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Thursday 8th June.
Raining early morning, but soon cleared to sunshine with dull patches but still warm.

Longrock Pool
- Swift 2

Pendeen Lighthouse.
- Balearic Shearwater 1, seems the odd few are flying through now
- Manx Shearwater c20, big difference to yesterday's numbers
- Bottlenose Dolphin, a pod of c10 between Lighthouse and 3 Rock Reef

- Whimbrel 1 catching Crabs (Ryan's Field)
- Reed Warbler 3 (in reeds behind RF hide)
- Curlew 3 (Lelant Water)

- Chough 3
- Raven 1
- Stonechat 2
- usual decent numbers of Seabirds


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Wednesday 7th June

Winds were almost down to a gentle breeze compared to yesterday and it brightened up nicely mid-morning. After a few important matters to sort out regarding my mates property and my travel documents for next week...we decided on another visit to Pendeen.

Pendeen Lighthouse. (1 and half hrs early afternoon)
- European Storm Petrel 1 very briefly but I lost it
- Balearic Shearwater 1
- Manx Shearwater possibly near 1000 again?
- Cuckoo 1 probable female on Lighthouse rocks
- Raven 3
- good numbers of usual Seabirds around

Cot Valley.
Quick stop at the coastal rocks produced...
- Chough 2
- Raven 1
- Manx Shearwater 1
- House Martin 2
- Sand Martin 1


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Tuesday 6th June.
Gale force winds all day long but strangely a very warm sunny day behind the ferocious gales.
Of note ... we were warned by a few locals we know, one has a boat and the others follow the Cornish weather reports religiously, that doing a Scillies trip this week would not be advisable or at least not for the faint hearted due to the exceptional windy conditions.
Incidentally they also told us a recent safety and structural inspection on The Scillonian III has seen its passenger capacity reduced and an advisory to lower the travelling speed.

Porthgwarra (early afternoon).
- Balearic Shearwater 2
Stood out against the Manx Shearwater (100's)
- Chough 3
- Garden Warbler singing in 60ft Cover

Best mate was doing the Cubert 5km Run in Newquay this evening so I snatched the chance to give Towan Head in Newquay a try...and what a try it was!

Towan Head 6.45pm - 8pm
- European Storm Petrel 5 LIFER
Unbelievable really, I shocked myself getting onto my first ever as the diabolical gales were making it hard to stand still and there were so many birds around it was difficult to keep track of everything. Views didn't last long as it disappeared behind the swell and that was it.
But another 4 has totally made my day!

- Great Skua 1 huge individual flew passed
- Rock Pipit 2 (1 within a few feet) the
- Manx Shearwater ??? Possibly up near a 1000 or more
(7-8000 reported on CWBPS today)

Lots of the usual birds around
- Kittiwake / Fulmar / Shag / Gannet / Auks (Raz/Guil)

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Tuesday 6th of June 2017 11:54:49 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Tuesday 6th of June 2017 11:56:06 PM


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Monday 5th June.
Strong winds and torrential rain all day long over most of the far SW Peninsula.

Afternoon visit to Pendeen.
Stood near Pendeen Lighthouse and gave it half an hour or so in gale force winds and driving heavy rain and in the end had to give up as I was soaked to the bone! But it wasn't a wasted effort...

- Manx Shearwater 6
- Sooty Shearwater 1 (Evidently larger and appeared all dark due to conditions)
- Fulmar 10
- few Kittiwakes through inc 2 juv
- Shag 3
- Gannet constantly through
- Rock Pipit 1
- and a group of around 6 Bottlenose Dolphins with possibly 1 Common Dolphin

Newlyn Harbour / Sandy Cove.
- European Storm Petrel seen this morning but only seabirds seen by us was a few Gannet and a Manx Shearwater.

- a cracking Green Woodpecker spent a good 10 minutes on the lawn feeding after the rain had subsided a little around late teatime.

Incidentally to give you an idea of the ferocity of the weather, we called to Newlyn Lidl to buy some supplies. The power kept tripping in-store, lights going out etc and the manager came over to say if it persisted then they would evacuate and close the store as a safety precaution. As we drove home along the front, the waves were crashing over the road throwing debris everywhere.
An assessment will be made as to tomorrow's antics since much the same weather has been predicted.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Tuesday 6th of June 2017 09:36:23 AM


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Sunday 4th June.

Kynance Cove (Lizard), hot and sunny again.
Just under 4.5 miles walking done around this varied habitat including the cliffs coastal path then onto the heathland and Gorse downs.

Birds of note...
- Cuckoo 1
- Sedge Warbler 1
- Stonechat 4 (inc 1 juv)
- Whitethroat very abundant on the downs
- plenty of Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Linnet too
- Fulmar 1 the only seabird seen

Hayle (Lelant).
- Wigeon 1 (possibly imm fem)
- Little Egret 8+

Longrock Pool.
- Swift 2

LATE NEWS RECEIVED YESTERDAY EVENING. A 2nd cy Red-footed Falcon was seen during the afternoon in the Windmill Farm area of the Lizard not far from where we were. Great!

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 5th of June 2017 06:57:09 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 5th of June 2017 08:01:49 PM


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Saturday 3rd June.

Myself and best pal Stephen Ellison arrived last night / early hours for a week's holiday before I go to Cyprus with the Gf the week after.

Land's End. (A very hot Land's End today)
We walked a couple of miles of the coastal path eastwards towards Porthgwarra and back.

- Chough 5
A pair of adults on the hill near the cliff edge feeding, most likely on ants as there were lots about.
Then another 2 adults flew over us giving it the acrobatic flight. Then a little further round the coastal path a juvenile / imm bird flew passed clearly having a yellowish orange bill rather than the bright red one.

