Recent sightings

COVID-19 Update 4th January: Society reserves remain open, however all hides are still closed, and the society walks and events program has been suspended until further notice. 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 fuller 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.

Please see the link for an update from the team on what has been a good year for our birds, and of course do continue to send your sightings in over the winter Chough update Dec 2020

Blackcaps: Have you seen a colour-ringed Blackcap in Cornwall this winter? If so, the BTO would love to hear from you! More details on the website here – BTO Blackcap Project

Garden Listing League 2021: Following on from the successes of lockdown listing last year we have decided to run a league for the whole of 2021 for lockdown in January and beyond. More details can be found on the website here- Cornwall Garden Listing League Whether you have fantastic coastal views or a small suburban garden see what you can see and record this year. Good luck! (Last update 24th Jan)

Online Bookshop: 12th Jan – we have added a further selection of second hand birding and natural history books to our online bookshop click Here to browse and find a bargain!

Possible Avian Flu in Cornwall: Sadly, on Saturday the 23rd of January, 7 Little Egret were found dead in Gillan Creek. This is obviously rather distressing and of serious concern as could be an indicator of Avian Flu within the County! Defra will be investigating this occurrence and have taken a sample of one of the birds to determine a cause of death. In the meantime they have requested that the following is adhered too: Do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find. If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline 03459 33 55 77. We then collect some of these birds and test them to help us understand how the disease is distributed geographically and in different types of bird, not all birds will be collected.

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

Monday 25th January 2021

Late news, 24/1, Constantine Sewage Treatment Works: 1 Siberian Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Woodcock, 1 Firecrest, 8 Chiffchaffs. (D Collins)

Siblyback Lake: 1 Mute Swan, 9 Little Grebe, 2 f Ring-necked Duck, 20 Tufted Duck, 1f Pochard, 6 Teal, 13 Mallard, 5 Cormorant, 2 Snipe, 15+ Redwing. (K Pellow)

Helston, Boating Lake: 3 (1m, 2f) Shoveler, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1m escapee Ferruginous Duck still, several Tufted Duck. (T Mills)

Helston Sewage Works: at least 40 Chiffchaff, 4+ Siberian Chiffchaff. (T Mills)

Siberian Chiffchaff – Tony Mills

Common Chiffchaff – Tony Mills

Helston Loe Pool: 6m Goosander, c.15 Pochard, 2 Little Egret, 5 Grey Heron, 1 m Bullfinch, 2 Jay. (T Mills)

Godolphin Cross village: Firecrest. (C Richards)

Godolphin Wood: Chiffchaff feeding along stream side. (C Richards)

Sancreed: ringtail Hen Harrier, 30 Lapwing west. (D Flumm)

Pennance Point: Velvet Scoter with 5 Common Scoter. Also, a further 50+ Common Scoters offshore, 5 Great Northern Diver and 100+ Common Dolphin. (M Broadbent, L Langley)

Malpas, Tresillian River: 42 Swans including at least 10 young congregating on river bend between Malpas and St Clement. In previous years we have only seen 6-12 after breeding; this year the numbers have grown steadily through Autumn/Winter. (A Hill)

Goonown Lane, St Agnes: 25+ Redwing in paddock. (V Skilton)

Victoria, Roche: 1f Black Redstart around industrial buildings this morning. (P Roseveare)

Towan Head, Newquay: 100s of Gannets & Auks spread  across bay 09:00, some groups of Auks flying South. Also 6 Great northern Divers flying South. (M Lammas)

Wadebridge Area: 1 Water Pipit and 1 Siberian Chiffchaff. (C Selway)

Par: 1f Kingfisher. (S Bool)

Marhamchurch: 2 Cattle Egret, 250 Lapwing. (S Windle)

Trerulefoot: c.250 Golden Plover. (A Blonden)

Polbathic Creek: 2m & 1f Red breasted Merganser, Snipe, Meadow Pipit, Common Sandpiper, Redshank, Curlew, Grey Heron, Bar headed Goose still with large number of Canada Goose. (A Blonden)


Sunday 24th January 2021

Traboe: 25+ Cattle Egret, 5+Little Egret, 1 White Stork. (S.Wood)

Cattle Egret – Steven Wood

Hayle Estuary: Adult and 1w Ring-billed Gull, 2w and ad Caspian Gull, adult Iceland Gull, 10 Yellow-legged Gull, 62 Common Gull, 20 Grey Plover and 1 Whimbrel. (M Halliday and P Freestone)

