Friday, 16 December 2011

Birds in Cornwall 2011

Here's a short musical film with one or two highlights of 2011...........ENJOY

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Semipalmated Sandpiper. Davidstow Airfield. Cornwall. 3/10/2011

This Juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper on the disused airfield near Davidstow is the second individual to be found in Cornwall this year following the Drift bird.

Whinchat and Pied Flycatcher. Nanquidno. Cornwall. 1/10/2011

With autumn migration in full swing, passerines heading south find their way to the west Cornwall valleys like this Whinchat and Pied Flycatcher at Nanquidno.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Pectoral Sandpiper. Marazion 2/10/2011

One of the many Pectoral Sandpipers present in Cornwall. This one on the freshwater outfall of the Red River at Marazion Beach was very tolerant of people, many passing within feet of the bird, unaware of it's presence.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Lesser Yellowlegs. St Clements.Truro. Cornwall 23/9/2011

Another juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs. This time at the picturesque village of St Clement near Truro. Two individuals of this elegant North American wader now reside in Cornwall. This one and another still at Drift Reservoir. Quite a turn up for the county.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Marazion.Cornwall. 22/9/2011

An unusually close encounter with a very tiered looking juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the fresh water river outlet at Marazion Beach in Cornwall, despite initial concerns about it's condition it was later seen feeding along the tideline and appeared to be in good health. Hopefully it recuperated enough to carry on it's journey as it was not seen the next day.

Long-billed Dowitcher. Stithians Reservoir. 14/9/2011

This Long-billed Dowitcher represents the eighth species of North American wader to be found in Cornwall in under two weeks. I can't remember a year as good as this. it seems Yank waders are coming out of our ears. Long may it last!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Lesser Yellowlegs. Drift Reservoir 15/9/2011

The Americans have landed in no uncertain terms, another "Tringa" to add to the list, this time a juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Semi-palmated Sandpiper. Drift Reservoir

Yet another American wader species to add to the ever increasing list, this time a juvenile Semi-palmated Sandpiper at Drift Reservoir on 13th September. What a week! This is fast turning out to be one of the best autumns ever for these trans-atlantic gems.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Greater Yellowlegs, Wadebridge, 12/9/2011

An adult Greater Yellowlegs,a real "MEGA" and only Cornwall's second record was found at Treraven Meadows in Wadebridge. This was the first sighting of this elegant American Tringa species since 11th October 1955. It certainly got the old pulse racing and my foot to the floor when the news broke!

Black Kite. Polgigga

It took weeks, but we eventually caught up with the Black Kite over Polgigga as it fed in mid air on a Rat it had picked up from a nearby ploughed field.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Baird's Sandpiper

After several attempts Kate and I eventually caught up with the Baird's Sandpiper at hayle Estuary on the incomming tide. It treated us to superb views despite the gathered birders ant the constant traffic noise.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Pectoral Sandpiper (Drift Reservoir)

Kate and I were excited to find this Juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper roosting on rocks in front of the hide. It gave superb views while we were there.
Pectoral Sandpipers are annual vagrants to Cornwall, normally during the autumn months, September being the optimum period. Over the years Drift Reservoir in West Cornwall boasts the Lions share of records, This juvenile is the first record so far this autumn.

Waders at Drift Reservoir

The Pec had a supporting cast, Curlew Sand, Little Stint, Knot, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Wasp Spiders

Wasp Spiders are one of our most strikingly colourful spiders. Originally from mainland Europe they have colonised large parts of southern England and are believed to be spreading further north, this is thought to be due to climate change. Their colours resemble wasps and bees on which they prey along with other insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, flies etc.
Their webs can be found low down in long un-grazed grassland and have a prominent zig zag pattern,spun in silk below the centre of the web know as a stabilimentum. They are harmless to humans though have been known to occasionally bite.
This colony was discovered just outside of Truro in Cornwall

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Western Bonelli's Warbler, Pogigga, West Cornwall

Western Bonelli's Warblers are rare visitors to Cornwall, normally during the Autumn. This one was found by local birder Mark Wallace while working his local patch at Polgigga in West Cornwall on Saturday 20/08/2011