Other birds...
- Manx Shearwater single group passed c250-300
- Gannet
- Guillemot
- Razorbill
- Kittiwake
- Fulmar
- Shag
- Great Black-backed Gull
- Wheatear 1
- Stonechat 1 family + few singles
- Whitethroat 3
- lots of Linnet
- Common Buzzard 1

(Some of the Seabirds and Gulls had chicks and juvs, inaccessible on rock islands I might add, and interestingly some species we don't normally see in good numbers like we did today so that was a welcome sight.
Basically we visit some well known and trusted sites every year and so walk some of the same paths passed the same cliffs, heaths etc and it just seemed a lot busier with birds than last few years, example 20+ Fulmar in an hour or so as opposed to only a few in roughly same area last year. )

Hayle ... Ryan's Field and Lelant.
- No sign of the Temminck's Stint.
- Whimbrel 3
- Curlew 2
- Oystercatcher 2

Marazion / Long Rock Pool
- Reed Warbler 2
- Cetti's Warbler heard only
- Little Grebe 1


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Saturday 25th March.

Longrock Pool / Marazion.
- 1 Mediterranean Gull on the Pool
- 1 Siberian Chiffchaff close up and singing poolside
- 1 Chiffchaff
- 1 Cetti's Warbler
- 1 drake Velvet Scoter still offshore
- 1 Black-throated Diver distant offshore
- 2 Shag offshore
- 2 Sand Martin, 1 House Martin and 1 Swallow over the pool

Hayle mid-afternoon high tide.
Ryan's Field.
- 2 Spoonbill
- 2 Little Egret
- 2 Oystercatcher
The local birders in the hide were amazed when I pointed out there were infact 2 Spoonbill and that the one they missed was the closest bird to the hide.

Hayle Lelant / Old Quayhouse.
- 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls
- 1 juv Iceland Gull still
- 16 Bar-tailed Godwits
- 3 Black-tailed Godwits still
- 8 Grey Plover
- 6 Dunlin

A quick trip round the corner after hearing of 2 Cattle Egret in the Tredrea Lane area revealed 2 Little Egret feeding in the field around the cattle.
- 1 Ruff also in the field them.

Twice I went to Helston boating lake to try for the Boneaparte's Gull including Friday early afternoon and early Sunday morning. It wasn't seen from Wednesday apparently but then late news on Saturday reported it being present at the lake on 'Friday afternoon' and then Hayle Estuary, the latter sighting eventually being re-identified as a Kittiwake. Well it certainly wasn't there whilst I was there, infact no small Gulls were present at all on the boating lake, the only bird of note being a Herring Gull with a long bill with vicious curve to it. If it was there then it obviously came in later!

All in all a good trip with a self-found Lifer in the Hudsonian Whimbrel the highlight, lots of good birds including usual big numbers of Teal and Wigeon, and stacks of Curlew.
- 1 Barn Owl (over the A30 Bodmin)
- 1 Green Woodpecker (behind mates bungalow at
- and a Badger crossed infront of our car nearby at...would you believe, Badger's Cross.

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 27th of March 2017 10:23:17 PM


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A few days with best mate and another pal to do a few jobs on his property. Travelled down Thursday night, arrived early hours Friday morning, came home Sunday.
I did manage a bit of birding which proved successful.

Friday 24th March
Marazion and Longrock Pool.
- 1 Siberian Chiffchaff (singing aswell)
- 2 Common Chiffchaff
- 1 Cetti's Warbler
- 1 Water Rail
- 1 drake Velvet Scoter offshore with 2 Common Scoter

Hayle Estuary - Old Quayhouse Pub.
100's of Gulls to sift through.
- 1 Iceland Gull juv
- 1 Yellow-legged Gull 2nd W / 3rd CY?
- 1 Greenshank

Hayle Estuary - Ryan's Field.
- 2 Spoonbill (1 imm / 1 adult)
- 19 Bar-tailed Godwit
- 3 Black-tailed Godwit (summer plum)

Perranuthnoe Boat Cove.
- 1 Hudsonian Whimbrel
Thought I'd try my luck here whilst in the area and shocked myself by finding it. It hadn't been seen in ages so I was made up.
- 3 Black-throated Diver offshore

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 27th of March 2017 10:23:48 PM


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Sunday 4th September

Hudsonian Whimbrel at Boat Cove

Monday 5th September

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Marazion Beach
Dalmatian Pelican Loe Pool
Adult Mediterranean Gull & 18 Little Egrets on Hayle Estuary

Tuesday 6th September - Wednesday 7th September

Cliff Swallow, Lesser Yellowlegs, Temminck's Stint & Whinchat on Saint Mary's on the Isles of Scilly

-- Edited by James Walsh on Friday 9th of September 2016 01:22:44 AM

-- Edited by James Walsh on Friday 9th of September 2016 01:24:41 AM


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Our final day today started again at Helston Loe where the Dalmatian Pelican was still in residence, I could then get the news out as folk are still travelling to see it. Yesterday we met a couple from Bristol who had travelled down specially! The Common Sandpiper was still present too as well as the first Grey Wagtail of the trip. The latter being significant as it meant that on this trip we had logged Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, White Wagtail and Citrine Wagtail!

Next we headed to Stithians Reservoir, a full 4 miles from the B&B!! Here we saw 2 Wood Sandpipers at the Carnmenellis Causeway end of the water as well as a couple of Curlew. I also picked up a juvenile Peregrine which a local patchwatcher there told me was locally scarce & he was really pleased with my observation! At the Golden Lion Causeway nothing much other than a Common Snipe.

