Recent sightings

COVID-19 Update 13th May: 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 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.

Swift Survey Update 11/05: Please see the news section Here for an update.

Why Not Become a Cornwall Birds Trustee? The Cornwall Birds (CBWPS) Trustees meet regularly to run the Society on behalf of all members.We have recently welcomed new Trustees, but this year three long-standing Board members will be retiring. This means that as well as looking for general Trustees we will need to recruit an Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary for election at this year’s AGM. Please see Here for more information.

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 or scroll down the page to the 12th May.

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.

More news and updates from the Society: can be found Here

The Birdwatchers Code  The Nature Photographers Code  Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981  Schedule 1 Birds

Sunday 24th May 2020

Late news, 23/05, St Andrews Pool: 2 pairs Mute Swan with 6 & 4 Cygnet, crèche of 20 Canada Goslings, 2 broods Mallard Ducklings 8 & 6, 1 juvenile Moorhen, 1 Reed Warbler (B Bosisto, L Payne)

Mute Swan – Bob Bosisto

Mallard and Ducklings – Bob Bosisto

Mulfra: 1+ Bee-eater heard calling high, between Mulfra Hill and Boskednan and appeared to drift off north or north east at 09:50. No sight or sound since. (M Elliott)

Ardensawah: 2 Turtle Doves early morning. (B Mellow)

Porthgwarra: 2 Pale adult Pom Skuas and 4 Great Northern Divers between 06:45 and 09:00. (B Mellow) Also, 3 Cuckoo. (S. Rogers)

Marazion Beach: 18 Sanderling, 6 Dunlin, 6 Whimbrel, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstone (S Rogers).

Newlyn Harbour: 1 imm m Eider, 4 Lesser Black backed Gull,17 nesting Herring Gull, 25 Great Black backed Gull, 2 Swift overhead, 1 Raven, 5 Rock Pipit. (S Grose)

Drift Reservoir: 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Sedge Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Bullfinch, 7 Common Whitethroat. (S Grose)

Lower Bostraze: 4 Cuckoo and 1 Grasshopper Warbler this evening. (M Ahmad)

Cuckoo – Mashuq Ahmad

Hayle Harbour: 2 Oystercatcher nesting on the roof. (S Grose)

St Gothian Sands LNR: 2 Mute Swan, 2 Shelduck, 4 Little Grebe, 4 Coot (1with 3 juv), 12 Tufted Duck, 40+ Sand Martin. (S Grose)

Pendennis Point: 1 Great Skua, 2 Puffin, 10+ Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 4 Great Northern Diver, c.118 Manx Shearwater, 45+ Gannet, c.14 Kittiwake, 85+ Auk sp. (L Langley, T Phelps)

Creegbrawse, Chacewater: 1 Cuckoo ( B.Toms)

Mount Hawke: Red Kite circling high, moving slowly North East, hassled by a single Herring Gull at 17.50. (RB Girling)

Colliford Lake: 1 Dunlin, 1 Barnacle Goose with c. 45 Canada Geese (P Kemp) Also, 2 Black-headed Gull (D Eva)

Bowithick: 4 Treecreeper (2 adults and 2 recently fledged juveniles) (D Eva)

Letter Moor (Bodmin Moor): 1 Cuckoo, 3 Buzzard, 1 Stock Dove, 5 Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit, 2 Stonechat, 2 Whitethroat, 8 linnet, 4 Yellowhammer (L Sampson)

Red Moor area: 1 Tree Pipit singing. (P McVey)

Croft Pascoe: 1 Willow Warbler. (R Chiffers)

Cotehele Quay: 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Stock Dove, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mallard with 7 ducklings. (R Smaldon)

Downderry:  Moving west this morning (0605-0805) 12 Common Scoter, a Shelduck, 103 Gannet, 2 Balearic Shearwater, 6 Great Northern Diver, and a Kittiwake. 4 Whimbrel on the beach. Also, a Red Kite to the north of the village. (A Payne)

Goss Moor: 1 Garden Warbler, 9 Blackcap, 5 Willow Warbler and 3 Chiffchaff ringed on Constant Effort Scheme site. Also, 2 singing male Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 4 Cuckoo, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 1 Siskin, 1 Treecreeper (P Roseveare, B Bosisto)

Newquay: Leucistic Starling near the bowls green. (M Unwin)

Leucistic Starling – Matt Unwin

Lockdown Diary Day 62:

We have now had almost nine weeks of this suspended animation. Frustrating and odd for many, frightening and life-threatening for some, rather a pleasant interlude for others, nature has proved to be a consolation and distraction even for people who had never bothered to stop, look and listen before.
The weather has been a boon too (unless your garden now resembles the Kalahari), but it was ferociously windy in the sunshine yesterday when I walked to my favourite spot in Cornwall – the Rumps overlooking the conical islet known as the Mouls. The sea was climbing halfway up the rock and the foam was flying. I could not see any of the handful of Puffins which breed here every year, but there were plenty of Shags, Guillemots and Razorbills hurtling around. One or two Oystercatchers piped away above the roaring wind. Right in front of a me a Rock Pipit parachuted down through the stiff breeze. Large numbers of Gannets cruised nearer to shore than usual, and half a mile or so out were hundreds of Manx Shearwater scything past. I managed to pick out a tiny, flitting dark bird in amongst the wave troughs – a Storm Petrel. Well named.
Great black-backed and Herring gulls aplenty too, but the star of the show for sheer aerial aplomb was, as ever, the Fulmar. The windier it is the more effortless is their mastery of the air. Mainly stiff-winged gliding but occasional shallow beats to compensate for the airflow. Back and forth they sailed past me. Below were two Grey Seals relaxing in the calm lee of the cliffs, as at home in their element as the birds above them in theirs. Simon Marquis (

Saturday 23rd May 2020

Late photos, 22/5, Pendeen: Bee-eater.

Bee-eater, Mashuq Ahmad

Bee-eater, Mashuq Ahmad

Late photo, 22/5, Penzance: Purple Sandpiper.

Purple Sandpiper, Mashuq Ahmad

Towan Head (08:40-10:10): 4 Storm Petrel, 1 Arctic Skua, 10000+ Manx Shearwater, 36 Guillemot. (S Rowe) Still lots of Manx Shearwater, Gannets and Auks passing but also early Ocean Sunfish between 17:00-18:00. (M Lammas I Boreham) 3 Storm Petrel between 18:20-19:20. (S Rowe)

Porthgwarra (07:30-09:00): 2 sum plum Great Northern Diver, 2 Great Skua, 1 Puffin, c100 auk sp, 132 Manx Shearwater, 36 Fulmar and 8 Kittiwake. (DK Parker)

St Ives Island: 2 Great Northern Divers, one summer plumage, one winter plumage (G Jones)

Marazion Marsh RSPB: 3 Little Grebe chicks on Longrock Pool. (DK Parker)

Pendennis Point, all west: 1 Balearic Shearwater, c40 Manx Shearwater, c100 Gannet, 5 Fulmar, 3 Kittiwake, 1 Oystercatcher, 2 Great Northern Divers. (T Phelps, L Langley)

Clerkenwater Vean Bridge Bodmin: Parent Dipper with one offspring. (A.Wagstaff)

Baldhu: 1 Red Kite, at 1450, (R Loader)

Par Duck Pond: 1 Canada Goose and 20 goslings. (C Hooper)

Pentewan: 1 Tawny Owl. (M Unwin)

Tawny Owl, Matt Unwin

Lizard Point: 179 Herring Gull, 26 Great Black-backed Gull, 13 Oystercatcher, 11 Grey Seal. (S Grose)

Old Lizard Head: 1 Cuckoo, 2 Skylark, 5 Raven, 23 Meadow Pipit 11 Linnet, 1m Kestrel. (S Grose)

Carn Goon: 2 Cuckoo, 1 Whinchat, 2 Skylark, 3 Stonechat, 6 Linnet, 1 Swift, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Common Whitethroat, 29 Meadow Pipit, 1 Pheasant, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler. (S Grose)

Perranporth, Droskyn Point: 5 Linnet, 1m Kestrel. (S Grose)

Tregurthy, St Austell: 1 Cuckoo. (G White)

Friday 22nd May 2020

Late news, 20th May, Bude/Marhamchurch area on private land: 1 Squacco Heron briefly

Pendeen: 2 Bee-eater again just west of the village. (P Combridge, B Hibbert et al)

Bee-eater- John Ryan

Montage of one of the Bee-eaters in flight – Tony Mills

Two European Bee-eaters perched in a Sycamore tree, near Pendeen, Cornwall, England, UK – Tony Mills

