all CBWPS Hides are now closed until further notice. 

Hide Closures and Coronavirus: Please note that as of yesterday, 21st March, the Society Reserve hides will be closed to members and the public alike. This is in line with Government recommendations and general guidance with regard to ‘social distancing’ and to minimise the spread of this highly contagious disease. This concerns the hides at Drift, Stithians, Walmsley, Burniere and Windmill Farm. General access to the areas concerned is not currently affected, although the walks program has been suspended until further notice. We will also be reviewing dissemination of rare bird news in the County in line with coronavirus guidelines and the safety of our members in mind.

Coronavirus update, 20/03: The board have considered the constantly updated directions and recommendations to counter the spread of Covid 19/Coronavirus. They have decided that at this time (20th March 2020) the only proper decision is to close the Society’s hides, with immediate effect and until further notice. At this time open land comprised in the Society’s reserves remains open to members who are not (by reason of age, vulnerability, contact with the disease or any other circumstance) recommended not to travel. However, that situation may change at any time, for example by reason of new advice or if members prove unwilling to respect the guidance being issued from day to day. In particular, when looking for birds (whether on the Society’s reserves or elsewhere) please respect the current recommendation to maintain 2 metres of personal space – or any future amendments or additions to it. Please check the current advice on the Society’s website and nationally before visiting any reserves,.CBWPS 20th March 2020.

Coronavirus update, 18/03: With key ‘social distancing’ measures being adopted across the country, this will impact on our own organised walks programme and until further notice all planned walks and meetings will be cancelled. The measures may also impact our upcoming surveys and we will be looking at ways in which members and birdwatchers can still participate whilst remaining safe. If you do venture out birding we advise not to share transport and suggest that you keep a safe (2m) distance from others and avoid sharing optics. But in many situations it will be possible to enjoy your birding locally and perhaps this is a good time to start a garden list or join the BTO’s Garden Bird Watch survey. We will post updates as necessary, and you can contact us here if you have any suggestions or specific queries.

Sensitive Breeding Birds: Now tha

Sensitive Breeding Birds: Now that the breeding season is close upon us again, we will shortly be resuming our policy of withholding reports of sensitive breeding (and potential breeding) birds in the County. Our first duty is to protect the birds themselves. Please keep sending in your reports, even though they will not appear on the website, as 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! Thanks for your understanding. The full list of species concerned, including RBBP and Schedule 1 species can be found on the website here. Please do bear this in mind when sharing information on social media too.

Coronavirus, COVID-19 and birding: This will likely impact on the walks programme and various bird surveys and even general birding in the county in the near future. We will be looking at ways in which to encourage our members and birdwatchers in the county to stay in touch with nature and birdlife closer to home as travel restrictions likely increase. Stay safe, sane and well. If out birding take sensible precautions when interacting with others, and see eg the gov.uk website.The situation and advice is changing quickly in the UK, we will post updates as necessary, and you can contact us here if you have any suggestions or specific queries.

Mermaid II wildlife trip: 11:00-14:00 on Monday 16th March. Report to Mermaid ticket office no later than 10:45, £25 per head, contact Martin Elliott on 07875 295457or mermaid booking office-07901731201, pay at shop or on boarding but please note trip may be cancelled if weather changes or too few book.

BTO Rookery Survey: The BTO in Cornwall are again running a Rookery survey this year. The survey runs from April 1st- April 30th and uses an online tetrad system that can be found here – CornwallRookerySurvey The survey methodology is simple. Double click on the square(s) that you want and then search all suitable habitat within the square for Rookeries to gain a nest count. A Recording form will be sent out in April to those that have requested squares.

Mermaid II trip planned, weather permitting from 13:00 to 16:00 on Thursday 5th March, cost £25. Meet outside the ticket office on the Ross Bridge, no later than 15 minutes before sailing.

Save Our Swifts: A Conservation Project for Cornwall. Down by 57% over the last 25 years and the iconic sound of Swifts on a balmy summers evening to be a thing of the past? Help us to redress the balance and support our Swifts by taking part in our Cornwall Swift Survey later this spring, making and installing nestboxes, attending events and spreading the word. Have a look HERE to see what we are doing and let us know how you can help. In the next few weeks we will providing more details on the survey, other events and mini-projects. Watch this space!

February 2020 News

Cornwall County List 2020: As we come up to the end of February the county list currently stands at around 185, after a relatively quiet month birding-wise, and plenty of poor weather. The full list can be found on the website Here.

Walks and Events: Report of the latest Tresillian River Walk and a reminder of a talk by the ‘Lone Kayaker’ Rupert Kirkwood at Chacewater Village Hall coming up this Friday 6th March, for more details see the events calendar in the header menu above.

Mermaid II trip planned, weather permitting from 13:00 to 16:00 on Thursday 5th March, cost £25. Meet outside the ticket office on the Ross Bridge, no later than 15 minutes before sailing.

Please Note: The CBWPS hide at Burniere Point is unusable at the moment due to it being blown off its fixings by the recent gales a few days short of its 52nd birthday! A team will be working to get it back to normal as soon as possible. Update: The CBWPS hide at Burniere Point is now usable again. Thanks to Adrian and his team for their hard work and speedy response (25/02/20).

January 2020 News

Cornwall County List 2020: The number of species seen in the County so far this year now stands at over 180, with a good number of county and national rarities already being reported and seen. The full (provisional) list can be found on the website Here, We will be posting ongoing County year listing updates soon too, so watch this space …

 

Big Garden Bird Watch 2020: It’s the #BigGardenBirdWatch this weekend 25th- 27th January. What will you see? Take an hour of your time & record the birds you see in your garden or local park: RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch

Don’t forget to let us know at your local bird club what you’ve seen too – numbers and occurrences of the commoner British birds are often underreported, especially common breeding birds later in the year.

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

December 2019 News

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.

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!