Camborne: 4 Blackcap 2f+ 2m, in a private garden. (G Rogers)

Blackcaps – Geoff Rogers

Heamoor, Penzance: 1m Blackcap. (V Whyte)

Wharfside, Penzance: Large Starling murmuration this evening. (D Brown)

Starling Murmuration – Dave Brown

Starling Murmuration – Dave Brown

Loe Pool, Helston: 4 Cattle Egret near Nansloe Farm, 11m 1f Goosander, 2 Cetti’s Warbler and Great Northern Diver. (A Witheywood)

Cetti’s Warbler – Andrew Witheywood

Pennance Point: 1 Long-tailed Duck (female), 4 Great Northern Diver. (J St Ledger)

Penryn Estuary: Whimbrel, 2 Knot, 30+ Redshank, 6 Greenshank, 11 Turnstone, 30+ Curlew, 8 Teal. (M Broadbent)

Truro/Newmills: 2 Firecrest, 1 Dipper, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Mistle Thrush, 6 Siskin (D Eva)

Par Beach: 1 Stonechat, 1Goldcrest. (C Hooper)

Penwithick: 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker in private garden. (K Bowers)

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Kevin Bowers

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Kevin Bowers

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Kevin Bowers

Lostwithiel: 1f Blackcap still present feeding on fat balls with sparrows. (E Mayhew)

Padstow, Tregirls Beach: 249 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 39 Black-headed Gull, 45 Herring Gull. 4 Grey Partridge feeding in the sand dunes, then flew into brassica field directly behind the beach as dog walkers approached early am. (S Grose)

Padstow, Hawkers Cove: 2 Kingfisher from a private garden. (S Grose)

Crugmeer: 378+ Rook in huge flock. (S Grose)

Newquay Boating Lake: 1 Black Swan, 2 Mute Swan. (S Grose)

Liskeard: 1m Blackcap, 2 Great Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 1f Siskin, 4 Goldfinch, 1 Mistle Thrush. (D Sharp)

Mistle Thrush – Deena Sharp

Bude Area: 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Snipe, 50 Lapwing. (S Windle)

Common Snipe – Steven Windle

Rame Head: Chough still present to the west of the NCI lookout this afternoon. (C Scott)

St John’s Lake: 2 Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, 10 Teal, 2 Black Redstart, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 8 Redshank, 4 Shelduck. (R Napp)

River Tamar: c.150-200 Mixed waders including Turnstones and Dunlin flying in unison, as a flock, for half an hour around a single yacht. Some landing but not enough room for all of them. (R Napp)

Turnstone and Dunlin Flock – Rick Napp

Lockdown 3 Diary

Here we go again. Another lockdown. Thank goodness watching birds can lighten the load. Birds know nothing of our woes and so are doing what they always do, quietly taking on board the growing daylight and thinking about the spring to come. Even in these short days there are signs that weren’t there a few weeks ago: a Mistle Thrush trumpeting away at the top of the bare beech tree; Great Tits urgently crying out; Rooks and Jackdaws spring-cleaning or house-hunting. Eggs may be two or three months away still, but birdlife is quickening already.

Saturday 23rd was a beautiful blue day in Cornwall – a welcome respite from Storm Cristoph – and I took my permitted exercise at Crugmeer near Padstow. Gannets joined the mass of gulls that had tracked down a shoal of fish and knifed into the sea in that devil-may-care way they have. A Kestrel played in the updrafts and as I neared Portmissen I could hear the unmistakable cry of dozens of Kittiwakes staking out their nest ledges for the forthcoming season. Fulmars cruised around the cliffs peering at me peering at them. As I made my way back to the car, I made out a commotion of crows mobbing a large, pale bird. The binoculars revealed a first for the year, a Short-eared Owl. The perfect end to a crisp winter walk.