Walmsley Sanctuary: female American Wigeon still present view from public footpath (hides closed), 2 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, 2 Little Egret. (M Pass, B Bosisto, P Roseveare, M Doyle)

Kenidjack: Tawny Owl. (D Flumm)

Tawny Owl- D Flumm

Hannafore, Looe: 13 Turnstone, 1 Rock Pipit, 2 Stonechat. (D Sharp)

Turnstone – Deena Sharp

Wacker Quay: 2 Dunlin & 1 Great Crested Grebe. (P Kemp)

Croft Pascoe: 1 Spotted Flycatcher. (R Chiffers)

Spotted Flycatcher – Robin Chiffers

Truro: 1 juv Siskin in a private garden. (D Jenkins)

Dobwalls: 1 Red Kite drifted over 09.30, flying north (C&J Duffy)

Carbis Bay: 1 Red Kite over north of Knills monument. (A Rowe)

Redruth: 1 Red Kite.

Downderry: 7 Whimbrel on the beach. Moving west 6 Great Northern Diver, 3 Kittiwake and 2 Manx Shearwater all before 0725. Later, 1225-1345, 63 Manx Shearwater and 1 Great Northern Diver. (A Payne)

St Clement: 2 Whimbrel, 3 Little Egret, 20 Shelduck and 2 Siskin on the feeders (T Wilson)

Carne Creek, St Anthony: Nesting Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 nesting Mute Swans. (A Witheywood)

Pendennis Point: c07:10-09:30 produced a trickle of 49+ Manx Shearwaters moving southwest and a Red-throated Diver flying into the bay at 08.37. (L Langley)

Thursday 21st May 2020

Late news, 20/5, Downderry: 6 Whimbrel on the beach early in the morning. 2 Great Northern Divers moving west and another 11 on the sea. (A Payne)

Calartha Farm, Pendeen: 2 Bee-eaters 17:22. (K Aspden) 1 male Red-backed Shrike in field by the turbine. (P Clement)

Sennen Cove: 2 Bee-eater flew north 16:17. (K Wilson)

Cribba Head, Penberth: 1 male Red-backed Shrike. (M McKee) A second male reported to the east of the valley.

Nanquidno: 1 male Red-backed Shrike at Polpry. (C Moore)

Walmsley Sanctuary: 1 female American Wigeon and can be viewed from the public footpath. (B Bosisto, P Roseveare)

Kuggar: 1 Turtle Dove early morning. (C Lee)

Sancreed: 1 Red Kite east at 18:15. (D Flumm)

Treeve Moor: 1 Whinchat. (K Wilson)

Porthgwarra: 1 Hoooded Crow. (M Wallace)

Kingsmill Lake: 1 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 2 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron & 5 Shelduck (P Kemp)

Truro: 1 m Bullfinch feeding on nyjer feeder this am. (D Jenkins)

Godolphin Cross: 16.45 Red Kite drifting south. (C Richards)

Trevalgan Hill, St Ives: two Cuckoo mid afternoon. (C Richards)

St Ives: Red Kite E overhead 15.00h (G Jones)

Wainhouse Corner: 2 Red Kite 1 mile south on A39 18:00. (I Hall)

Old Lizard Head: 1 Cuckoo (L Payne)

Soapy Cove: 3 Cuckoo (B Bosisto, L Payne)

Kynance: 1 Cuckoo (B Bosisto, L Payne)

West Trewirgie, Redruth: 2 Red Kites being mobbed by Rooks. (C Cullen)

Gluvian: 1 Red Kite (M Bosisto)

Wadebridge: 3 Red Kite over heading eat at 16:30. (A Langdon)

Red Kite, Adrian Langdon

Golitha Wood: 2 Spotted Flycatcher. (M Beer)

Downderry: 4 Whimbrel on the beach. Moving west 2 Common Scoter, 10 Great Northern Divers, 64 Gannets, 75 auks, 13 Dunlin, 2 Manx Shearwater and a Kittiwake before 0725. A further 11 Great Northern Divers on the sea. (A Payne)

Wednesday 20th May 2020

Late news, 19/5, Carn Galver – Porthmeor: 2 singing Cuckoos, female Merlin. (G Jones)

Porthgwarra: Hooded Crow flew North 07:40. (M Wallace) Also 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 sum plum Great Northern Diver high over, 1+ Wheatear. (R Veal, M Wallace). Also fem Serin flew over coastguard cottages at 08:40, then relocated in tamarisks in the village before flying North again. (M Wallace, R Veal, D Parker)

