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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.

You don't HAVE to be mad to go birding but :-D

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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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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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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.