Simon Marquis (


Saturday 23rd January 2021

Late news, 22/1, Redruth: 1 female Black Restart in a private garden. (Peter Flack)

Late news, 22/1, Drift Reservoir (members only): 1 Black-necked Grebe, drake Ring-necked Duck and 4 Mediterranean Gull. (M McKee)

Falmouth Bay; Pennance Point: Black Guillemot, 5 Common Scoter, Wigeon, 6 Great Northern Diver. 100+ Common Dolphin. (M Broadbent)

St Austell Bay: White Stork over Duporth Beach circling and then drifted west 11.15 am. (P Wilkins)

Hayle Estuary: Curlew Sandpiper, Pale-bellied Brent Goose still at Copperhouse Creek. 5 Redhead Goosander at Carnsew Pool (P Smale) adult & sub-adult Caspian Gull.(Birdguides) 2 adult Caspian Gull, Glaucous Gull, Red-breasted Merganser, 17 Grey Plover, Kingfisher. (P Freestone)

Wadebridge area:  1 Great Grey Shrike. (A Langdon)

Great Grey Shrike – Adrian Langdon

Great Grey Shrike – Adrian Langdon

Camel Estuary: Circa 3000 Golden Plover, 28 Mute Swan, 1 Black Swan, 1 Greenshank, circa 20 Redshank, circa 200 Lapwing, 1 Little Egret. (A Langdon)

Golden Plover flock – Adrian Langdon

Walmsley Sanctuary: 1 Spoonbill, c30 Shoveler. (A Langdon)

Adult Spoonbill – Adrian Langdon


Wadebridge: Siskin, Redwing. (C Selway)

Gluvian & Talskiddy: 250 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare, 70 Skylark, 40 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff, 41 Yellowhammer , 2 Hare. (B & L Bosisto)

Trevemper sewage works / Trevoll : 6 Buzzard, 1 Raven, 6 Little Egret, 1 Cattle Egret (in field with horses nr Trenhaile House) , 3 Meadow Pipit, 1f Peregrine Falcon, 19 Pheasant, 100+ Redwing, 11 Fieldfare, 33 House Sparrow, 15 Long tailed Tit, 21 Magpie, 53 Black headed Gull, 2 Lesser Black backed Gull, 1 Peacock Butterfly. (S Grose)

Rejerrah:1 Barn Owl over Scotland rd early am. (T Grose)

Marazion Marsh RSPB: 2 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff, c15 Teal, 1 Little Egret, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker. (T Mills)

Longrock Pool: 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Little Grebe. (T Mills)

Little London; Marazion: 3 Black Redstart, 1 Water Pipit, Pod of Common Dolphins offshore with a large number of gulls (A Witheywood)

Black Redstart – Andrew Witheywood

St Buryan: 3 Gadwall, 1 Peregrine, 40 Fieldfare. (N Rogers)

Cot Valley: juvenile Iceland Gull, Whimbrel. (N & T Wheatley)

Crows-an-Wra: c100,000 Starling in Sociable Plover field at 4pm. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Gannel Estuary: 1 Water Pipit, 36 Rock Pipit. (S Rowe)

Kenneggy: 14 Curlew, 8 Meadow Pipit, 3 Goldfinch, 12 Linnet, 1 Black Redstart (m), 3 Rock Pipit, 4 Turnstone, 18 Redwing. (C James)

Bude Marshes: 2 Cattle Egret, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Shelduck,  5 Snipe, 150 Canada Goose, 1 Farmyard Goose, 60 Teal, 200 Lapwing,1 Ruff, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Grey Heron, 100 Starling, 10 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff. (S Windle)

Cattle Egret – Stevan Windle

Pink-footed Goose – Stevan Windle

Cattle Egret – Stevan Windle

Carminowe: 3 Cattle Egret. (Birdguides)

Gunwalloe: Black Redstart. (Birdguides)

Roseland; Gull Rock: 100+ Guillemot back on ledges of Gull Rock, establishing territory, feeding, fishing and calling.  (David Hall)

Falmouth Bay: 2 Black Redstart at Castle Beach, Whimbrel , Rock Pipit. (L Langley)

Penryn, Tremough Campus: 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Nuthatch. (C Ledger)

Penryn Estuary (St Gluvias’ church to Sailors Creek): 2 Kingfisher, 1 Spoonbill, 1 Common Sandpiper, 30+ Curlew, 4 Little Egret, 20+ Redshank, 15+ Greenshank, 4 Oystercatcher, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4 Blackcap, 1 Buzzard. (J Clarke)

1st winter Spoonbill – Josh Clarke

Common Sandpiper – Josh Clarke

Penwithick (private garden):  15 House Sparrow , 3 Bullfinch (2m , 1f) , 2 Coal Tit , 3 Blue Tit , 8 Chaffinch , 2 Robin , 2 Great Tit , 1 Reed Bunting , 5 Blackbird , 1 Marsh Tit , 4 Long-tailed Tit . (K. Bowers)

Coal Tit – Kevin Bowers

Great Tit – Kevin Bowers

Long-tailed Tit – Kevin Bowers

Reed Bunting – Kevin Bowers

Male Bullfinch – Kevin Bowers

Female Bullfinch – Kevin Bowers

Lostwithiel; private garden: female Blackcap on feeders with sparrows. E Mayhew.