Nanjizal: 1 Serin (female type) flew towards Trevilley at 10:15am and then back towards Polgigga at 10:50am, 20 Swallow, 25 House Martin, 1 Sand Martin ( P Roseveare B Bosisto)

Polgigga: 1 Turtle Dove at Raftra Farm then flew toward Porthcurno, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Greenland-type Wheatear, 3 Reed Warbler, 3 Red Deer. (R Veal)

Marazion: 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Dunlin, 12 Sanderling. (R Veal)

Undisclosed site: Great Reed Warbler singing sporadically. (T Phelps, M Doyle et al.)

Great Reed Warbler, Matt Doyle

Lizard: Woodchat Shrike. (R Curtis)

Woodchat Shrike, Matt Doyle

The Knavocks: 1 Cuckoo at SW593429. (G Rogers)

Cuckoo – Geoff Rogers

Week St Mary: Adult Honey Buzzard being mobbed by corvids near Week St Mary gaining height flying North East direction. (N Bastin)

Buttermilk Hill: 1 Cuckoo (B Toms)

St Breward: 1 Red Kite (T Polglase)

Gerrans:  7 Linnets, 6 Skylarks, 4 Whitethroats, 2 Cirl Buntings along the SW Coast Path. (P Pearson)

Lower Predannack: 1 Turtle Dove, 2 Cuckoo, 1 Blackcap (male), 2 Sedge Warbler, 12+ Whitethroat, 2 Skylark. Also numbers of Stonechat, Linnet and Meadow Pipit.  (J St Ledger)

Turtle Dove, John St Ledger

Bearah Tor: 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Green Woodpecker, 3 Cuckoos, 1 Redstart, m&f Wheatear on moor above quarry, 2 Yellowhammer. (R Hooper)

Par docks: 10 Eider (4 females, 6 males roosting on concrete slipway). Also 2 Kittiwake. (P Davies)

Spit Beach, Par: 6 Eider (all male). (D Cooper)

St. Gothian Nature Reserve: 10+ Swifts, 20+ Sand Martins, 8 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, numerous Canada Geese. (Deena Sharp)

Reed Warbler, Deena Sharp

Sedge Warbler, Deena Sharp

Wheal Martyn Clay trails: 3 Cuckoos flying together, 5 in total. (R Hollis)

Falmouth: 2 Sandwich Terns at Castle beach. (M Burnley)

Tuesday 19th May 2020

Trethewey: Bee-eater heard only, early morning. (K Wilson)

Mounts Bay: 2 Great Northern Diver, 25 Purple Sandpiper (Jubilee Pool), 2 Common Dolphin (mother and calf), 2 Porpoise. (R Kirkwood).

Common Dolphin with calf-R Kirkwood

Common Dolphin-R Kirkwood

Purple Sandpiper-Mashuq Ahmad

Purple Sandpiper-R Kirkwood

Longrock: 1 Black-throated Diver and 2 Great Northern Diver offshore early morning. (P St Pierre)

United Downs: Cuckoo (pair), 3 Garden Warbler and 1 Wheatear at the old landfill site. (F Bell)

Carnmeal Downs;Breage: 1m and 1f Yellowhammer. (G Adams)

Creegbrawse, Chacewater: Cuckoo flying around here and Poldice Valley. (B Toms)

Chapel Porth: 1 Cuckoo, 3 Chiffchaff singing, 1 Blackcap, 1 Swift, 30 Swallow, 6 House Martin. (S Rowe)

Ardensawah: 2 Turtle Dove. (MD Wallace)

Madron Carn: 2 singing Yellowhammer. (P St Pierre)

Blackhead St Austell: 16 Great Northern Diver, 1 Dunlin, Gannet, Guillemot, Razorbill, 47 Manx Shearwater, 5 Common Scoter, 27 Kittiwake, 3 Fulmar, 3 Oystercatcher, Shag, Cormorant. (D Cooper)

Porthilly Point: 16 Ringed Plover overhead, 5 Sand Martin, 2 Shelduck. (S Grose)

St Issey: 1 Hare (roadkill on A39 next to halfway house pub). (S Grose)

Pencarrow Wood: 15 Chiffchaff,1 Willow Warbler,12 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 5 Siskin (B Bosisto L Payne)

