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Friday 5th June

Porthgwarra 9.30am - 1pm
A good thorough walk around most of the area covering the coast, moors, 60ft cover, The Pool, heath.

-1 Hobby came from the coast direction over the heath fairly quickly and put up a few Meadow Pipits, Stonechats, etc
-2 Cuckoo (1m 1f) female seen once with the male briefly then we only heard her after that, male showed particularly well, flying round then resting on the heath, then being pursued by a Jackdaw and a Meadow Pipit together. We saw him about 5 or 6 times.
-2 Common Buzzard
-1 Kestrel
-Plenty of Meadow Pipit
-1 Tree Pipit not far from Lookout Tower again
-6 Stonechat (3m, 2f, 1juv)
-lots of Linnet
-2 Whitethroat
-1 Chiffchaff (lots heard)
-2 Rock Pipit
-few Manx Shearwater about
-50+ Gannet
-few Shag (adult and juv)
-Fulmar 6 seen at once and probably more than that
-2 Guillemot
-plenty of Swift and Swallow
-Great Black-backed Gulls
-Herring Gulls
-2 Kittiwake (black pattern showing on wing so a young bird)
-no sign of the Bee-eaters

St.Ives - The Island / The Rocks - mid afternoon
-2 Rock Pipit
-2 Linnet
-20+ Kittiwake (adults and juveniles out in the bay)
-lots of Gannet
-1 Razorbill
-6 Shag (2 adult, 4 juvenile)
-usual large Gulls

RSPB Hayle - Lelant / Estuary late afternoon (from Quay House car park)
-2 Whimbrel
-1 Oystercatcher
-3 Kittiwake (all juvenile flying round)
-1 Ring-billed Gull (2nd year bird)
-lots of Great Black-backed Gulls
-lots of Herring Gulls
-3 Black-headed Gulls
-20 or so Shelduck
-1 Grey Heron
-6 Little Egret
-1 Linnet
-plenty of Swallow and House Martin

RSPB Marazion Marsh / Long Rock Pool - tea time-ish
-1 Mute Swan startled by a Eurasian Otter on Long Rock Pool as I got out of the car!!!
-1 Grey Heron
-3 or 4 Reed Warbler close up views
-1 Cetti's Warbler heard then a brief flight view
-more Reed Warbler heard and seen on main reserve along with 6 Grey Heron
-1 Cormorant in Mount's Bay

Back to RSPB Hayle Lelant / Estuary - 7.15pm - approx 9pm (still light)
Mate went to pub and I nipped back for another glance to see what was about.
-4 Whimbrel
-1 Curlew
-1 Oystercatcher
-1 Grey Heron
-6 Little Egret
-plenty of Shelduck
-1 Ring-billed Gull
-lots of usual large Gulls including a single adult Lesser Black-backed an interesting Glaucous-looking one that dwarfed some of the others. Will review this one later.
-1 Pied Wagtail
-1 Linnet (m)

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Saturday 6th of June 2015 11:05:30 AM


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Thursday 4th June

Porthgwarra. 11am - 1.45pm
-Manx Shearwater rough count of around 750 (4 groups of at least 100 passed)
-Gannet approx 100
-Fulmar approx 30
-Shag 3 swimming/fishing, 5 flying low over sea
-Cormorant at least 10
-Chough 1 giving full flight display with massive fan tail but disappeared quickly
-Common Buzzard 1
-Stonechat 2
-Meadow Pipit 2
-Skylark 2
-CUCKOO 1 firstly heard calling then a male appeared doing a full fly round of 60ft cover (inland valley behind the famous Coffee Shop/Toilet Block where migrants miraculously turn up). We saw him about 4 or 5 times doing a slow fly round of the heath then suddenly diving down into cover!
Whitethroats, Dunnocks, Stonechats, Robins, etc, we're all suddenly on high alert as everytime they heard the Cuckoo call they all appeared on top of the shrubs looking worried.

Arrived back at the bungalow around 2.30pm and a late 3G signal came through and a report of 4 x European Bee-eaters at Porthgwarra Pool up on the moor near the long stone wall, and on the overhead wires near the car park.
I travelled back there from Ludgvan when I got the report, and some locals where already parked up near the area but the birds had gone.

No sign of the Turtle Dove either at Raftra Farm, Polgigga, which was roughly a mile away from Porthgwarra.
Few Collared Dove and Woodpigeon around though.

Marazion Marsh approx 7 - 8pm
Cetti's Warbler - 2 up fairly close (another heard)
Bullfinch - 1f
Little Egret - 2
Grey Heron - 4
Few Reed and Sedge Warblers around


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Wednesday 3rd June

Scilly Isles trip, St.Mary's on the Scillonian III.
Nice to meet Paul Semmens, wildlife guide on the Scillonian, and also Liam Langley from this forum.

-Cedar Waxwing reported on St.Mary's in the morning, trip was booked before that, but the bird was seen on the Tuesday afternoon so it was anyone's guess if it was still there. Apparently the lady who first saw it wasn't sure it was rare until she showed a drawing of it with the colour description to a local birder and by that time it was the Wednesday, so I was told.
Needless to say we didn't see it and it turns out it wasn't seen again.

-Squacco Heron was still on the island and had been seen that day at one of the inland pools but was flitting between here and a coastal pool. We got to the hide and it had relocated to the coastal pool, with limited time we checked the coast but no luck!

However we did have some success on St.Mary's...
-Spotted Flycatcher 1 - catching flies from a tall Pine tree near the coast path
-Stonechat 4
-Whitethroat at least 5
-Wheatear 3 (2f 1m)
-Rock Pipit 1 with a bill full of insects
-Linnet plenty around
-Meadow Pipit few about
-Grey Heron 1
-Cuckoo 2 heard only, Chiffchaff lots heard
-Song Thrush everywhere, lots of Blackbird and Robin around too!