Finally we popped to Hayle Estuary RSPB for the end of the day and high tide. On Ryan's Field a couple of Greenshank and 5 Black-tailed Godwits were seen, with two Little Egrets too. Over on the other side down from the Old Quay House Inn we saw 8 more Greenshanks, 14 more Little Egrets and a smattering of Redshanks, Teal, Wigeon and the commoner gull species.

Sad to say, that was that, end of holiday! But fabulous memories, great weather and some good self-finds, can't complain one bit!!


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A bit of a delay in reports due to my phone going on the blink & a minor bout of food poisoning!

The 29th didn't bring much new, only a Yellow Wagtail and a White Wagtail at Lizard Point. A Whinchat nearby was one of many seen on this holiday!

On Tuesday 30th we headed down to Helston Loe and only 3mls from our B&B we were watching the Dalmatian Pelican again as it relocated to this new pool in it's travels. Spending all day there we watched it feed actively and I got some really close photos by hunkering down behind a reedbed since the bird is incredibly wary of people. Also present were a Common Sandpiper and Green Wooppecker. Later in the day we walked round to Loe Bar which divides the Loe from the sea and saw yet another Whinchat as well as a Kingfisher.

Again another fabulous day in the warm sunshine and only a few miles away from where we were staying, result!!!


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Our first dull day weatherwise, but certainly not birdwise! 

We headed down The Lizard again as this area tends to be our 'patch' when we stay here. First of all we walked out to Church Cove from Lizard village and round the coastpath towards Lizard Head. At first all was quiet with little of interest either onshore or offshore. We headed inland at Bass Point as we could see bird movement in the hedges and fields here. First of all we picked up a Whinchat and at least three Wheatears, a good sign. More mundane stuff included a big flock of Linnets and several Meadow Pipits. Next we scanned the hedges and after seeing a Robin, three Dunnocks and a Common Whitethroat we could hardly believe our eyes as we found our second Wryneck in two days! Unfortunatly just as I was about to digiscope it a car drove along the track and flushed it, the only car we saw in 2 hours on that track, sods law or what?! Still it was a lovely find and showed fabulously in the scope. Later, speaking to a local birder, we found out that where we had found it was known by birders as Wryneck Gully, but he'd never seen one there! Later we also saw a Lesser Whitethroat in the same hedge, another nice bird.

Next we acted on a text from the local grapevine and headed to the Lizard Lighthouse. Here we spent a good while staring at the tamarisks with no joy. Finally just as we were about to give up we saw our quarry, a cracking Icterine Warbler, a real rarity in Cornwall, so a very good bird indeed. As quickly as it showed it was gone but the mini twitch of local birders assembled there all got on to it, so all were very happy. A reported Ortolan Bunting nearby didn't prove to be so obliging and we had to give up on that one in favour of a date at our 'local' Cornwall Pub which had a music festival & barbecue on, a great way to end another fabulous day!


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Another great day in Cornwall, hot & sunny again too!

Started off at Lizard Point for a wee seawatch as the winds were in the correct direction albeit too weak for a good passage. Lots of Gannets and 25 Manx Shearwaters were seen but the best bird was a single Balearic Shearwater. A Raven also flew over but no Choughs this time!

We later met up with old friend, Dougy, warden at Windmill Farm NR and headed to the migrant hotspot locally known as Soapy Cove (Soap Rock on OS Maps). Signs were good as we started seeing Wheatears and Whinchats, with totals of 5 and 6 respectively. A migrant Sedge Warbler was also picked up, but the best bird was a fabulous self-found Wryneck. What a result, we were all elated by our find, which we all saw simultaneously and so could all say that we had found it!!!

We then headed back to Windmill Farm NR where several Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs were seen to end a fabulous day.


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Today started with a short trip over to Polgigga. We parked up & walked the short distance to Raftra Farm where within 10 mins we were watching a cracking first winter Citrine Wagtail down to about 5m. This was a fabulous opportunity & I got some cracking shots of it In the sunshine.

Then we headed to Windmill Farm NE on The Lizard, our adopted local patch. Here it was quiet with 10 Stonechats, all 3 hirundines & Whitethroats being the main birds seen. We will be back tomorrow with our friend, Dougy, who is the warden at Windmill so maybe a longer visit will turn up a goodie!


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Our first week of Cornwall being almost up and finally finding some wifi, I decided might post what I've seen.
We stopped of for the Dalmatian pelican on our way down and with a bit of help from some locals found it sat in the middle of the creek, 4 black tailed godwits and a whimbrel were also around.
On Tuesday we decided we would go for the booted warbler at porthgwarra which was seen darting from bush to bush but never really gave good views.
Today we spent the morning in the hide at Hayley estury where we had great views of greenshanks and common sandpipers. Hyena spent the afternoon sea watching off st Ives where I saw 5 ocean sunfish, many kittiwakes and Mediterranean gulls, 1 yellow wagtail flew over and 1 Arctic Skua flew through heading west.


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Yesterday had our first full day in Cornwall. First call was Restronguet Creek. We drove down the tiny lanes to Point and parked at the quayside, having been here on previous holidays we knew where we were going and so made it with ease. Immediately on walking out to scan the water I picked up a huge white bird, halfway across the creek, the long-staying Dalmatian Pelican! With vital statistics of 6 feet long & an 11 foot wingspan it was hard to miss!! I took lots of shots of this fabulous creature & let lots of locals look through my scope. Many said that this gave them their best views that they had had of this bird - amazing given the number of birders through here!

Next we took the quaint King Harry Ferry over to the Roseland Peninsula. Here we mainly spent our time rock-pooling but had a nice fly past adult Mediterranean Gull and a fishing Sandwich Tern. Later we headed to a private site and watched double figure numbers of adult and juvenile Cirl Buntings, a glorious sight in Cornwall.