Lower Tamar Lake: 4 Willow Tit, 2 Treecreeper, 1m Blackcap, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 1m Tufted Duck, plenty of Swallows and House Martins. (R Mudge)

Treverva: 24 Long-tailed Tit in single flock (some adults, but mostly juvs), 2 singing Blackcap (D Chaney)

Truro: Cormorant struggling with then devouring an eel(?) on the river beside the Cathedral. (E Atkins)

Monday 18th May 2020

This morning on my way to Carn Euny I took the track at Caer Bran and came across a Stoat with a rabbit kitten. It was running up the track towards me carrying the rabbit but couldn’t really see where it was going as the rabbit covered much of its face. Had I not moved I’m sure it would have tumbled into me but as soon as I went for my camera in my bag, it dropped the rabbit on the track just in front of me and ran off into the vegetation to the right. I knew I wouldn’t have to wait long for it to reclaim its prey so I was ready for it when it reappeared. It then dashed out and collected the rabbit and returned to the vegetation. Photos below show the events unfold.
I’ve had several close encounters with stoats (and weasels) over the years. They are insatiably curious and will often allow close approach if you stay still enough. One of my most memorable encounters was many years ago whilst walking through a forest in Scotland. Suddenly a Stoat in ermine (all-white winter coat with just a black tip to the tail) appeared ahead on the track running towards me. As there was no snow at the time, it really stood out against the dark floor of the forest as you can imagine. I froze like a statue, not even blinking an eye and eventually it came right up to me, sat on my foot and sniffed my leg! (Dave Flumm)

Late news, 16/5, Little Kirland, Bodmin: 1 Hobby (J Macadam)

Late news, 17/5, Perran Sands: 1 Lesser Whitethroat. (S Rowe)

Late photos, 17/5, St Just, Hendra: Tawny Pipit.

Tawny Pipit, Mark Halliday

Tawny Pipit, Linton Proctor

Tawny Pipit, Peter Tongue

Tawny Pipit, Peter Tongue

Rame Head: Honey Buzzard reported flying in off sea and headed west.

Penpol, Truro: 2 Red Kite. (J Chapple)

Whitsand Bay: 4 Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 2 Dunnock, 2 Wren, 1 Sparrowhawk (with bird prey), 1 Fulmar, 1 Kestrel.

Cremyll: 1 Eider duck (immature), 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Cormorant, 18 Canada Geese.

Liskeard: 1 adult Hedgehog in garden. (D Sharp)

Truro: 1m Siskin; 1 m Bullfinch in my garden. (D Jenkins)

Kenwyn: 2 pairs of Linnet bred, one pair fledged 4 young and the other 3 young. Pair of Coal Tit feeding young in hole in wall (D Eva)

Kennack Sands: 6 Sanderling, 4 Ringed Plover; 3 Dunlin. (D Collins)

Charlestown: 1 Song Thrush, 2 juv 2 m 1 f Blackbird, 2 Swallows, 3 Wood Pigeon, 1 Carrion Crow, 2 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits, 3 Robins ,1 m 1 f Goldfinch, 2 Wren, 2 Dunnock, 4 House Sparrows, 1 m 1 f Chaffinch, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff. (D Hastilow)

Song Thrush, David Hastilow

Leball Wood: Tawny Owl calling at 10.45 am.(!) (A Blonden)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: 16 Shelduck and 1 duckling, 1 non-breeding plum Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Whimbrel, 4 Curlew, 8+ Reed Warbler. (R Veal)

Porthcothan: 13 Chiffchaff, 18 Blackcap , 2 Willow Warbler , 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Tawny Owl, 1 Corn Bunting (B Bosisto)

Gluvian: 1 Siskin (B Bosisto)

Rock: 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Swift. (S Grose)

Crowdy Reservoir: 3 Great Crested Grebe (all adults on the water), 1 Teal, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Song Thrush, 1m Siskin, 1 Linnet, 1 pr Canada Geese with 7 Goslings, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Skylark. (S Grose)

Davidstow Woods: 1 Cuckoo. (S Grose)

St Kew Golf Course: 1 Barn Owl. (S Grose)

Wadebridge: 1 Barn Owl towards Ball Roundabout from bypass. (S Grose)

Downderry: 8 Whimbrel on the beach and 6 Great Northern Divers at sea. (A Payne)

St Hilary: Nuthatch feeding young. (R Chiffers)