Tuesday 31st March 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.

Drift Reservoir: 3 Sand Martin, 4 Chiffchaff. (D Flumm)

Sancreed: male Shoveler, 26 Canada Geese, 2 Little Egret, 2 Snipe, 8 Chiffchaff. (D Flumm)

Marazion Beach: c130 Common Gull (J Hawkey)

Marazion Beach: 17 Ringed Plover. (S Rogers)

Newquay, Trenance Valley: 4 Tawny Owl. (S Grose)

Trenance Lake, Gannel Estuary: 1 Little Grebe, 1 Greenshank, 1 Curlew, 1 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 5 Little Egret. (J Green)

Redannick; Truro: 1 Orange-tip butterfly,1 Sparrowhawk just missing it’s prey. (G May)

Port Navas: 1 Common Sandpiper, I Greenshank (D Collins)

Mousehole: 1s Yellow-legged Gull in harbour. (M Elliott)

Penzance: 1 Holly Blue butterfly (first of year for observer), Lidden area. (T Mills)

St Erth: singing Willow Warbler, 3+ Sand Martin, 1 Nuthatch at Tregilliowe Ponds. (R Veal)

Colan, Firhill Wood: 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Treecreeper, 3 Coal Tit., 9 Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Song Thrush. (S Grose)

Lady Nance: 8 Skylark, 6 Buzzard, 3 Yellowhammer. (S Grose)

St Ives: 1 Iceland Gull, 1 Glaucous Gull, 2 Sandwich Tern from the St Ives window today (G Jones)

St Ives Island: 1 Guillemot, 6 Shag, 1 Cormorant, 2 Sanderling, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Iceland Gull, 2 Common Gull, 28 Herring Gull, 2 Lesser-black backed Gull, 2 Black-backed Gull, 42 Gannet, 2 Rock Pipit (P. Nason)

Adult Mediterranean Gull – Peter Nason

Iceland Gull – Peter Nason

Launceston: Approx 150 Golden Plover pitched in three fields away to the north of our home (N Banks)

Cornwall Lockdwon Diary, Day 8

A different walk today. I took another quiet lane on the outskirts of Wadebridge. The light poured through the naked branches to the woodland floor – spotlighting the wild garlic that grows in every dank patch. We’re eating as much of it as we can. They say it has amazing health properties. Doesn’t cost anything either. The stream that joins the Camel in town gurgles happily, spreading sparks of sunlight as it goes.

I didn’t see much birdlife this time – Long-tailed Tits, now paired up and out of their winter gangs and Coal Tits which I rarely see other than at our feeders. I scan the trunks for a Treecreeper but to no avail. The trees look perfect for them but if they’re here I can’t spot them. I am struck by a recurring thought: in Nature nothing jars. Nothing is discordant. Nothing is out of place. Even fallen trees and messy tangles of brambles and nettle patches look as they should. But then, the eye catches something that truly does jar, stands out horribly from the spring greenery – a discarded lager can (almost invariably that wretched Aussie brand). The garish blue aluminium can, thoughtlessly hurled from a car window, will sit where it falls for year after year, looking and being an afront to Nature. Why, oh why, do people do it?

Simon Marquis (palores@cbwps.org.uk)

Monday 30th March 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, 29/03, Dobwalls: 3 Ravens over garden, 2 Robins – male feeding female. (C&J Duffy)

Late news, 29/3, Truro River: 22 Black-tailed Godwit, 18 Redshank, 1 Greenshank. (P Fraser)

Wadebridge: 1 Osprey over. (D Julian)

Chyandour: 1 Osprey over, then flew toward Gulval. (M Elliott)

Lamorna: 2cy Iceland Gull east over Tater-du at 11.40am then off Carn Barges following lobster boat. (M McKee)

Iceland Gull, Michael McKee

St Erth: 1 Swallow, c15 Sand Martin, 1 singing Willow Warbler, 2+ Siskin, 1 Green Woodpecker at Tregilliowe Ponds. (R Veal)

Halveor; St Columb Major: 1 Treecreeper. (B Bosisto)

Carnanton Woods: 1 Marsh Tit, 3 Treecreeper, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker. (B Bosisto, L Payne)

Mawgan: 1 Black Redstart in garden (P. Bedford)

Polbathic Creek: 1 Green Sandpiper from window. (A Blonden)

Lanner: 7 singing Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Skylark and a few Coal Tits on my bird feeders. (S Turner)

Trispen area: 1 Swallow, pair of Little Grebe on nest, 2 Buzzard, 3 Goldcrest, 15 Goldfinch, 11 Greenfinch, 2 Moorhen and 2 Mallard. (C Mason)