Scillonian crossing...
-GREAT SHEARWATER - 2 (a Lifer for me) obviously larger than the abundant Manx and the white rump evident before the dark tail. Watched them gliding in towards us and then back away from us then back towards us. Managed a shot but trying to do that on a moving vessel on water and of fairly quick moving birds proved difficult as the camera kept re-focusing but I'm happy with the shot and the sighting.
-Manx Shearwater - at least 150 but that is an absolute minimum
-Gannet 20+
-Fulmar approx 15
-Guillemot 1
-Razorbill 1
-other wildlife seen

Penzance Harbour on return...
-Common Eider 1 Drake
-Rock Pipit 1
-Sandwich Tern 3 (1 on buoy, 2 flying in bay)


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Tuesday 2nd June.
The possible Yellow-legged Gull seen yesterday at Gulval looks like it's a Lesser Black-backed so the Cornish 'similar' Gulls are proving to be just as bad as the GM 'similar' Gulls.

Mousehole Bay - lunchtime
-250+ Manx Shearwater all moving West towards Land's End
-3 Gannet
-4 Cormorant
-6 Fulmar
-lots of Great Black-backed Gulls

Buttermilk Hill (St.Ives) mid-afternoon
-2 Raven
-3 Common Buzzard
-1 Kestrel

Late night visit to Lizard / Goonhilly Downs for the possibility of Nightjar.
2 heard and 1 briefly seen near Pine forest at 10.30pm ish



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Monday 1st June
Started off bright and sunny then developed into horrendous weather with poring rain and strong gales. Good sea watching weather.

Sennon Cove, walk to Land's End and back.
-Manx Shearwater approx 300
-Gannet at least 40-50
-usual large Gulls around
-2 Whimbrel up fairly close up on the top path braving it out with us
-4 Linnet

Land's End.
-more Manx Shearwater
-more Gannet
-1 Rock Pipit

Greeb Farm at Land's End complex
(Where the Sardinian Warbler was last week!)
-1 Whitethroat
-1 Linnet
-Stonechat 1m with a juvenile

Driving back through the country lanes through Gulval towards Ludgvan we tried a few fields to try and locate a reported Turtle Dove. We stopped at one particular field with some Woodpigeon feeding but no sign of the Turtle Dove, however there were some large Gulls with them and one drew particular interest as it showed features for possibly being a Yellow-legged Gull. (Photo's taken) and amazingly I've just seen this morning on one of the local forums that a Yellow-legged Gull was reported yesterday at nearby Hayle so fingers crossed.


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Sunday 31st May

Mid-morning to mid-afternoon
2 Raven low over the country lane near where we are staying in Ludgvan.

RSPB Hayle-Copperhouse Creek
-Herring Gulls
-Lesser Black-backed Gulls
-a few Great Black-backed Gulls
-1 Little Egret

RSPB Hayle Ryan's Field
-3 Little Egret
-1 Grey Heron
-1 Oystercatcher
-1 Shelduck
-1 Reed Bunting (m)

RSPB Hayle Lelant / Estuary - all birds seen from Quay House Carvery car park
-1 Ring-billed Gull (2nd year bird)
Only my second ever after the one at Audenshaw Res a couple of years ago. Feeding on its own well away from the mass of other Gulls for a while but then after an hour or so it wandered into the main group, settled down and tucked it's head under its wing so I would never have picked it out had I arrived later!

-1 cracking Whimbrel up fairly close to the car, an easy ID, dark stripes on the crown, shortish bill with curve towards the end. It caught at least 2 Frogs, countless long worms and a crab. Brilliant!

Other birds here...
-Little Egret 6
-lots of usual large Gulls
-Meadow Pipit

Mid afternoon to early p.m.
Jericho Farm (towards St.Just area)
-Juv Glaucous Gull reported but not seen since Saturday
-We found the exact field where it was photo'd and there were at least 500 large Gulls present. Scopes out and scanning the flock produced the usual suspects and a Red Fox stalking them all but it was in full view within 50yds of them so had no chance of a catch. The Gulls were also put up by a Common Buzzard which in some respects could've made it easier to see the Glaucous but not seen by us.

Cot Valley.
A beautiful place reminiscent of Kenidjack Valley. A long walk to the coast (although you can drive down a lot nearer) through fields, damp overhanging garden paths, bits of woodland and sandy heathland eventually leading to the sea and the valley cliffs.

-5 Chough (Red-billed Chough)
Performing fantastic aerial acrobatics and then stopping to preen on the rocks
-2 Kestrel
-1 Common Buzzard
-1 Peregrine
-2 Manx Shearwater
-1 Gannet
-1 Meadow Pipit
-1 Song Thrush
-1 Goldcrest in a Pine Tree (brief views)
-1 juvenile Robin sat in low bush calling
-1 female Cuckoo briefly, flew quickly down the valley into low heath cover and not seen again.

...and a dodgy looking herd of young Bullocks in the field back towards the car seemingly rather interested in us so we chose a different path round to the road

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Tuesday 2nd of June 2015 12:11:47 PM


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Saturday 30th May 2015
A week's holiday with best pal Stephen Ellison.

-Bee-eater reported near Penmennor Farm and Lamorna Pottery but despite a couple of hours searching we didn't see it and not seen since apparently. Same bird was reported earlier in 4 different areas same morning.
-few Chiffchaff around
-Common Buzzard 6 seen together at once but more around
-Great Spotted Woodpecker responding to alarm call from chicks due to 2 Jackdaws near the best hole

Porthgwarra (Coast path and inland valley).
-Manx Shearwater at least 50+ in smallish groups then at least 100+ in 2 close formation groups
(This figure was put to shame by the Pendeen Watch guys who had a few 1000)
-40+ Gannet some fishing
-1 Great Northern Diver
-2 Shag 1 adult + 1 well grown juvenile
-few Cormorant about
-2 Guillemot
-few Great Black-backed Gull knocking about
-1 Tree Pipit heard calling over then came parachuting down into the heath infront of the Coastguard Lookout Tower
-2 Skylark
-1 pair of Blackcap
-1 pair of Stonechat

Drift Reservoir.
No sign of the Purple Heron (not seen since Friday)
-1 Grey Heron
-1 Common Buzzard hovering low over the res banking
-1 Lesser Whitethroat singing in full view on top of a bush near main path and another one calling back not far away

Of note...
On journey down Friday night approx 8.30-9.00pm, travelling on M5 in 40mph section near Slimbridge (Gloucester) we had an Owl flew out of the motorway lined thickets and wasn't far from the side of the car but despite that, we were moving in traffic and can only state that it was either a Long-eared or a Short-eared Owl. I just couldn't determine if it had enough barring on the breast or not, and not a good enough view to make out long ear tufts. Sorry!