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Yesterday on our first half day of our Cornwall holiday we nipped the few miles down the road from the B&B to Perranuthnoe and parked up in the village. We then walked the short distance down to Boat Cove where the first and closest bird we saw was the long-staying Hudsonian Whimbrel. With a stunningly bright head pattern it was unmistakable but it was still nice to see it fly. Showing the plain back & lacking the white as seen on UK Whimbrel. A few locals joined us and advised against going into the cove onto the rocks as the bird flushes quite easily, so we took reasonable shots from a distance. Other birds seen were Curlews, Oystercatchers and Shags.

Next stop was Pendeen Watch even though the winds were wrong, but they are forecast the same all holiday so why not? Lots of Manx Shearwaters streamed past as well as lots of Gannets. Other than that just Fulmars, a Wheatear, 2 Stonechats and a friendly Rock Pipit!

-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 25th of August 2016 08:06:12 AM


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Cornwall Trip (Again?) Sunday 7th August 2016

    After lasts weeks trip to dip the Dalmatian Pelican I did not think that I would be going back again so soon. With the bird seemingly settling down again in West Cornwall, it do no harm to have another go would it? A little persuasion was not needed from Mark K, so we met in Milnrow at 3am on Sunday morning, with Mark K, Nige S, Bob K and myself making up the team. As usual lots of roadworks hampered our progress through the night, but as dawn broke we had made good time. About 25 miles from Restronguet Point near Truro, we got the news that the pelican was still present, a few extra mph was gained and after negotiating, pushbikes, farm machinery etc we reached the creek. After a few quick scans of the area the bird was picked up by Nige S, it was sat on top of a buoy and looked quite comfortable. We drove a little bit closer to the bird and managed to get some nice pictures. The local people in this part of England are really friendly and as we chatted and showed them pictures, the bird stretched its wings and dropped into the water and began swimming about, eventually out of site, what a bird it is and well worth the effort to see it. Bob K managed to wade in the creek as the tide went out, whilst Nige showed me a very strange looking jellyfish. Ready to move on. Time will tell if the great men of the B.O.U will accept the pelican onto the British List.

     A Hudsonian Whimbrel has been around Perranuthnoe, near Penzance for a while, so we gave it a go. A lovely place with a few Whimbrel, but not the American version, that we would have liked to see. Mark K ended up on the rocky beach trying to photograph a likely candidate and staggered us by beating us back to the path after being 50 feet below us, how did he do that? A few Buzzard and a couple of Raven kept us entertained also stunning views of St Michaels Mount on a lovely sunny day.

     Final stop was Porthgwarra for a spot of sea watching. Its about 24 years since I have been there, but the bird watching was almost just as good as last time. In the 1 ½ hours we were there we saw: - 400+ Manx Shearwater, 6 Balearic Shearwater, 200+ Gannets, 5 Fulmar, 1 Sandwich Tern, all heading west. I was lucky enough to pick up the fin of a Minke Whale as it swam past, a very enjoyable sea watch in great conditions. It was commented on about how many birds we would have seen at Flamborough Head!

     We had all enjoyed ourselves so much that we had not looked at the time, so, we had to forgo calling for the Cirl Bunting in Devon. The journey home was long but with us all sharing the driving was manageable. When the first sign for Manchester was seen the rain began to pour down, we reached Milnrow by 11pm having travelled in excess of 800 miles. Great trip with some cracking birds seen.

Dave O.


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Dalmatian Pelican still present early morning in Restronguet Creek


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Friday 10th June

Mid-morning visit to Mousehole, sightings from the harbour car park.
- Manx Shearwater 21 past together
- Guillemot 1
- Razorbill 2

Actually on St.Clements Isle.
Of note...
- Great Black-backed Gull c25+
- Lesser Black-backed Gull 2
- Herring Gull c25-30
- Little Egret 1 (precariously walking over the jagged rocks)
- few Shag & Cormorant

Quick stop for a coffee near the bottom edge of the moors.
- Raven 3 massive individuals
- Meadow Pipit
- Skylark
...Cuckoo heard on the drive over the moors near Gear Hill and Trewey Hill.

St.Ives (The Island)...very quiet!
- Rock Pipit 2 (1 constantly singing)
- Meadow Pipit 1 landed briefly on rocks
- Kittiwake 3
- Shag 5
- Guillemot 3
- Linnet 2 near the Lookout Tower

Drove back over the top of the moors again between Gear Hill and Trewey Hill and picked up on 2 Cuckoo, 1 male flying low over the heath and a female flying in the opposite direction being pursued by a probable Meadow Pipit. Male heard singing shortly after.


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Thursday 9th June.

Porthgwarra, late lunchtime.
Fairly quiet again, as it has been all week, of note...
- Chough 4 (2 ad, 2 juv)
- Great Black-backed Gull 1
- Lesser Black-backed Gull 2
- Manx Shearwater 1
- Shag 2
- Razorbill 2
- Gannet 20+
- Linnet 2
- Rock Pipit singing for ages on a rock
- Meadow Pipit 2
- Skylark 1

- Goldcrest 1 in bushes in the driveway at teatime

Evening visit to Goonhilly Downs / Croft Pascoe.
- Cuckoo 1 seen, 3 heard together
- Tawny Owl 1 seen, more heard
- Nightjar heard only
- Woodcock heard only
- Meadow Pipit plenty around
- Skylark 1


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Wednesday 8th June.

