Monday 2nd November 2020

Late news, 31/10, St Anthony’s Head: 4 Cirl Bunting, Merlin, Peregrine, 12+ Skylark, 30+ Meadow Pip, 70+ Linnet, 50+ Goldfinch, 6 Stonechat, 1 Oystercatcher, 40+ GBBG, 60+ Herring Gull, Chiffchaff, a couple of Goldcrest and 2 Raven. (C Foote)

Late News 1/11 Truro: 10+ Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Meadow Pipit, Coal Tit, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Blue Tit, Robin, Wren in our very small private garden. (K & J Mortimore)

Pendeen Watch: 26 Manx Shearwater, 36 Great Skua, 12 Arctic Skua, 4 Pom Skua, 1 Pterodroma petrel sp, 7 Grey Phalarope, 1 Leach’s Petrel, 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 4 Purple Sandpiper, 4 Oystercatcher, 5 Golden Plover. (R Archer)

St Agnes Head: (0800-1600) 1 Leach’s Petrel, 2 Grey Phalarope, 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 8 Manx Shearwater, 9 Great Skua, 2 Arctic Skua. (G Lawlor)

St Ives Island: 2 Great Skua, 1 Pomarine Skua, 1 Great Shearwater and 500 + Auks, 100s Kittiwake and Gannets. Also, 2 Snow Bunting. (C Lovatt) Also, (13:00-16:00): 4 Great Northern Diver (together off Hawke Point), 8 Great Skua, 2 Manx Shearwater, 1 Fulmar, 1 Grey Phalarope, 1300 Razorbill, 3 Guillemot, c700 Kittiwake, c450 Gannet, 1 Kestrel (m), 2 Snow Bunting (P. Nason)

Pendeen: Leach’s Petrel at c11:30. (R Archer)

Cape Cornwall: (08:30-10:30) juv Pomarine Skua, 5 Great Skua, 2 Manx Shearwater and masses of Gannets and auks. (N Wheatley)

Trevose Head: Grey Phalarope, 3 Turnstone , 3 Red-throated Diver, 14 Manx Shearwater, 39 Fulmar, 1 3rd cal pale phase Pomarine Skua, 6 Great Skua, 9 Mediterranean Gull, 7 Black-headed Gull, 1337 Kittiwake, Common Gull. (B Bosisto)

Towan Head, Newquay: 1 Great Skua, 1 Red-throated Diver (N Long) Also between 1600-1700 5 Great Northern Diver, 2 Leach s Petrel,100s Gannets and Kittiwakes. (M Lammas & T Carne)

Downderry: 0725-0850, 2 Great Northern Diver, 7 Little Egret, 3 Kittiwake, 2 Common Gull & 2 Mediterranean Gull moved west. (A Payne)

Coverack: Juv Iceland Gull. (J Foster) Also, 60+ Mediterranean Gull. (P Abbott)

Cremyll: 17 Cattle Egret and 7 Grey Heron in field near Mount Edgecombe. (D Sharp)

Cattle Egret – Deena Sharp

Lowertown, Helston: 2 Firecrest, 3 Coal Tit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Dipper and 3 Jay. (A Witheywood)

Firecrest – Andrew Witheywood

Swanpool: 2 Great Northern Diver, 17+ Gannet and 10 Shag. (C Foote)

Gyllyngvase Beach: 2 Ringed Plover, 4 Oystercatcher, 4 Turnstone, Curlew and Mediterranean Gull. (C Foote)

Stithians Reservoir: Great White Egret still in Northern cut off. (I Grant & F Were)

Drift Reservoir: 1 Medeterannean Gull, 1 Cattle Egret, 1f Goldeneye, 1 Tufted Duck and 6 Teal. (I Grant & F Were)

Crows-an-Wra: 1 Black Redstart at turn to St Buryan from A30. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Nanquidno: 1 Firecrest, 1 Chiffchaff. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Upper Tamar Lake: 5 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Cormorant, 2 Snipe, 2 Song Thrush, 25 Canada Goose. (R Mudge)

Lower Tamar Lake: 6 Willow Tit, 3 Marsh Tit, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Jay, 6 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Grey Heron. (R Mudge)

Charlestown: 6 Great Northern Divers off Charlestown harbour at dawn swam west towards Du Porth plus a seventh flew east. (N Addey)