St Ives: Great Northern Diver, 2 Common Scoter, 5 Sandwich Tern, 4+ Dolphin sp. (G Jones)

North Country: 1 Red Kite. (C Eliss)

Drift Reservoir (members only): 6 Sand Martin, 1 Snipe, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Little Egret. (D Flumm) Also 3 Great Crested Grebe, 49 Canada Geese, 89 Herring Gull, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Buzzard, all mid afternoon following a walk from Penzance. Also 1 Green Woodpecker heard at Trereife. (T Mills)

Marazion Beach: 125+ (12+ ad) Common Gull. (S Rogers, J Hawkey) 2 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Redshank, 1 Grey Plover, 8 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 25+ Sanderling, 25 Common Scoter, 2cy Iceland Gull. (S Rogers) Also 2 Shoveler, 2 House Martin, 3 Sand Martin on the marsh. (S Rogers)

Carbis Bay: 1 Green Woodpecker. (A Myers)

Green Woodpecker, Andrew Myers

Argal Reservoir: 6 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Mute Swan viewed from the dam. (D Chaney)

College Reservoir: 21 Canada Goose, 4 Mute Swan, 5 Mallard, 3 Teal, 6 Wigeon, 13 Tufted Duck, 4 Coot, 5 Moorhen, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Cormorant, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 (m,f) Grey Wagtail, 50 Sand Martin, 15+ singing Chiffchaff, 2 singing Blackcap, 60 Herring Gull, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull on daily exercise walk from home. (D Chaney)

Penryn: 2 Linnet, 3 Greenfinch, 2 Mistle Thrush by Asda (D Chaney)

Coverack: 18 Little Egret at Perprean Cove. (D Beadle)

Falmouth, Swanvale: pair of Green Woodpecker. (J St Ledger)

Green Woodpecker, John St Ledger

Cornwall Lockdown Diary, Day 7 

Today’s bike ride went the other way down the Camel Trail to Padstow. It was deserted. No cars, no bikes, no people. Silence. No-one much on the trail either (much chillier today) so I could screech to a halt without worry to train the binoculars on anything interesting on the mudflats. Most of the waders have gone to their breeding grounds but there were plenty of Curlews, a couple of rather subdued Redshank, and a Greenshank picking its way daintily through the creeks. Lots of Shelduck and Oystercatchers, a few ducks of various denominations, and ‘loafing’ gulls. (I love that term: it’s exactly what they do.) A Cormorant, and in one of the small side-estuaries half a dozen hunched Grey Herons looking particularly hacked off with life.

Many of the damp and soggy patches have disappeared in the first dry spell for months. The little wet scrape near the skateboard park that harboured a Green Sandpiper a few weeks ago is baked mud. The messy field edges near the sewage works where a Grey Wagtail scouted for insects have gone. Never mind, there will be spring benefits. But today’s highlight wasn’t a bird. As I peered towards the low tide, a small, impertinent face popped out of the grass in front of me with an expression that said: “Woss your problem?” A stoat.

Simon Marquis (palores@cbwps.org.uk)

Sunday 29th March 2020

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 help in keeping motivation going and improving your garden list (you may just get hooked) in these strange times. To take part just email your tally and updates to us at the usual bird-news@cbwps.org.uk address. Let the competition begin … 

Late news, 28/3, St Ives: 1 Red-throated Diver, 5 Common Scoter, 3 Sandwich Tern from window. (G Jones)

Truro to Newmills: 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Nuthatch, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 2 Mallard, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Grey Heron. (D Eva)

Penzance: 22 Rook nests counted, difficult to see if they are all active as they are in the tops of tall conifer trees, west end of Alverton Road next to A30 roundabout. (T Mills)

St Ives Island: 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver, 2 Cormorant, 11 Shag, 10 Gannet, 2 Common Gull, 28 Herring Gull, 4 Lesser-black backed Gull, 8 Great-black backed Gull, 9 Kittiwake, 280 Fulmar (flew East), 1 Sandwich Tern (East), 2 Rock Pipit. (P Nason)

Marazion Marsh RSPB: 1 House Martin, 1 Sand Martin, 2 Shoveler. Also 1 Knot and 6 Ringed Plover on the beach. (S Rogers) Also 1 Red Kite this afternoon. (D Parker). Also 53 (6 ad) Common Gull. (J Hawkey)

St Erth: 1 Red Kite (flew East); 1 Willow Warbler, 8+ Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap all singing. (R Veal) 2 Sand Martin at Tresilliowe. (M Spicer)

Chyandour: Marsh Harrier in off the sea. (P St Pierre)

Carne Creek: 6 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little Egret, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Wren. (R Nicholls)

Newquay, Trevemper /Treringey: 1 m Kestrel, 2 Skylark, 3 Raven over. (S Grose)

Porthguarnon: 2 Swallow. (J Ryan)

Swanpool: Black Tern fishing 70 yds offshore. (M Burnley)

St Ives: Black-throated Diver, 2 Common Scoter, 4 Sandwich Tern and 2 Common Dolphin leaping. (G Jones)

Birding Ideas in Lockdown: Your ‘5-a-day Bird Quiz’, and ‘An Occasional Gull Diary from Tony Mills’ – see Here on the website.