Monday, 11 July 2011

Bentley Wood Butterflies

A day trip to Bentley Wood near Salisbury, Wiltshire, in search of butterflies. Steve Rogers and I left Truro at 5.30am, the weather was perfect so the day promised to be "Butterfly Heaven". Our target species was of-course the enigmatic Purple Emperor, which is not always guaranteed. On our arrival at 9.00am we encountered countless Siver-washed Fritillaries and good numbers of White Admirals and a Purple Hairstreak or two, just in the car park. Further afield we came across hundreds of Ringlets, a few Dark Green Frits, Brimstones, Marbled Whites, Silver-washed Frits were everywhere, including the rare female form Valezina, yet more White Admirals, Small and Large Skippers and a couple of White-letter Hairstreaks another of the impressive Bentley Wood cast. Fortunately we stumbled into a small group of fellow enthusiasts who had just found a female Purple Emperor sitting on a leaf. After a short while she flew off, straight past me and around a corner. I TOOK OFF in HOT PERSUIT keeping my eyes on it at all times. She appeared to land low down on a Hazel bush, but as I rounded the corner I noticed her on the ground beside a puddle where she stayed for several minutes giving us all superb views. Later in the day I saw a male flying along one of the many tracks, but he refused to land and dissapeared over the trees. On returning to the puddles we found two more females one of which stayed for about half an hour. Photographers took full advantage and rattled off to their hearts content. All in all if you want a memorable butterflying day out, you can't go wrong at Bentley Wood in July.

Friday, 17 June 2011

On 10th April while watching the Purple Heron, we were surprised to see a Bat flying around College Reservoir near Penryn. To see bats during the day is unusual, one reason for it to be out is, when bats emerge from hibernation they are both hungry and de-hydrated after their winter snooze. They need to quickly find food and water, not only to build their strenth but also to kick start their excretory system. so the sooner they start eating and drinking the better. Not having a clue to it's identity we contacted "BATMAN" Daniel Eva, our local Bat expert to come and see the video. He thinks it's a Daubenton's Bat by it's feeding habit of picking insects from the surface of the water.

The fascinating subject of bats can be looked at by going to the Cornwall Bat Group website, using this link.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Montagu's Harrier. Croft Pascoe, The Lizard Peninsular. 17/04/2011

Montagu's Harriers no longer breed in Cornwall, and are now rare passage migrants with only one or two sightings annually. So, when a male was reported at Croft Pascoe on Saturday, there was only one place Kate and I were going to be on Sunday. Fortunately on our arrival Steve Kolodjedski had just re-found it just south of the wood. It was flying away and almost out of sight when Royston Wilkins(who hadn't yet seen it) arrived in his van. I jumped in and we drove slowly down the road in "HOT PURSUIT". To both of our amazement it was sitting on the heath about 20 yards from the road eating prey. We both watched it for a while until it lifted off and started hunting again. We were all treated to some of the best views we've ever had of a Monty's, and for one or two lucky birders there it was a lifer. Luckily I was able to keep a steady hand for once.......It was simply Fantastic!!!......Thanks for the lift Royst!

Purple Heron. College Reservoir,Penryn.10/04/2011

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Blue-headed Wagtails 09/04/2011

The weekends south easterly winds held a lot of promise for west Cornwall. Adding to the Gull-billed Tern, Mark Wallace turned up a Short-toed Lark (which I missed) and this stunning pair of Blue-headed Wagtails............Things were HOTTING UP!

Gull-billed Tern, Trevilly Farm, Nr Sennen. 06/04/2011

Martin Elliot found this cracker! Having missed it on it's first day (Wednesday), I was relieved to see it at Trevilly Farm the following evening where it stayed until Sunday giving superb views. These Terns are rare in Cornwall so it was no surprise that it was a first for a few locals!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Red-throated Diver, Par Beach Pool,St Austell. 27/03/2011

The unusual occurence of a Red-throated Diver on the fresh water pool at Par Beach,near St Austell,was an opportunity too good to miss, as this individual gave superb close views.

Hoopoe, Gulval Cricket Club,Penzance 26/03/2011