Trerulefoot: c. 50 Golden Plover. (A Blonden)

Friday 22nd January 2021

Late news, 21/01, Freathy: 1 Red-throated Diver on sea. (M Jordan)

St Loy: 2 Little Egret, 1 Cattle Egret in fields at Boskenna, 20 Redwing, 1 Ringtail Hen Harrier. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Crowlas: 1 Merlin, 1 Firecrest, 4 Goldcrest, c80 Meadow Pipit. (R Veal)

Hayle Estuary: 2 (ad, 1st w) Caspian Gull, 5+ Yellow-legged Gull. (P Clement) Copperhuose Creek: 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff. (M Spicer)

St. Agnes Head: 100+ Gannets dive bombing a shoal of fish.(W Thurgood)

Newquay: 1 Black Redstart at Tretherras school. (S Rowe)

St Minver: 1 Barn Owl at Trehawks Farm. (S Grose)

Lower Tamar Lake: 26 Goosander (10m 16f), 4 Great Crested Grebe, 4m Tufted Duck, 1 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron 1m Teal. (R Mudge)

Colliford Lake: 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Barnacle Goose with Canada Geese, 1 hybrid Canada x Pink-footed Goose, 6 Great Crested Grebe, Redwings, Lapwing, fFeldfare. (D Dennis)

Liskeard: 1 Cattle Egret. (D Julian)

Tywarnhayle: (10.00 – 10.30 a.m.) 1 Jay, 14 Jackdaw, 5 Carrion Crow, 1 Raven, 6 Blue Tit, 5 Great Tit, 13 Chiffchaff, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Wren, 5 Blackbird, 5 Robin, 1 Dunnock, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch. (RB & PC Girling)

Calenick Creek: 150 Canada Geese, 50 Wigeon, 20 Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 2 Shelduck, Sparrowhawk. 6 Cattle Egret on private farmland. (T. Hall)

Helston: 2 Blackcap in private garden. (M Wiliamson)

St John’s Lake: from the ford 1hr either side of high tide 1 Whimbrel, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 17 Redshank, 8 Snipe, 30 Curlew, 10 Grey Plover, 8 Dunlin, 22 Oystercatcher, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 65 Shelduck, 14 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 2 Mallard, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 8 Mediterranean Gull, 1 LBBG, 5 Herring Gull, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Little Egret. (M Jordan)

Methleigh Bottom Park: Song Thrush, Redwing, Long-tailed Tits. (P Day)

Porthleven Beach: 1 Great Northern Diver. (P Day)


Thursday 21st January 2021

Late news, 20/1, Longrock Pool: 8 Mediterranean Gulls 100+ Black headed Gulls all sheltering from F8 SW winds

Drift Reservoir: 1 Ring-necked Duck, 8 Tufted Duck, 9 Little Grebe, 1 Med Gull, 4 Common Gull. (P St Pierre)

Hayle Estuary: 2 ad Caspian Gull, 9+ Yellow-legged Gull. (M Elliott)

Helston: Female Black Redstart, 2 female and 1 male Blackcap in private garden. (S Ford)

Towan Head, Newquay: Lots of mixed gulls Guillemots, Razorbills and a few Gannets feeding off point 09:00, also 60 + Common Scoter flock in bay off Watergate. (M Lammas)

Tresemple Pool: 11 Cattle Egret, 4 Snipe. (D Eva)

Truro: 1 Common Sandpiper. (D Eva)

Truro: Male and female Blackcaps in our private garden this morning. Also no sign of our long staying Meadow Pipit since the frost earlier this month. (K&J Mortimore)

Lostwithiel, Terras Woods: 20+ Siskins. (E Mayhew)

Carn les Boels: Juv Glaucous Gull over at 14:45. (M Wallace)