Cornwall Lockdown Diary, Day 6:

It’s barely a week since we were all instructed to stay home. Will the nerves stand it? Main excitement now is to stand solemnly in the Tesco car park for 40 minutes waiting your turn for a lonely tour of the aisles. Has to be done though.

The weather continues to smile on our sorry world. There is something odd about cloudless skies, warm air yet completely bare trees. Yes, the buds are there but the look is still winter, though it does give a good view of birds busying for the breeding season. The Nuthatch fidgets around in the treetops, his insistent call heard from a hundred yards away. Blue Tits bustle around purposefully. But now is the time for the spring arrivals. Chiffchaffs came first, as they always do, in mid-March, and now they are chiff-chaffing the whole day long. This week our Blackcaps have turned up. Lord Grey (Foreign Minister in World War 1 and lifelong bird lover) prized its song particularly highly, pipped (if that’s the right word) only by the Blackbird. The full spring song of the male Blackcap – perhaps not at its best for a few weeks yet – is a silken delight. The notes pour forth from within the young greenery as pure and delicious as honey. But the Blackcap also has rather a curious sub-song. It sounds as if it’s muttering to itself, rehearsing under its breath for a few seconds before launching into the full-volume rendition. From nervous dummy-run to full-on concert recital. Magical.

Simon Marquis

Saturday 28th March 2020

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!

Late News, 26/03,Tresillian River: 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank, 9 Redshank, 7 Curlew, 24 Shelduck, 2 Teal. (A Nicholson).

Late News, 25/03, Tresillian Playing Field: Chiffchaff seen and heard (first heard singing 23/3) (A Nicholson)

Late News, 24/03, Tresillian River: 4 Common Sandpiper, 6 Greenshank, 14 Redshank, 1 Curlew. Plus 5 Siskin on garden feeder in Tresillian and Marsh Tit coming daily to feed. (A Nicholson)

Late News, 23/03, Boscawen Park: 28 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 14 Redshank, (A Nicholson)

Wadebridge, Guineaport Road: 1 Osprey (heading North) and 4 Buzzards flew over this morning. (W Delacour)

Gluvian: 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Swallow (B Bosisto)

Penzance: Red Kite flew West. (M Ahmad) 1 Swallow. (M Elliott)

Heamoor: Red Kite flew East. (P St Pierre)

Truro: Red Kite over. (J Chapple)

Nanquidno: 24 White Wagtail. (C Moore)

Charlestown: 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Coal Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 4 Dunnock, 8 House Sparrow, 2 Wren, 4 Woodpigeon, 2 Blackbird. (D Hastilow)

Long-tailed Tit, David Hastilow

Talskiddy: 1 Sand Martin, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Stock Dove, 3 Collard Dove, 1 Jay, 1 Song Thrush, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, c.10 Goldfinch, 18 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 22 Herring Gull from garden. (P Roseveare)

Falmouth: Red Kite North 14:10 from garden. (G Wills).

Trencrom: Long-tailed Tit pair almost finished nest building, having only had a base constructed just 4 days ago. (R Veal)

Mawgan: 1 Black Redstart in garden (P Bedford)

Freathy: 1 Great Northern Diver and 2 Guillemot on sea. 1 Eider west and 1 Sandwich Tern east this morning. (M Jordan)

St Ives Island: 2 Razorbill, 3 Rock Pipit, 3 Goldfinch, 1 Raven. (P Nason)

Mabe Burnthouse: 2 Raven, Nuthatch, 3 Chiffchaff singing. (D Chaney)

Zennor: male Hobby. (V Stratton)

Newquay, Trenance Valley/Boating lake: 11 Greenfinch, 5 Chaffinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Carrion Crow, 14+ Rook nests being built or occupied, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Sparrowhawk at traditional nest site, 2 Call Duck, 2 m Muscovy Duck, 39 Mallard Inc 12 ducklings, 6 Moorhen, 6 Indian Runner Duck, 1 Little Egret, 9 Pied Wagtail, 39 Herring Gull Inc juv with blue plastic ring on left leg W: 429 still. (S Grose)

Tresillian River: 4 Greenshank, 8 Curlew, 8 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 22 Shelduck, 18 Teal. (A Nicholson)

Ruan Lanihorne Quay: 1 Greenshank and 37 Wigeon. (D Hall)

Greenshank, David Hall

A Cornwall Lockdown Diary, Day 5: My ‘one a day’ exercise today was a bike ride from home down to the Camel Trail, then upriver towards Bodmin. There were a few others doing the same thing and swerving dutifully two metres away from each other as they passed. Friendly greetings abound but the suspicious glances give away our worries. The gin clear light is as unusual as it is beautiful, and the sunlight reflecting off the river was diamond-like.

The warmth seems to have brought out lots of butterflies. One Red Admiral, but many, many Peacocks, chasing each other around in a literal whirlwind romance. I thought I glimpsed a pale butterfly, but it landed on a primrose and vanished. When one of its petals took to the air, I realised this was my first Brimstone of the year. A perfect colour match for the flower.

With so few cars on the roads and fewer and fewer aeroplanes, no loud machinery whirring away, there is a rare peace about the countryside. Birdsong – coming into its own right now – seems to have taken over the airwaves. So some good has come of this bizarre crisis! Along the trail were most of the common tits, but then a different song from just above me…a Marsh Tit. So hard to distinguish from the Willow by sight but I’d seen on the Cornwall Birds Sightings Page that Marsh Tits had been seen along here recently, and the song was definitely not Willow. What a treat!

Simon Marquis

 

Friday 27th March 2020

Reserves Update: Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions Windmill Farm car park is now closed until further notice.

Freathy: 30 Manx Shearwater plunge-diving this morning. (M Jordan)

Stratton: Red Kite flew North at 07.40. (B Bryne)

Gulval: 1 Red Kite over Sainsburuy’s 12:00. (S Rogers)

Truro River: 10 Black-tailed Godwit. (P Fraser)

Camborne: Red Kite flew North, mobbed by gulls. (S Marshall)

Penzance: 1 Swallow along the promenade. (J Evans)

Lockdown birding ideas: How many birds can you identify in this clip? Worth watching to the end! (Sent in by K Dalziel) –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMXD4h5w8D8

A Cornwall Lockdown Diary, Day 4:

Unsurprisingly, raptors don’t feature too highly on my garden list. I have glimpsed the odd Sparrowhawk hurtling through the branches or calling to a mate, and a Kestrel has flown over once or twice. But we are spoilt for Buzzards. I don’t think they have nested in our trees (though I can’t be certain), but they are very much in evidence year round. They are so well disguised amongst the branches that it is only when they glide down from their perch that you realise they were there all along. It is their plaintive cries that make you look up and there they are – mini eagles, floating round and round on these warm March thermals on those great sails of wings. Today there were four of them, way, way up in the blue, thoroughly enjoying the buoyancy of the spring air and the effortless ride upwards. They mewed to each other in what sounded like pure joy. Just for the hell of it, one of them folds its wings Peregrine-like and plummets down a couple of hundred feet before spreading those wings and recapturing the up-draught again. Gosh, what I’d give to be a Buzzard today! Free of the misery of the terrible virus news and the prospect of another early evening No.10 Broadcast!

Simon Marquis

Thursday 26th March 2020

Millbrook: Willow Warbler singing at Withnoe Barton this morning. (M Jordan)

Marazion: 7 Shelduck off Hogus rocks briefly. (S Rogers)

Chyandour: 7 Shelduck briefly. (L Proctor)

Sancreed: Red Kite flew NW 08:40, 8 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Little Egret, 2 Teal. (D Flumm)

Red Kite, Dave Flumm

Red Kite, Dave Flumm

Lamorna Cove: 1 male Black Redstart at Carn-du. (M McKee)

Lamorna: 1 Iceland Gull circling high over the valley at 2pm drifting SW. (M McKee)

Bude: 6 Buzzard, 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler, 6 Linnet, 18 Goldfinch from private garden. (N Bastin)

Newquay: ad Glaucous Gull still present in field with pink elephant. (S Rowe)

Charlestown: 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Chiffchaff. (D Hastilow)

Pelynt: 2 Red Kite over. (K Knight)

Trencrom: 2 Mistle Thrush rattling from upper branches of huge beech tree, 3 Green Woodpecker, several Nuthatch, 1 singing Blackcap, 3 singing Chiffchaff, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 drumming, several Raven. (J Evans)

Mount’s Bay: 3cy Yellow-legged Gull on St Clement’s Isle, 1 imm Pomarine Skua. (M Elliott)

Newlyn Harbour: 2cy Iceland Gull again briefly, then flew to Mousehole. (L Proctor)

Polgigga: ad male Black Redstart. (K Wilson)

Gluvian: 1 Common Snipe, 8 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Raven , 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap. (B Bosisto)

Talskiddy: 2 Little Grebe, 1 Moorhen, 8 Canada Goose, 4 Mallard, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap. (B Bosisto)

Truro: 2 Raven, 1 Sparrowhawk, 9 Buzzard, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Greenshank, 2 Common Sandpiper. (R Augarde)

Rosewall Hill:  3 Wheatear; f Sparrowhawk high in off the coast being mobbed by 18 Ravens; 1 White Wagtail; 2 prs Meadow Pipit; 1pr Stonechat. (J Hawkey)

River Cove: 7 singing Chiffchaffs, 1 singing Blackcap. (J Hawkey)

Cornwall (location withheld): Great Bustard reported (presumably from the Salisbury Plain reintroduction programme and hence not ‘countable’, see website here).

Lockdown birding ideas: Brush up on your id skills. There are a lot of bird identification quizzes on the internet but my favourite has to be the bird ID quiz from Nord University. Without having to register you can choose both visual and sound quizzes from four different levels of difficulty. Most of the countries of Europe are covered and there is also a Western Palearctic section so there really is something for everybody and it’s a great learning tool. For the more competitive amongst you all the finished quizzes show on a daily leaderboard so you can challenge your birding friends ! Please follow the link below (sent in by B Bosisto): https://quiz.natureid.no/bird/quiz/

A Cornwall Lockdown Diary, Day 3:

Corvid update. No, not the dreaded virus, the crow family. We had three Jackdaws to stay some weeks ago. We were away for a few days and three of them fell down the chimney and were trapped in the house. Sadly, two of them were found dead by neighbours who had realised something was amiss, but one was still alive and was caught and released. The chimney repair people are booked but can’t come until the virus subsides. Makeshift chimney blockades will have to do till then. Jackdaws indoors: not recommended. Very messy.

But I’m fond of Jackdaws. Every day at dusk dozens of them wheel around the cloudless blue/purple/pink sky about 600 feet up, ‘chacking’ away to one another. They are joined by a few Rooks, noticeably bigger black silhouettes amongst their smaller cousins. The Rooks have three nests in our trees – a small rookery for a small hamlet. Of course we get Magpies in the garden, and Jays live here too which swoop away silently when disturbed before letting out their harsh cry only when they’ve made cover. We rarely get Carrion Crows, but a deep cronk from on high signals a Raven or two soaring at tremendous height or pursuing a determined course towards the coast. So not a bad tally of corvids for our patch, but not keeping any hopes up for the arrival of a Chough to complete the set, but you never know. These are strange times indeed.

Simon Marquis

Wednesday 25th March 2020

COVID-19 update 25/03/2020: 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.

Bridge, St Columb Major: 2 Dipper. (B Bosisto, L Payne)

Penzance: 1 Shag on harbour wall. (J Evans)

Freathy: 13 Common Scoter flew east this morning. (M Jordan)

Marazion: fem Black Redstart in horse paddock along Green Lane. (M Spicer)

Nanquidno: 50+ Golden Plover. (C Moore)

Crackington Haven: 1 Red Kite flew south. (J + B Teague)

A Cornwall Lockdown Diary, Day 2:

I had an early walk around my village of Carharrack yesterday morning. The bright sunshine had birds singing their hearts out. In my garden were Blue, Great and Coal Tits, Dunnock, Robin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Magpie, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon and a Goldcrest was singing in the conifers. A Blackcap was going full throttle across the road but he didn’t come into the garden this time.
On an hours walk around the bridleways and footpaths locally I was pleased to see and hear four separate Song Thrushes, a lively group of very vocal Chiffchaffs, the white rump of a Jay as it flew as soon as it saw me, Buzzards overhead, and several more singing Blackcaps in peoples gardens’.
Then, on the edge of Trevince Woods (you can’t go in as it’s full of dangerous mine shafts) I saw Nuthatch and several Great Spotted Woodpeckers whose testosterone levels were clearly peaking as the drumming was really loud. The route back from the woods is called Sparry Lane and I have always seen bullfinches there in all seasons. They didn’t disappoint as a lovely pair were found after first hearing that gentle, yet distinctive, little whistle they do to keep in contact.
A really great walk. I was surprised at the number of species that were around and I intend to keep this up as long as we are allowed to!

Roger Hooper