Scillonian III crossing, Penzance to St.Mary's and return.
Nice to meet wildlife guide Paul Semmens again.
- Mute Swan 2 far out in Penzance Bay
- Manx Shearwater est 75-100
- Great Skua 2 together
- Gannet lots
- Fulmar 6
- Guillemot c25-30
- Razorbill 3
- Great Black-backed Gull 2
- Puffin 2 (approaching St.Mary's)
- Shag 1 fishing in bay off Porth Hellick Downs
- Cuckoo 1, heard then seen in flight near Porth Hellick
- Lesser Redpoll 2
- Song Thrush & Blackbird everywhere
- Risso's Dolphin 2, LIFER!!! showed well, got an ID shot too
- Sunfish 1 LIFER
- Harbour Porpoise 3, 1 chasing a large fish
- Common Dolphin pod c75-80, put on a fantastic show
- Bottlenose Dolphin 1 with the Common's
- Kittiwakes and Gannets lots with the Dolphin pod, they'd obviously found a large shoal of fish.
- Common Dolphin, smaller pod later seen between Penzance and Mount's Bay.

Paul Semmens had a Storm Petrel but I was on the opposite side deck so by the time he'd shouted to me I'd missed it. 1 passenger said he'd seen some Balearic Shearwaters, I didn't see any myself though.


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Tuesday 7th June.

Trip over to Kynance Cove on the Lizard, really dense sea fog over most of the southern peninsula!
Of note...
- Stonechat central (15+??)
- Meadow Pipit
- Skylark
- Fulmar
- Common Buzzard 2, 1 being mobbed by Jackdaws

St.Just in Roseland and then Porthscatho.
Both RSPB sites, we were hoping for good views of the Cirl Buntings but only a glimpse of a female in a hedge. I thought we would do better than this considering how much area we covered,

Dropped my mate off for a 5 mile run in Newquay and carried on to Holywell Bay, the sea mist came in immediately and I was grounded to the nature reserve car park.
Of note..
- Raven 2
- Kestel 1
- Chiffchaff 2
- Willow Warbler 1
- Whitethroat 1


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Monday 6th June.

Day started off nice and sunny but soon turned to overcast and gloomy, a slight sea mist was present and quite strong winds were building. There was a distinct lack of bird activity too and as a result of all that we gave it a couple of hours before we headed back. Frustrating really as Porthgwarra is usually busy with bird life even at this time of year.

Of note...
- Chough 1
- Raven 2
- Swift 6
- Shag 1
- Fulmar 4
- Gannet 1
- Stonechat 3
- Whitethroat 2
- Meadow Pipit 2
- Linnet 2
- Cuckoo heard distantly towards the inland heath

Long Rock Pool & Marazion Marsh, early pm visit.
Of note...
- Cetti's Warbler 2 pairs
1 pr at Long Rock Pool, 1 pr Marazion Marsh, all 4 birds seen but the singing male at Marazion showed particularly well.
- Reed Warbler 4
1 pr obviously feeding nestlings with billful's of insects at Long Rock, 1 other bird foraging nearby and kept flying back further away into the reeds away from the first pair, then another bird at Marazion also feeding chicks somewhere deep in the marsh.
- Sedge Warbler 1 heard then seen briefly
- Whitethroat 1
- Little Egret 1
- Grey Heron 2


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Started our Oldham Birder's 'Tour of English Counties' weekend with an early morning visit to Drift reservoir before moving on to East Anglia. Great atmospheric views of the Dalmatian Pelican in the 5 a.m. mist, initially on its' favourite perch on the north-east arm, where it soon began to fish, before flying around to the other arm to continue fishing. A stand-off with a Grey Heron was over a perching place on a spit was a good reminder of the bird's size which made it visible from the carpark by the time the mist had cleared.

Bus pass birdin' great innit?

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Sunday 5th June

Ludgvan (Churchtown).
- cracking Green Woodpecker on the lawn this morning.

Sennon Cove coast path to Lands End and back.
- Great Black-backed Gull 1
- Guillemot
- Razorbill
- Fulmar
- Gannet
- Shag 15+
- Peregrine 1
- Common Buzzard 3
- Stonechat 2
- Whitethroat
- Skylark
- Linnet
- Meadow Pipit
- House Martins around Sennon cliffs

RSPB Hayle (Ryan's Field)
- immature Spoonbill showing well
- Little Egret 20+
- Grey Heron 1
- Curlew 4
- Whimbrel 1
- Peregrine 1 over the hide
- Kingfisher 1

Couple of digiscoped shots attached until I get home and able to download photos


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A week in Cornwall with best pal Stephen Ellison.

Saturday 4th June.

Porthgwarra. (RSPB now involved more heavily here and various paths closed off)
Nice to meet John Barber and wife here.

- Dalmatian Pelican (Lifer...if eventually accepted?)
Seen circling up in the clouds towards the Lands End complex as viewed from the Porthgwarra Lookout. The bird kept disappearing in the heat haze but did eventually circle over us ONCE and drifted off back towards Lands End.

Other birds of note...
- Chough 2
- Shag colony of around 20+
- Manx Shearwater 9
- Razorbill 3
- Gannet
- Fulmar
- Sparrowhawk 1 female
- Whitethroat 5
- Stonechat family
- Linnet
- Meadow Pipit

Drift Reservoir.
- Dalmatian Pelican
Fantastic close up views of this spectacular bird. Constantly catching fish etc in the North East Arm of the res.
Also of note...
- Great Crested Grebe 1
- Chiffchaff 2
- Bullfinch 3
- Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 flew across the road out

RSPB Hayle.
- Spoonbill 1 (immature bird)
I picked it up on Ryan's Field and then it flew over the road to Lelant Saltings behind the Old Quay House, showed well albeit asleep most of the time.
- Little Egret 10+
- Oystercatcher family

Digiscoped shot attached, will attach better shots when I get home



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Just back from a week in the Padstowe area followed by a week at Penzance.