Carlyon Bay: 2 Great Northern Diver. (N Addey)

Mevagissey: 1 Great Northern Diver. (N Addey)

Bissoe: 50+ Redwings in hedgerow.(R Smith)

Milltown, Lostwithiel: 1 Treecreeper, 3 Firecrests, 4 Goldcrests, 1 Barnacle Goose (M Surgey)

Truro: Meadow Pipit in our private garden again today. (K & J Mortimore)



Wednesday 9th August 2017

Pendeen seawatch (06:00 – 09:00):  2 Sooty Shearwater, 3 Balearic Shearwater, 12 Common Scoter, 5 Whimbrel, 30 Kittiwake, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Swift. (D Flumm) 07:00 – 12:00: Highlights 1 Grey Phalarope, 1 Arctic Skua, 3 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Storm Petrel and several hundred Manx. (S Rogers) 1 Wilson’s Petrel reported past at 11:48.12:50 and 13:50: 1 Cory’s Shearwater and 1 Balearic Shearwater. (MJ Spicer)

Walmsley Sanctuary: 3 Glossy Ibis including 1 Spanish ringed bird (hence possibly different birds to the earlier 14?), 5 Cattle Egret incl a juv. 38 Dunlin, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, Shoveler and Teal at this am. (P Roseveare) At Dusk: 8 Glossy Ibis, 5 Cattle Egret incl a juv and 95+ Dunlin. (A Langdon)

Godrevy: 1 Balearic Shearwater at 08:40.  (R Veal)

Hayle Estuary RSPB, Lelant Saltings: 2 Greenshank, 3 Dunlin, and 3 Shelduck (1 ad + 2  juv). (R Butts, T Pinfield) Ryan’s Field: 31+ Mediterranean Gull, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit. (R Butts,T Pinfield)

Dobwalls: 50+ Swift over village between 13.00-13.05. (J Duffy)

Late News: ‘Pterodroma sp’ off Lamorna 8/8/2017
I was on board the Mermaid ll, guiding the scheduled Minack Theatre trip at midday, already heading back inshore after having failed to find any dolphins, or anything more than reasonable numbers of Manx Shearwaters foraging about a mile offshore. These birds are part of an extended flock (presumably still containing the large shearwaters still being recorded from Porthgwarra) ranging even further offshore and at least as far west as Wolf Rock. The wind was northerly and I was scanning the ever more distant line of Manx when I saw what I immediately thought was a pterodroma shearing almost twice as high and fast as the shearwaters around it. I could only see white under-parts and glimpses of dark upper-parts through my bins so I reached for my camera. The bird was so far off I had to use a distant boat to track it through the view finder, and the bird “switch-backed ” twice causing me to keep losing it, but I did manage to get 8-9 shots of the bird as it sheared over the horizon.
 Given the good light, clear conditions and having my converter on the camera giving me 420mm mag I was hopeful these would be enough to at least “nail it” as a Fea’s type but I had forgotten to set the camera back up to it’s highest resolution/ largest jpegs, having reduced this to save card space when photographing the seals on St Clement’s Island! As a result the pictures are the pixelated mess attached, but they were enough to show that the bird has largely white underwings with clear black margins, possibly a black ulnar-bar, and an apparently diffuse dark hood or head. The underwing alone should rule out any Fea’s type, and given the dark head this strongly indicates Bermuda Petrel Pterodroma cahow! However – as can be seen – the pictures are awful, and cannot safely rule-out Black-capped P. hasitata, or a “white-winged” Zino’s P. madeira or even confirm it as a pterodroma at all! Given what I saw and the longer “rear” of the bird I am happy it was a gadfly, and I’d even go as far as saying  it looked too small for how I’d imagine hasitata to look, and more confidently that it was too bulky for madeira ( having seen 5 Fea’s in Cornwall), but the photo.s just aren’t good enough, and I /we can only hope it is still happily feeding offshore with our shearwater frenzy- bring on the south-westerlies!
                                                                                                                            Martin Elliott

Martin’s original (left, heavily cropped) and post-processing (right)

Pterodroma petrel species, Martin Elliot. (processed images)


Slideshow, slightly larger version of processed images (click to pause) –

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Three of the original images (cropped only), plus one of the originals below. As it can be seen, not too many pixels to work with!

djc, tdm