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 1st of June 2015 03:26:53 PM


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On the whole, a fantastic few days with 47 species seen including another Lifer, and some excellent species offering good opportunities to view at length, and some only a glimpse.

Also some birds we dipped on, and other new species have been sighted since we came home. Unfortunately our 3G is never the best down here and we sometimes only get to see what's on the Cornish forums until it's too late. We never do too badly though, just one point though...RSPB Marazion Marsh was hardly reported and when it was, it seemed to be all usuals. I think 1 Bittern was the standout species in over a week.

Many thanks to Ian McKerchar for his help with some of these sightings as I did infact manage to age and sex a Black Redstart, I also managed to turn an adult GN Diver into a Juv, and one of my Stonechats, I actually thought it was a juvenile Whinchat as it seemed to exhibit similar features, but all is good now!

There are however a few outstanding birds that I haven't identified yet, mainly due to poor quality distance shots, but as soon as I think I know what they are I will post them.


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Sunday 9th November

Quick a.m. visit to RSPB Hayle Lelant and Copperhouse Creek yet again
...same number of Waders present or thereabouts
1 Lesser Yellowlegs still present
20+ Redshank
3 Greenshank
3 Knot
...and pretty much most of the expected species present at Lelant including
Wigeon, Teal, Little Egret, Shelduck, Curlew, Oystercatcher, and Lapwing.

Lunchtime visit to Prussia Cove on the coast just off the Helston Road.
Bit quiet and not much seen. Of note...
1 Goldcrest briefly
1 Buzzard
Few Goldfinch
2 Linnet
3 Jay
2 Cormorant
1 Gannet
...and plenty of Wren activity yet again

A return visit to Morrab Gardens
Soon picked up on the 2 Firecrest calling and wasn't long before they showed often but for a split second and a bit of déjà vous when they flew out of the bushes right past us within less than a foot or so, then sure enough a 3rd bird was present with them, but yet again it tended to be more of a skulker so didn't show out in the open really so it remains the possible (and present) Yellow-browed Warbler that got away!
Blackcap still in the same area
Group of Blackbirds still present
Maybe 200-250 Starlings came swirling down into one of the trees above us and drowned out the calls from all other birds, and we then moved along as we could hear the droppings coming down. On our exit from the Gardens, a Goldcrest was heard and Ste managed a quick shot too as this bird certainly wasn't the non-stop 100mph darting about like the Firecrests.

The Jubilee Pool / Battery Rocks area again came up negative with the Purple Sandpipers, the 6 Turnstone and the 2 Rock Pipit were present, and a low flying Curlew also came past.

We learnt of a Snow Bunting sighting over at St.Ives Porthgwidden Beach (albeit 24hrs earlier) so we took a chance on maybe another sighting, or indeed of anything else, including so I'd heard maybe the chance of a Short-eared Owl around the St.Ives Rock. Only birds present that we saw were ...
1 Common Buzzard sat on a post on the back road over the moor dropping down into St.Ives
A few Gannets out to sea
2 Robin
2 Wren


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Saturday 8th Nov

Quick drive down to Penzance to try for Purple Sandpipers at Jubilee Pool / Battery Rocks on the coastline but none present.
However we did get...
6 Turnstone (2 groups of 3)
2 Rock Pipit
1 Kingfisher flying low over the sea then landing on the rocks but was flushed off by some wave splash-back
...and 2 Great Northern Divers out in Penzance bay. Thought one was a juvenile but I now know it's a non-breeding adult (cheers Ian)

A 5 minute walk into the town to Morrab Gardens.
Never been here before, a small enclosed park with a central water feature, and a circular path scheme with lots of different botanical elements to it and very busy bird wise. Firecrest and Yellow-browed Warbler were reported few days earlier here.
A lot of activity in one particular area of the gardens and we soon found...
1 male Blackcap softly warbling away almost like it was burbling to itself
Quite a few Blackbirds
...but then came the sound that we just knew what it was and had us peering into a thick Rhodendron bush, very dark and a mass of twigs and leaves, but after verifying the call we knew it was only a matter of time before we saw them, then there flitting about were 2 Firecrest. Very nice indeed! Very quick and non-stop calling, then twice flew out of one bush right past our heads to another. Managed only 1 photo of one bird, camera was struggling with the light setting in the foliage but the white supercilium above the black eye band, the white cheek, and the burst of orange fire on the top of the head very visible and more than enough to qualify (for me anyway) as a record shot.

There was a 3rd bird keeping fairly close to them, and it seemed to be a similar species from what I saw, and after a text to Ian regarding the Firecrests, the reply was that the Yellow-browed Warbler was still about too, but being 100% honest...I did not manage a good enough look at this bird to qualify it (in my mind) as the Y-b-Warbler, strangely no call from this bird so couldn't match anything up.

Before the sightings, a word of warning to anyone unfamiliar with Porthgwarra. A beautiful place of mixed habitat and fairly rich in bird life as you will probably know, BUT beware...taking the SW Coast path towards Land's End from the coffee shop, the narrow outer coast path towards the area where the Chough's bred earlier this year is open, and you are not far from the cliff edge, but also a few yards in from the path as you walk towards the coastguard watch point is a huge gaping hole with a shear drop where it has just eroded and worn away, so dog walkers, families with kids, etc PLEASE TAKE CARE. IT ISNT ROPED OFF AND COULD BE DISASTROUS!

1 Raven patrolling low over the cliffs
1 Kestrel
4 Stonechat
2 Cormorant on the sea
Few Gannets out to sea
...and 2 Shag on the water not far out, diving for food, thought they were more Cormorant at first but the head shape was quite different.