Highlights were:-
Shorteared Owl at Pentire Point
Cuckoo and Dipper on Bodmin Moor
Manx Shearwater from boat over to Scillies
Chough at the Lizard
Pomerine Skua whilst watching a play at Minack open air theatre.
Dalmatian Pelican at Drift Reservoir immediately followed by Black Kite on top of telegraph pole up the valley.

All in all a great holiday with fine weather and some unexpected birds.
Plus a weasel, roe deer and a fox.


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We are off to Padstow for a week on the 4th June just wondering if anyone knows of any decent spots to go in Cornwall any help/advice welcome many thanks Steve and Shirley


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11.05.2016 (AM)

Coastal path from Newquay to Porth Bridge and former iron-age settlement.

Fulmars and Herring Gulls nesting along the cliffs. Rock Pipits abundant, even in the lawns.

House Sparrows, Wrens and Dunnocks in the cliff-top scrub/brambles, with a single male Redstart on one larger bush.

2 Ravens, 2 Kestrels and 1 Curlew.

John Williams

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Quick stop at Hayle Lelant Saltings this morning 10.15 - 10.30 am

- Spoonbill 2, both birds up close feeding at the side of the road at the Hayle village end of the Saltings.
Excellent views of them sifting through the muddy channels and then tossing their head back to swallow their catch.
- Little Egret 3
- Grey Heron 2
Pretty much as it was yesterday with Wildfowl numbers.
- Shelduck
- Eurasian Wigeon
- Eurasian Teal
- Curlew 2
- Redshank lots
- Lapwing lots
- Great Black-backed Gulls in big numbers this morning
- Other usual Gulls and Corvids present
- female Bullfinch over whilst I was in the Old Quayhouse pub car park


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Another flying visit with Stephen Ellison, arrived 1am Saturday early hours, going back home tomorrow morning giving us just today (and maybe a quick Hayle stop tomorrow morning) for a bit of birding.

This morning in absolutely atrocious conditions and constant severe gales.

Marazion and Long Rock Pool...(in approx 30 mins)
- Little Grebe 3
- Moorhen 3
- Grey Heron 2
- Little Egret 1
- Oystercatcher 1
- Fieldfare approx 30-40 in one group over the marsh
- Gannet 3 over Marazion bay
- No sign of any reported Diver species, could've moved round to Penzance, Newlyn, or even could've been out of sight round St.Micheal's Mount.

RSPB Hayle...(in approx 1 hour)
Rammed with birds!!!

- Spoonbill 2 - mainly resting but occasionally putting heads up to give a nice profile. Viewed fairly close in from the back end of The Old Quayhouse car park, probably out of view from the main road A30 lay-by where birders sometimes gather.
- Grey Heron 3
- Little Egret 5
- Common Buzzard 1
- Lapwing a few 100
- Curlew well over 100
- Redshank lots
- Black-tailed Godwit 1 on its own
- Eurasian Wigeon absolutely everywhere, well up in the 100's
- Eurasian Teal probably around a couple 100
- Canada Goose including 3 or 4 hybrids
- Greylag Goose 1 only
- Shelduck
- Meadow Pipits
- few small Finch flocks seemingly mainly Goldfinch
- Lots of Gulls including...
Great Black-backed
Lesser Black-backed

...all the usual Corvids around and even more of the fore-mentioned species further out over Lelant Saltings

Quick look around Jubilee Pool near Penzance front...
- Shag 2 swimming out in the bay, constantly diving but then both flew off towards Marazion.
- lots of Gannet out to sea
- no sign of any Divers, probably further round other way past Marazion

Quick stop at Mousehole...
- Rock Pipit 2 feeding around the harbour car park up close
- Gannet plenty feeding out to sea
- usual Gull roost on St.Clements Isle just out from the harbour.
(1 Gull in particular seen worth checking)

Literally a few minutes stop as the weather was ridiculously bad. Freezing cold, gale force winds, pouring-driving rain so just a few birds seen from the car.
- Fieldfare
- Blackbird
- Robin
- Dunnock
- Meadow Pipit
- Goldfinch flock
- female Stonechat

- Few Common Buzzard and 2 Raven seen on the drive from Porthgwarra over Zennor down to St.Ives.

St.Ives (a sea watch around The Rock)...
Once again in terrible conditions (for us but not for the birds we expected to see)

- Shag at least 15 including some juveniles about
- Cormorant only around 4 or 5
- Fulmar constantly seen flying through around the Rock
- Kittiwake again constantly seen, mainly juv and 1st winters, few winter adults around too
- Herring Gull lots
- Great Black-backed Gull few patrolling around
- Mediterranean Gull 2 low over the Rock
- Rock Pipit 1 near the Rock NCI lookout
- Auk types : unidentified Guillemots or/and Razorbills
- possible Great Skua, could've been large juv Gull, poor vis due to sea spray and poor light
- Plovers (Golden??) approx 30 over, No sign of underarm black auxiliaries but needs verifying due to poor conditions
- a few really small Gulls far our, not sure of species (could be Black-headed) due to quality of visibility and light
- Grey Wagtail 1 low flyover on our way out of St.Ives town centre.

A few Grey Seals were seen throughout the day to add to a cracking day's birding, was hoping for a Leach's Storm Petrel Lifer and maybe a Diver or 2, but not to be for us!
Another visit to Hayle in the morning is destined as it is literally 10 minutes away on the A30 journey home

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Saturday 21st of November 2015 11:28:24 PM


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Thanks for that Doc. I've always been like that, admit if I'm wrong, and this time I was.