Tregrehan: 1 Treecreeper, 1 Marsh Tit in Boscundle woods. (I Stewart)

Dobwalls: 1 Nuthatch in the garden (C&J Duffy)

Camel Estuary, Dinham: 1 Spoonbill. (M and V Scawen)

Calenick: 3 Cattle Egret on private farmland. (T Hall)

Stithians Reservoir: 1f Bullfinch, 4 Pochard, 1m Wigeon, 12 Little Grebe, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff, 1 Water Rail, 8 Curlew, 20+ Lapwing, 1f Reed Bunting, 4 Tufted Duck, 3 Goldeneye 1m 2f,1 Kestrel, 2 Buzzard (P Oldcorn, T Johnson)

Mawgan: 1 Merlin, 1 Firecrest, 4 Reed Bunting, and 1 Roe Deer in fields around village.  Also 1 Firecrest, 2 Siskin and 1 male Blackcap in our garden. (P. Bedford)

Swanpool to Maenporth: 2 Black Guillemots, Red-necked Grebe, 15 Great Northern Diver, 4 Common Scoter, Whimbrel, 5 Ringed Plover, 21 Fulmar, Hundreds of Gannets, Kittiwakes and Common Dolphins. (M Broadbent)

Bude Marshes: c200 Lapwing, 2 Ruff, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. (S Windle)

Wadebridge: 1 Pink footed Goose with Canada Geese from Trewornan Bridge early am. (S Grose)

Rock Helipad Field: 1 Buzzard, 1 Peregrine over, 1 Mistle Thrush, 25 Redwing, 3 Goldcrest, 3 Coal Tit, 1 Raven, 1 Collared Dove (carrying nesting material). (S Grose)

Newquay: 1 Barn Owl (in headlights driving past Treloy golf club this eve). (S Grose)

Looe Harbour to St. Georges Island: 2 Black Redstart, 3 Slavonian Grebe, at least 5 Great Northern Divers, 13 eider and a Glaucous Gull on St. Georges Island. (B Lansbury)


Wednesday 20th January 2021

Tregrehan: 1 Firecrest Boscundle woods. (I Stewart)

Colan: 1 Marsh Tit in the churchyard (S Grose)

Mousehole: Juv Glaucous Gull on St Clement’s Isle at 16:30. (M McKee)

Sennen Cove: Juv Iceland Gull. (K Wilson)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: Juv Iceland Gull, ad Caspian Gull, 9+ (1 1w, 8 3w+) Yellow-legged Gull, 2 ad argentatus Herring Gull. (M Elliott)

Tuesday 19th January 2021

Late news, 17/01, Coverack: 1 Merlin, 1 Curlew (D Beadle)

Late news, 18/1, Tehidy woods: 2 Firecrest,  8 Goldcrest,  2 Bullfinch, 200+ Redwing, 1 Nuthatch, 2 Greater-spotted woodpecker, 2 Mistle thrush, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Woodcock, 5 Jay, 6 shoveler,  2 little grebe,  8 Tufted duck, 1 Raven, 1 Gray wagtail, 20 Goldfinch, 15 Chaffinch, 3 Coal tit, 6 Long-tailed tit, Blue tit, Great tit, Black headed gull, Moorhen, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Rook, Magpie, Robin, Herring gull, Mallard.  (I Grant/F Were)

Late news, 18/1, Mousehole: Juv Glaucous Gull on St Slement’s Isle. (P St Pierre)

Newlyn: Juv Glaucous Gull on South Pier. (M Elliott)

Newlyn, Sandy Cove: 1, poss 2, Siberian Chiffchaff, 2+ Common Chiffchaff, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Stonechat. (T Mills)

Threemilestone: 1 Male and 1 Female Firecrest, 1 Male and 1 female Blackcap in a private garden. (E Harris)

Porth Reservoir: 1 Little Egret (first I’ve seen in over 40yrs),1 Goosander (redhead), 2 m Tufted Duck, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, 1 Kingfisher, 43 Mallard, 1 Teal, 11 Coot, 7 Moorhen, 1 Water Rail, Thousands of Corvids at dusk. (S Grose)

Gluvian: male Blackcap, Grey Wagtail, 9 Yellowhammer, 752 Jackdaw. (B Bosisto)

River Lynher – Newbridge :  50+ Siskin. (A. Parker)