Took the path inland back towards the valley and car park...
1 Buzzard being mobbed by Carrion Crows
Plenty of Wren activity
1 Jay
2 Stonechat busy feeding at the edge of the big field with the sloping hedge
...also 1 bird that shall remain unidentified. Saw it twice briefly as it flew (only a few feet mind) from one part of the big hedge to another, roughly Blackbird size but definitely not a Thrush, predominantly brown in colour, a funny flapping motion, it then dropped down to the base of the hedge near to the Stonechats, there was another birder further along the path also looking in the same spot but he we didn't bump into him to ask him what he thought, so I'm afraid we don't know what it was.

A brief visit back to RSPB Hayle Copperhouse Creek
1 Lesser Yellowlegs still present and feeding happily among the other Waders
20+ Redshank
3 Greenshank
3 Knot
Little Egrets and Curlew


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Long weekend in Ludgvan, Cornwall with best pal Stephen Ellison.

Friday Nov 7th.
Nipped to Morrisons at Eastern Green to get a few bits and thought I may aswell have a look for the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling that was reported recently. No such luck.
Checked KFC and B&Q car park but again no luck, but did get a Black Redstart on the gates to B&Q's timber yard. Watched it for a good few minutes picking tit bits from around the guttering but before I could get a shot it flew to the rear of the building with a Robin and a female Blackbird.
Approx 45-50 Curlew dropped into the field opposite KFC whilst there.

RSPB Hayle (Lelant Water)
Within seconds of parking in The Old Quayhouse car park I was onto another Black Redstart. This one hung around and even came within a few metres of me. Again it was picking off what it could find around the tea-rooms cottage, on the roof, guttering, under the window frames, then onto the mud flats to catch stuff there. Then unbelievably non-stop posed for some of the best shots you could hope for.
Other birds around the same cottage and the start of the mud flats were...
1 male Stonechat catching flies from a bush top and then bathing itself on the wall next to me.
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Rock Pipit
3 Meadow Pipits
1 Robin
Along with a few Goldfinch and Chaffinch
8 Little Egret
Approx 600 Wigeon (and increasing)
Approx 200+ Teal
40+ Redshank
40+ Curlew
Maybe 100 Lapwing
50 or so Oystercatcher
20 or so Shelduck
1 Grey Heron
Plenty of usual Gulls including Great Black-backed, Herring, Black-headed, and I had only 1 Mediterranean fly past fairly close (although many more were reported here daily)
Also a Kingfisher darted past along the mud channel towards Copperhouse Creek
Lots of Carrion Crow

Quick visit to RSPB Hayle Ryan's Field and Hide opposite...
Another Kingfisher
Few Curlew
Few Oystercatcher
Few Lapwing
1 Buzzard (came gliding down over Ryan's Field and across the road towards the Lelant mud flats)
And a Bar-headed Goose was reported, I didn't see it myself but I did manage to spot and get a shot of what I think is a Canada/Greylag hybrid with a white head.

Over to RSPB Hayle Copperhouse Creek
1 Lesser Yellowlegs (LIFER)

...no other birders present so took a few minutes to locate it, a beautiful slender Wader, the yellow legs and to some degree it's slightly unusual shape and gait being the main giveaways amongst the 30 or so Redshank, and used them to great effect as it was very quick running from one part of the creek to the other. It has a cute little face with an almost innocent look about it. You can see it is a very slightly lesser build than the Redshank when you watch it, although seems roughly same size when first spotted. Cracking bird!

Other birds of note...
3 Greenshank
3 Knot
2 gorgeous Bar-tailed Godwit
1 Black-tailed Godwit
20 or so Oystercatcher
Approx 10 Curlew
4 Little Egret
3 Grey Wagtail putting on an acrobatic flight display
2 Rock Pipit
Few Gulls mainly Black-headed and Great Black-backed
The tide was on its way in and a lot of the Ducks were sailing through from Lelant round to Copperhouse.
Also quite unexpected was a single Med Gull that came flying through the creek pretty much like the one seen earlier at Lelant.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Wednesday 12th of November 2014 06:46:57 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Wednesday 12th of November 2014 09:05:37 PM


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Friday 6th June

am visit to Marazion:
Purple Heron reported again.
Got on site and 2 women said to me there was now 2 Purple Herons on the reserve and she was still watching 1 of them. I took a look but I had to let her down gently and informed her it was a Grey Heron. She was very disheartened.

2 Little Egret,
Reed Bunting,
Cetti's and Reed Warbler both heard.

Zennor Head:
Plenty of Fulmar including a lovely courting pair
Whitethroat 5 (2 of which were seeing off a Magpie)

Sennon Cove:
very quiet just a Linnet plus usuals

Penzance Harbour:
Virtually nothing except a Rock Pipit and Herring Gulls.

A great week with breathtaking scenery and some good sightings, and some major dips.
Plus uncountable Buzzards on both journeys.


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Thursday 5th June.
Full day birding starting with a lookout and listen for Golden Oriole but sadly nothing.

Mousehole fishing village, of note:

Herring Gulls,
Great Black-backed Gulls
2 Swallows
...and a Rock Pipit.

St.Ives Rocks
Gannets maybe 60+
Plenty of Fulmar,
2 rock pipits,
1 Skylark,
Usually see a few Kittiwake here every year but none this time.

Buttermilk Hill (just inland overlooking St.Ives)
2 Whitethroat and a pair of Linnet
No cuckoos or Red Kites as reported recently.

Sancreed Downs:
Cuckoos reported but none seen by us.
1 buzzard and a Whitethroat

Kenidjack (near St.Just) lovely place :
Turtle dove reported and a silhouette got us going but turned out to be a Collared Dove with a slight pattern on it's back.
Local woman from one of the farmhouses told us she'd seen a strange bird fly across infront of her on the driveway other day, resembled a dove, had an orangey back, we thought that must be it. No sign for us though. She also told us about a mass twitch she remembered approx 20 years ago right outside her driveway when a Yellow-throated Vireo turned up there.
Rock Pipit,
Male Kestrel.

A late visit to Marazion:
Purple Heron was reported yet again.
No sign but I did get 4 Sandwich Terns fly along the waters edge but too quick for a photo.
Juv Iceland gull reported but I didn't see one whilst I was there.
2 Cetti's warbler were heard again within approx 50 ft of each other, 2 brief glimpses of one bird as it flew across the path between the reeds and then on again to another reed patch but that's all I got.

A walk to the pub through the woods at the back of Ludgvan had us on high alert for the Golden Oriole. Plenty of Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler around and 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker fledglings constantly calling for the parents for a good 10 mins.


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Wednesday 4th June

Lizard - a long walk (probably 6-7 miles) around the coast path.
Of note:
plenty of Gannet and Fulmar,
few Shag and Cormorant,
Whitethroat, Linnet and Stonechat commonplace around the Lizard.
...and a brief dorsal view of a Basking Shark albeit for a few seconds before it went under and out of view.

Windmill Farm (Lizard inland):
What looked like a dead Pygmy Shrew on the path near the visitor centre, apart from that not much else.

RSPB Marazion:
Purple Heron reported again but no sign of it whilst we were on site, plenty of Grey Herons.
Reed Warbler heard, 2 Cetti's Warbler heard and 1 seen briefly flying across from where it was singing to another reed bed.
Marazion Beach: Cormorant with a large flat fish (probable Sole) being mobbed by a Great Black-backed Gull. The Cormorant emerged victorious! Photos captured the action.


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Tuesday 3rd June.
Day trip to St.Mary's (Scillies) and actually managed a bit of 3G to post previous sightings.
Anyone who's never been here I would recommend this place, it's beautiful, like something from the Treasure Island novel. Pity we came out of peak time for bird movement.

Seen from the Scillonian III :
Plenty of Manx Shearwater
Lots of Gannet (adults and various juv)
Small groups of Guillemot with a few Razorbill
Plenty of Fulmar too

On the island:
Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat heard and singles of each seen.
Linnet and Stonechat up on the heath near the Golf Course.

On return journey to Penzance:
Much the same as earlier plus...
2 Common Dolphin jumping not far from the boat (probably Short-beaked as they are more widespread)
2 Porpoise
7 Birds in a low flight line above the water which I thought resembled Skuas but I now know are Kittiwakes, a poor image from a moving boat of moving birds but thanks for the ID Ian.
A juv Great Northern Diver out in Penzance bay and a single Rock Pipit that landed on the boat before we docked and then watched everyone off the boat from a harbour lamp-post.

As a general observation myself and Steve both agreed that we had never seen so many Blackbirds and Song Thrushes in such a small area. The Blackbirds were in groups of 3 and 4 sometimes, and probably numbered well above 50.
Song Thrush we reckon at least 20+ probably more.


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Monday 2nd June 10.30am - 12.30pm

Started with a Green Woodpecker in the garden at Ludgvan then had a couple of hours at RSPB Hayle/Lelant
Of note:
100/200 Gull roost, didn't appear to be anything else apart from Herring, Great Black-backed and Black-headed Gulls.
Curlew 20+ (probabably a lot more feeding in the lower flats)
1 Whimbrel near the hide
At least 5 Little Egrets
5 Dunlin with 3 Ringed Plovers
Plenty of Shelduck (some with large broods)
1 pr Oystercatcher driving off Carrion Crow
Grey Herons


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Unconfirmed report of a Golden Oriole in Ludgvan where we are staying in mates bungalow. One of the local residents told me this morning it's been heard near Ludgvan Church (ironically where it was heard same time last year) and is 50yds away from the bungalow.
He told me it's a male so someone has obviously seen it and it's been around a few days now. We will try our hardest to locate and photograph this bird if it's still around.


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Week off work, with best pal Stephen Ellison.
Sunday 1st June

4 Chough (2 of them were youngsters following the parents around being fed)
Minimal access to this location and still being monitored by the RSPB and other volunteers.

Plenty of Gannet around, some flying by with 2nd yr juv's
Shag - 6
Fulmar - 4
Raven - 2
Guillemot - 1
Rock Pipit - 2
Stonechat - 1 pr with 1 juv
Linnet - 4
Skylark - 2
Wheatear - 1
Rock Dove - 1
Whitethroat - 1m
Plenty of Swifts and Swallows
...and 1 large Grey Seal up close to the shore in the bay.

Penzance Harbour...(out towards Marazion)
1 Great Northern Diver quite a way out from shore
1 Rock Pipit


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A few days in Cornwall and managed a bit of twitching.

Friday pm, half hour at Marazion Marsh
Of note...a pair of Rock Pipits, a low flying Bittern over the marsh, and what I thought could've been a Marsh Harrier but the photo is at distance and is inconclusive so not too sure.

Saturday pm.
Marazion Beach for a quick look at the unfortunate dead whale that's been here since around the 15th Feb.
Tide was coming in and the Whale was a good distance away from the nearest beach steps so rather than chance being stranded myself I took far out shots of the body.
Locals think it is a Minke Whale (or a Lesser Rorqual for the old school name) but these are large Baleen (filter feeding) Whales whereas the Whale on Marazion has teeth, it's bottom was jaw removed by marine biologists for ID and teeth are now exposed on the upper part of the mouth.
Judging by size and shape I thought more Pilot Whale-like or one of the smaller Beaked Whale family. Cuvier's Beaked Whale now seems to be the likely species.
Birds of note: Curlews and Oystercatchers.

Saturday pm...quick visit to Penzance Bus Station to view the coastline after reports of a Surf Scoter.
Parked up in the Bus Station and looked over the wall and within minutes another bloke pointed out a black dot literally surfing the waves.
My first Surf Scoter living up to its name!
It did eventually surf a lot closer and I managed blurry but ID'able shots due to distance. A lifer nonetheless!
Dipped on the earlier reported Black Redstart 'in' the bus station.
Other birds of note:
Oystercatchers and an unusual looking Gull near the Surf Scoter that is probably something obvious but there are a lot of different Gull species being reported this last week in Cornwall so I'm just not sure.

Quick Saturday pm visit to RSPB Hayle
Birds of note:
Curlew, maybe approaching 100
Plenty of Wigeon and Teal
A few Redshank
Unable to pick out the Juvenile's Iceland Gull and Glaucous Gull due to diminishing light and distance.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 10th of March 2014 11:17:53 AM


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No problem at all Louis, scroll a bit further down the Cornwall thread and you will see our sightings from June this year.


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Thank you very much for that Rob, I know Cornwall is excellent for birdwatching and my family and I travel down there pretty much every year.

Thanks once again, Louis. smile


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Louis Hill wrote:

Anyone know good places to see birds and the species around the Mullion area?

Louis. smile

I hope this reply isn't too late for you Louis!
Me and my mate go to Cornwall a couple of times a year and travel to various places when we're there. Some good spots for birding down there, but as Ian McKerchar quite rightly pointed out to me, it can be fairly quiet early on in the year. Winter can be particularly good at some sites including the 2 RSPB reserves.
RSPB Marazion Marsh, RSPB Hayle Estuary, Land's End, Sancreed Hills, Goonhilly Downs, Lizard Point, St.Ives Rocks, and of course Bodmin Moor to name just a few. A trip to the Scillies is always worth looking into too while down there.
Once you get south of Bodmin, alot of these places are within fairly easy reach, and not to forget there are localised places also good for birds that aren't publicly too well known.
Mullion is no exception, not far from Lizard and Goonhilly, and is fairly good in its own right for sea birds at Mullion Harbour. When I was down there, I used this website below. It gives daily sightings and info like ours does.

Hope this is of help....

Cheers, Rob


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2 weeks in Padstow area 2nd-14th Aug. Family holiday so just casual sightings

main highlights:

Camel Estuary - boat trip on Jubilee Queen
c.15 Med Gulls together on sand banks at low tide
c30 Sandwich Terns also on the sand banks
6 Shag
12 Turnstone still mostly in summer plumage around harbour
and best of all c.10 Bottlenose Dolphin following the boat - brilliant!

Trevose Head
2 Corn Bunting - including 1 bird singing
1 Stonechat
1 Peregrine
Numerous passing Gannets


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Anyone know good places to see birds and the species around the Mullion area?

Louis. smile


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ROCK PIPITS have all been confirmed

5 waders I was unsure of confirmed as SANDERLING

Single wader I thought was a Knot, is indeed a KNOT

The other species near Lands End I was unsure of, confirmed as a female Wheatear

Thanks to I.McKerchar

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 9th of June 2013 04:14:41 PM


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All in all a good week.

Buzzards everywhere, considering the mileage we covered walking and driving...coast and inland...we didn't see a single Red Kite yet it appears every bugger else saw them.

Missed the Golden Oriole and Purple Heron.

Saw plenty of bats every single night walking home we saw plenty of Pipistrelle Bats, some quite larger which I'm assuming could be Noctules, but Greater Horseshoe Bats are very common in this area as they roost in the remains of tin mine buildings but I couldn't be 100% as trying to identify a fast flying bat in poor light after a few beers is near impossible.

One other thing of note, not a single Basking Shark, and we covered alot of coastline. Few of the locals told us that it was just too cold and they will be later this year. 1 was seen in Cornwall and 1 in the Isle-of-Man in the last few weeks.


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Friday 7th June.

Another few miles hike around Ludgvan, through the vales and woodland and passing some of the old tin mine remains.
Usuals plus plenty of Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, 1 male Blackcap, alot of Buzzards

Couple of hours at RSPB Hayle - Lelant Water
Alot more activity than last time
Of note...
Great Black-Backed Gulls in abundance
4 Mute Swan
1 Black Swan
7 Little Egrets (quite large considering)
~20-25 Shelduck
6 Curlew (increasing as tide came into the flats)
2 Whimbrel
4 Dunlin
1 Bar-Tailed Godwit (1st Summer youngster)
2 Oystercatchers
3 Grey Heron .....

...and another Heron, very dark and almost purpley in colour with markings down the neck, surely we hadn't travelled all the way to Goonhilly to see the Purple Heron when it was on the doorstep???
No, I put it down to a young Grey and indeed that's what it was.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 9th of June 2013 03:54:45 PM


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Thursday evening.
We found out on the Cornwall birding site a Golden Oriole was heard singing at Ludgvan Church. The same church my mate got married in last year and his bungalow is 50yds away. We've sat in the garden and walked passed the church to get to the pub and we haven't heard a single Golden Oriole no

But what we have seen and heard every evening is a Song Thrush producing the most fantastic song. That's not to say there hasn't been a Golden Oriole, I'm saying we missed it.


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After the Cuckoo excitement we drove over Zennor Hills but not a Red Kite in sight so dropped down into St.Ives so mate could do some rock Mackerel fishing. We walked out of the main village to the big hill on the other bay.

Birds of note...
1 Great Black-Backed Gull in village centre

7 maybe 8 Kittiwake on the rocks and flying around us (3 immature in 1st Summer plumage)
4 Fulmars (fly by's)
10 or so Gannets (fly by's)
2 Shelduck (fly by's)
Few Cormorant's
Few Swift and Swallow
1 pair of Rock Pipit's up close

1 large Herring Gull that nicked my mate's Launce that he caught to use as bait


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Thursday 6th June.
A drive to Sancreed @ 10.30am with the hope of a Cuckoo sighting.
Indeed that's exactly what we got, what looked like an ungainly Collared Dove had me telling my mate to stop the car. We pulled over and it was a Cuckoo floating down the heath and landing on a telephone line.
Got some identifying shots and video and it flew off further out from us to be joined by a 2nd bird.

1m + 1f Cuckoo
1m Whitethroat
1 other bird of note, sure it was another Chiffchaff, bit greyer and duller than the 1st, doing a spot of 'Flycatching'


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Thought I'd already posted this but must've lost data signal.

Tuesday 4th June approx 3pm - 5pm

Marazion Beach...
roughly 50-55 birds on beach very flighty due to people.
Approx 30Dunlin
10 Sanderling
10 Common Sandpiper
Plus 1 Whimbrel
Approx 5 birds different to the others....couple looked like Dunlin minus black breast area and a couple looked Sandpiper-like with slight plumage variation. Probably were just Sandpipers.
1 bird with them slightly larger and braver, darker mottled plumage with reddy brown down from face to lower breast then turning white. Thought Curlew Sandpiper at 1st but can't detect any curvature on bill so I'm thinking its more than likely a single Knot, not got my Collins with me so will try and verify when I get home.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Thursday 6th of June 2013 03:56:33 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Thursday 6th of June 2013 08:50:01 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Thursday 6th of June 2013 09:25:05 PM


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Weds 5th
..on way back from Lizard, called over to Goonhilly Downs for possible Purple Heron sighting. Walked a good 2.5 - 3 miles round this wide open sandy fen and marsh and over to the pools.

No sign of Purple Heron, but plenty of Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Stonechat.


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Weds 5th June

Good few miles walk round Lizard Point
Birds of note...(coast)

Great Black-Backed Gulls
Lesser Black-Backed Gulls
Handful of Gannets
2 Ravens mobbing a Buzzard
Few Cormorants
Meadow Pipits

Gorse path back to inland village...
3 Whitethroats
Pair of Sedge Warbler
Few Linnets
Dunnock, Wren, Stonechat activity with young

1 bird unidentified whilst on coast, at first appeared Swift-like, maybe marginally larger and paler brown with sandy coloured underparts, end of wings were dark brown, Bird of Prey-like...Racked our brains but haven't a clue, too quick for photo!

PM to Ian


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Tuesday 4th June
Mate finished off Coastal Path from near Pembeth Cove- Lamorna Cove to Mousehole,
birds of note...
1x male Peregrinne
1x male Kestrel
Plus usuals mentioned

I'm afraid I dropped him off and did the road version of the same route but had success none the less.
Birds of note...
Possible Rock Pipits at Lamorna but will wait for photo confirmation
Few Whitethroats
Few Linnets
1x Great Spotted Woodpecker
Meadow Pipits
Good number of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs
Alot of Buzzard activity

Got round to Mousehole to get a few shots of the Fulmars, every year in the same place these few pairs that I walk round to see do well, and long may they and their offspring do so!

ps. not on the Coastal Path so probably why they do well.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Wednesday 5th of June 2013 10:11:59 PM


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Black Swan here also at Hayle. Was visible from the road at Lelant roundabout.


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Mon 3rd June

An hour or so pm visit to RSPB Hayle inland estuary.
Of note...

2 main gatherings of Gulls (~60 total) mainly Herring, Great Black-Backed and Lesser Black-Backed.
7 Shelduck
3 Little Egrets
1 Oystercatcher
1 Pied Wagtail

Very little here, yet in years gone by, this site has always been very busy with birds. More so in winter.


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Mon 3rd June

Stithians Reservoir (near Camborne)

Considering this site is mentioned quite alot on the Cornwall birding sites, surprisingly little here and very disappointing despite its huge size. Wouldn't recommend this site as a good summer reserve (depending on what you want to see), my guess is this is a winter haven for a whole host of species.
Of note...

3 Buzzards
1 Tufted duck m
1 Teal m
Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, and Whitethroat city!!!


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Sun 2nd June 9.20am - 3.56pm

Lands End to Sennon Cove
RSPB Visitor Centre closed.
Birds of note...

4 Fulmars
10 Shags
4 Gannets
4 pairs of Stonechats
2 Wheatears
2 Ravens
1 Kestrel
Meadow Pipits

Back to Lands End and an excruciating 10 mile walk to near Lamorna Cove via Southwest Coasal Path
Of Note...

Alot of Stonechats
Plenty of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers
At least 8 Whitethroats (all males seen)
2 Grey Seals in one of the coves (large bulky snouts and head, definitely Grey)

Possible Rock Pipits and another species can't decide, will get shots sent for ID when we get back.

1 Green Woodpecker in the tree in my mates holiday bungalow garden, flew off towards the farm on opposite side of road


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A week in Cornwall started today with my best mate.

RSPB Marazion Marsh. (Approx 4.15 - 5.15pm)
Birds of note...
Plenty of Reed Warbler activity allover the reserve, visually and vocally.
1 Sedge Warbler
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Wren singing with beakful of food right infront of us then proceeded into the nest sending the chicks into pandemonium!
5 or 6 Grey Herons (very flighty so could be less)

No sign of the Purple Heron that's been here all week. Plenty of time yet!


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17/10/2012 - My last day in the Falmouth area:

Rosemullion Head seawatch in a force 5 SSW and walked back to Swanpool:
4 Great Skuas
15 Kittiwakes
2 Firecrests
1 Blackcap
1 Chiffchaff
15+ Mediterranean Gulls
2 Stonechats
1 Kingfisher - maenporth lake
no sign of reported possible Double-crested Cormorant

College Reservoir in the PM:
1 Purple Heron - juv, nice to see on my old patch
1 Water Rail
1 Kingfisher
2 Firecrests

-- Edited by Henry Cook on Wednesday 17th of October 2012 11:31:42 PM


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Got back last Saturday (13th)from my annual trip to Cornwall,and although it was a relatively quiet week by usual cornish standards still managed to see a few good birds,
Several Yellow Browed Warblers about all week,Firecrests everywhere,plus still lots of Chiffchaff,Blackcaps,a few Willow Warblers,Pied Flycatchers,and plenty of other common migrants still about.
Got strokeable views of one of the Glossy Ibis near Sennen,brief views of the Olive Backed Pipit at Pendeen,where a short seawatch produced a Balearic Shearwater,hundreds of Auks,Kittiwakes,Gannets and the odd late Manx Shearwater.
Managed to dip the Whites Thrush in Cot Valley(as did everybody else except the finder),no surprise there as they're are real skulkers.
A trip down to The Lizard on friday was worthwhile with a Yellow Browed Warbler around the car park and excellent views of the Paddyfield Warbler,first one I've seen for at least 20 years,should be some of my pics of the bird when Ian has the time to post them on the site.
To make the trip complete several pasties washed down with the odd pint of St,Austells Tribute bitteralmost as good as Holts bitter,but nearly twice the price !!

-- Edited by pete berry on Wednesday 17th of October 2012 11:00:56 PM


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Henry, I spent a week or so in that area during June, staying near Treesooth. However my Mum breaking her leg in a fall in St Ives rather curtailed my birding activity and I saw fewer species in the period that I was there than you appear to have done in a day.

i loved the area around Maelporth and Swanpool where there were Rock Pipits, lots of Stonechats, Bullfinch and several Raven. I also loved the area around Devoran, though the pub food was disappointing and walks around the Argal Reservoir. We didn't see much at The Lizard either. I don't think that June was the ideal time bird-wise.


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16/10/2012 - Big day around the Falmouth area (78 species seen):

Swanvale NR area -
1 Yellow-browed Warbler - still present though elusive
2 Firecrest
1 Water Rail
1 Green Woodpecker - in the cemetery

Pendennis Headland -
2 Firecrest
5 Med Gull
1 Common Gull
40+ Gannet
1 Common Scoter
2 Kittiwakes

Falmouth Golf Course -
1 Lesser Redpoll - flyover, scarce in the Falmouth area
1 Blackcap
2 Stonechat
1 Swallow

Stithians Reservoir -
1 Marsh Tit
1 Reed Bunting
1 Teal
7 Wigeon
8 Lapwing - south of Golden Lion pub
1 Raven

Devoran -
1 Whimbrel
5 Greenshank
4 Bar-tailed Godwit
10+ Black-tailed Godwit
30+ Wigeon
7 Teal
1 Kingfisher


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14/10/2012 - birded some old hotspots in the Falmouth area which were productive and then down to the Lizard peninsula which was a total dip-out:

Swanvale + Swanpool NR, Falmouth -
1 Yellow-browed Warbler
4 Chiffchaffs
3 Bullfinches
15 Little Grebes
2 Water Rails

Pendennis Headland -
3 Firecrests - around the castle grounds
2 Chiffchaffs
1 Whimbrel
20+ Skylarks - over
2 Siskins
7 Linnets

Church Cove, Lizard - no sign of Paddyfield Warbler, Glossy Ibis or Red-backed Shrike
1 Yellow-browed Warbler
1 Reed Warbler
1 Blackcap
4 Chiffchaffs
2 Stonechats
1 Wheatear
4 Ravens


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5th October.

Morning visit to Porthgwarra with Henry Cook:

1 Firecrest
1 Yellow-browed Warbler
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
6 Siskins
1 Greenshank
3 Balearic Shearwaters
3 Sooty Shearwaters
1 Arctic Skua

With the rain setting in, we made the dash over to nearby RSPB Marazion when news broke and we were treated to the amazing sight for the UK of SEVEN Red-rumped Swallows feeding over the reserve and beach together.

-- Edited by Phil Owen on Saturday 6th of October 2012 07:37:27 PM


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Just got back from four days around the camel estuary.

highlights included
Bar-tailed Godwit, Sanderling, knot, dunlin, manx, sooty & (maybe) Balearic Shearwater, Guillimot, Fulmer (both juvs sat within a mile of each other on the beach!)
& (dare I say it) a Sabines Gull in with a huge flock of black heads.

didn't bother reporting then ben have gone over enough of my field notes to convince myself.



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Not really that bothered John,seen hundreds abroad,and as I'm not interested in my British list these days it doesn't really matter if it gets accepted or not.
Update of last few days,
4 Pecs together at Drift(a flock?),also Greenshank,Spotted Red,Ruff,Common Sands and Arctic Terns there
Yesterday a Buff Breasted Sand at Hayle,also several Curlew Sands,but managed to dip the Bairds again!!
And today 2 Buff Breasts 15 mins walk from where I'm staying.
Seawatching tailed off due to thick fog the last couple days but managed a few more Great Shearwaters,and good nos. of Sooties and Balearic Shearwaters before it closed in.


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You may have to wait a while for the BBRC with this one Pete, they still have 2 in circulation from 2007.

Cheers, John


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Pity you couldn't have stayed a bit longer John,We've had a MADEIRAN STORM PETREL this afternoon at Pendeen,first picked up by Martin Elliot and seen by everyone there including 2 other Mancy birders,Paul Wren and Geoff Lightfoot(although Geoff still thinks Cheadle is in Cheshire !!)
Other birds seen since I arrived Saturday
Numbers of Great Shears each day,
several hundred Sooties
30 + Balearics
3000 + Manxies
10+ Stormies
2 Poms
12 Arctic Skuas
10+ Bonxies
And when not seawatching
Black Kite
Pec Sand
several Little Stints
Several Curlew Sands
Spotted Red
Little Egrets
Med Gulls(inc a few juvs)
etc.etc etc
And a couple of Pasties and the odd pint of St.Austells tasty Trewelyne Bitter(almost as good as Holts,but considerably dearer)


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Just spent a bird filled 48 hour trip to Cornwall with the specific target of Great Shearwater. We were not disappointed and these were the highlights:

3rd Sep. Gwennap Head, Porthgwarra (dawn till 09.30). Light SW wind and early sun soon gave way to cloud

28 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 7 Rock Pipits, 2 Ravens, 1 Chough were the highlights

A wander around the coastguard lookout provided 4 Wheatears, 1 Stonechat and 2 Whinchats plus a preening Wryneck that just stayed and stayed. Amazing views of its long wire-like tongue, which was easily half the body length.

At Polgigga a walk along the lane to Bosistow Farm gave us a flyover view of the long-staying Black Kite

Time out in steady drizzle to secure saturday night's accomodation then on to Hayle RSPB where we failed to find the Baird's Sandpiper. The best of a selection of waders was a superbly marked juvenile Little Stint.

We pottered around waiting for the rain to pass then decided to give Gwennap Head another go, what a good decision. As we arrived there were 2 birders there since 12.30 and we were greeting with "Great Shearwaters are p****g through".

I personally saw only a small fraction of this passage with many birds beyond reasonable range for my optics, but I did see in 90 minutes:

165 Great Shearwaters, 74 Manx, 4 Sooty and 1 Balearic. We later heard that the day total for Greats was 2,003. The beer tasted good that night

4th Sep. Today we had a sunny hour or so birding the beautiful Nanquidno Valley, almost found a Pectoral Sandpiper at Drift (but didn't) and finished off with an excellent male Cirl Bunting at Berry Head (Devon).

Cheers, John

-- Edited by John Rayner on Sunday 4th of September 2011 10:06:15 PM

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