I'm pretty sure knowing what I know now, that the Pipit was a Meadow Pipit. I only doubted my own identification partly because another species was reported (which I had absolutely no idea about when I first saw it) and also because it just happened to be close in plumage colour to what was reported. It seemed to fit, if that makes sense.
But I've had it before where a Meadow Pipit with a green hue has caught my eye, but that's all it's been, a Meadow Pipit.

As for the Alba Wagtails, again, knowing what I know now, and reading a few online articles on how to separate Alba and Yarrellii, I don't think I'll ever be able to safely call it between them!

The Ring-billed Gull was me picking the wrong photo, but there was indeed one at Hayle, and is still there this week.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Thursday 5th of November 2015 10:07:21 PM


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Wow Rob, huge respect for the last post. It takes a big man to admit to mistakes, and we all make them in our hobby, all the time. Birding is a learning game & we never ever stop, no matter how long we've been at it. This forum is a great resource and a brilliant place to bounce ID issues & opinions off other birders and get to the bottom of any ID problems we may have. Great to have Ian there at the helm to help & lots of other experienced & imformed birders to help too. Unlike other forums we all feel that we can post here without being judged & getting our heads bitten off as would happen in some other bird sites out there. Long may this continue, a great resource full of great folk smile


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I think it's only right that I make this comment with regards to my sightings post below, mainly after some valuable advice from Ian.

Firstly to the Olive-backed Pipit at Nanjizal.
I should've stuck with my original gut feeling and trusted my own instinct in that it does appear that the bird I saw, and probably the same bird that only a few people saw that day, was a Meadow Pipit.

Secondly to the White Wagtails that were seen, mainly at Land's End.
Again after some expert advice from Ian, I will have to admit that they could quite easily have been and in all honesty were likely to be Pied Wagtails, the time of year and moult plumage rendering them exceptionally difficult to separate.

Lastly, I thought I'd got this wrong too, the Ring-billed Gull at RSPB Hayle Lelant.
I'd only gone and sent the wrong photo to Ian, of the look-alike Herring Gull that was hanging about that day. I wouldn't mind, but I knew it was a Herring Gull
Not to worry though, as the Ring-billed Gull has been confirmed with the correct photo.

Many thanks

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Thursday 5th of November 2015 06:54:53 PM


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36 hour flying visit to Cornwall with best mate Stephen Ellison, arrived late Friday night, back Sunday afternoon.

No 3G and poor phone signal down there yet again meant relying on any local birders who might be present and the few texts that managed to get through with online info so thanks to Simon Gough for that.

Notable flyovers/heard on long traffic ridden journey down (and back) and between sites
- Jay 4
- Raven 5
- Rook and Jackdaw in the 100's
- Cormorant 1
- Common Buzzard 10+
- Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
- Tawny Owls heard near mates bungalow on arrival

Saturday 10th October.
Nice to meet locals Dave and his group who we bumped into at 3 sites, Porthgwarra, Cot Valley and RSPB Hayle Estuary.

Porthgwarra ... bit quiet usually more birds
- Swallow 2 on wires at Roskestal Farm entrance
- Siskin 1 female (well spotted Steve) in a small flock of 4 Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit, and 2 Chaffinch also at the farm gates
- Chough 2
- Raven 1
- Gannets out to sea
- Cormorant 3
- Shag 2 on the rocks
- Shearwater 1 far out, unidentified
- Stonechat 2 (m+f)
- Meadow Pipit - lots
- White Wagtail - few about
- Kestrel 1
- Sparrowhawk 1 being harass by 2 Magpies

Faraway Cottage, private roads so public access on foot only, 1.2 mile walk from car.
- Common Gulls feeding along side Black-headed Gulls
- Skylark 30+
- Meadow Pipit 5

- Richard's Pipit 1 Lifer (not good view, mainly silhouette)
Noticeably different flying around and appeared to hover which drew our attention to it, it then started calling as it flew over us, I played its call on the Collins app to try and match it and the bird came over again calling and a bit of a hover to investigate but it was mainly silhouette views unfortunately.

- Olive-backed Pipit 1 Lifer
Didn't know it was that at first but it was kind of confirmed later by others.
Noticed this Pipit in one of the fields near Faraway Cottage, it had a greener tinge to it than the few Meadow Pipits with it, and also showed strong facial markings giving it a slightly different appearance, but I just put it down to variation of a Meadow Pipit. I lost it in one of the furrows in the uneven field. I mentioned it to Dave and his group at another site and their reply was ... nice one mate you got the Olive-backed Pipit, that was the first we knew that one had been sighted.

- Goldcrest 3
- Firecrest heard only in deep hedge thicket in at least 4 different locations along the path to the cottage
- possible Blackcap heard with faint short bursts of calling.

Land's End.
- Meadow Pipit - few around

- Richard's Pipit 1
Seen near the sallows at Greeb Farm and crafts centre, this bird was flying around and doing a bit of a glide and hover like the bird at Nanjizal, I played the call again and the same thing happened, it flew over calling but again brief silhouette views before flying over the visitor complex out of sight. I thought this could've been the same bird but local birder Dave later told me there were 2 birds seen that day. He told me that they'd had a flyover at the complex, we didn't see them at Land's End but we put 2 and 2 together that they'd probably seen the bird we'd seen flying over the complex from the other direction.

- Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling 1
Lifer for me in juvenile form, only ever had the Burnley adult. I clocked a pale bird fly over the Land's End signpost photo point with some Starlings but Steve got it in full view first.
It was scampering around in and out of view behind fences but then it flew over the roof into the main complex and was running around our feet picking up bits of food below the outdoor picnic benches. I was struggling to get a good shot as it was so close running through my legs under the bench then flew onto the next bench then back over to us. What a cracking bird!

- Northern Wheatear 3
- Stonechat 3
- White Wagtail probably around 10, maybe more
- Skylark few over
- Goldfinch around 20 over
- Raven 1 flying around fairly close to us
- Merlin 1 female, great view patrolling the cliffs, great spot by Steve
- Common Buzzard 1 also on the scout
- Sparrowhawk 1 over Greeb Farm crafts centre pursued by Jackdaws
- Gannets lots out to sea
- Shag few out on the little rocky outcrops just off the coast

Cot Valley.
- Common Rosefinch 1 juvenile, a Lifer again!
We'd found out about the Rosefinch from a couple at Land's End whilst sat watching the Rose-coloured Starling. We'd pulled up along the valley road down to the coast where a few birders had gathered (including Dave and pals) and we were soon onto it as it flew into full view in a space between the branches, a cracking juvenile showing the wing bars and it's unusual front heavy head with large bill almost moulded onto its face. It showed for about a minute, some people couldn't see it but we were only too happy to point it out to them.

Also in the immediate area...
- Yellow-browed Warblers - heard only
- Goldcrest 3
- Chiffchaff 2
- Nuthatch 1
- Coal Tit 1
- Long-tailed Tit small group

A walk down to the coast produced...
- Kestrel being mobbed by Jackdaw
- Chough 1 flying near the cliffs, calling
- Rock Pipit 2
- Yellow Wagtail 1
- White and Pied Wagtail small group together
- Northern Wheatear 3 again

Long Rock Pool near Marazion.
Of note...
- Goldeneye 1
- Little Grebe 1
- Water Rail heard only

RSPB Hayle (Lelant Water) ... Always productive, love this place
- Spoonbill 1
Juvenile but unsure of exact age, had a creamy pink bill and black primary tips, spent a lot of time sleeping but was treated to some spectacular views when it was up. Not that far from the car park of the Old Quayhouse, a line of birders were on Hayle Rd which was much further away on the other side of the estuary so they might not even have seen it.

- Ring-billed Gull 1, Not the same bird I saw in June so I'm told
- Mediterranean Gull 5 juvenile
- Black-headed Gull all over the site
- Herring Gull 1 looking like a Ring-billed, it fooled me at first
- Great Black-backed Gull
- Lesser Black-backed Gull
- Mute Swan 3
- Brent Goose (pale-bellied) 1
- Greylag Goose 1 only
- Shelduck few around
- Pintail 2 female
- Wigeon and Teal in the 100's
- Little Egret 10+
- Grey Heron 6
- Greenshank 4
- Redshank lots of them
- Lapwing
- Dunlin 5
- Curlew lots
- Oystercatcher 3
- Ringed Plover small group
- Raven 1 over
- Grey Wagtail on Old Quayhouse roof
- Meadow Pipit
- Pied Wagtail

As we pulled up near the bungalow at Ludgvan, a Sparrowhawk came racing passed the car keeping low then last second shot up to the bird feeders in a garden on the corner and came away with a bird, couldn't make out what it was it was all over quickly.

A belting day with some top sightings, plenty of usuals seen too including Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove and Carrion Crow.


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Just back from my (almost) annual trip to Lands End area ,unfortunately probably the quietest time I've ever experienced down there.A couple of reasonable sea-watches made up a bit for the lack of rare passerines.
Birds seen on two visits to Pendeen in reasonable N.W. winds included:

1 Cory's Shearwater
140 + Balearic Shearwaters
40 + Sooty Shearwaters
5 Storm Petrels
1 spooned up Pomerine Skua
1 Long Tailed Skua
20 + Arctic Skuas
30 + Bonxies
4 Grey Phalaropes
plus plenty of Auks,Gannets,Kittiwakes etc.

On the passerine front the only decent bird was a juv. Red Backed Shrike about 200yds from where I was staying.Good nos. of common migrants about still,Chiffchaffs,Blackcaps,Whitethroat,Willow Warbler,Spotted Flycatchers,plus singles of Pied Flycatcher and Redstart.
A couple of Garganey at Marazion,and a few common waders at Hayle Estuary inc. Ruff,Grey Plover,Black and Bar Tailed Godwits,etc plus the usual Little Egrets and wildfowl more or less completed the trip list.At least the Pasties were as good as ever



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On way home from Cornwall so just got time to round up the sightings before I take over the driving.

A great week with some good birds seen (84 species) and some good birds dipped on too!
Lots of Common Buzzard seen whilst travelling between sites, and plenty of Common Swift, Swallow, and House Martin also, but not a single Sand Martin. Lots of usuals around including Wildfowl, Corvids, Garden Birds etc, and we could've seen some Rock Dove but as has been pointed out to me before it is difficult to assess if they are pure or a hybrid with Feral Pigeon so I've not counted them.
Any misidentifications will be updated as soon as possible and there will be a post on Other Wildlife as soon as I can.

Of note... I forgot to mention an adult Great Skua (a Lifer for me in that I've only ever seen the cracking Juvenile at Audenshaw Res) that flew infront of us on the Scillonian on Wednesday, it wasn't hanging around though and just kept going low flying over the water at speed.
I've just seen that yet more European Bee-eaters have turned up in Cornwall, incidentally in St.Buryan where there was sightings during the week, and just to annoy me, a Squacco Heron has decided to turn up at RSPB Marazion today which is literally 2 miles from where we were staying SOD'S LAW !!!

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Saturday 6th of June 2015 01:58:04 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Saturday 6th of June 2015 07:39:30 PM


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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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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar.