Monday, 30 November 2009

Lonely Oystercatcher.

Oystercatcher........Haematopus ostralegus

The lone Oystercatcher at the Par Beach Poolside.

Pool Flooded

Decided to have a look at PBP at 1400hrs today.
The pool is now overflowing with the depth marker completely submerged. I wonder when the last time the pool reached the same level as today.
The Tufted Ducks ..I saw five but there may have been more were still on the pool and look like staying for a while.
Nothing new with the exception of a lone Oystercatcher at the poolside..this is a first for me although they are plentiful enough around the Harbour wall.
Very little else was seen during the short visit, just the usual, plus... the Stonechats popped up for a quick photo session.

Sunday, 29 November 2009


Linnet ....Carduelis cannabina
There are quite a few Linnets around the gorse area of Par.
A flock was also seen landing on the beach recently.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Dunnock on the Gorse

Dunnock .........Prunella modularis

Friday, 27 November 2009

Gulls Aloud

Herring Gull ........Larus argentatus

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

High Tide Turnstone

Turnstone....Arenaria interpres

Photographed at the high tide debris.

Great Black-Backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull ............Larus marinus

Photographed at Par poolside.

Today 25th Nov 2009

A somewhat un-productive sort of day with very little of interest during my short visit. The Canada Geese were missing on the PBP at 1515 hours yesterday (gone to roost) but were plentiful today at 1130 hours. Two G B-backed Gulls were on the pool having a wash and brush up and one on the shoreline. The Tufted Ducks were still around and a lot less Jackdaws than yesterdays 200+ .
Away from the pool little else was seen. Turnstones on the high tide line, the odd Rock Pipit and a Grey Wagtail flying down the Par River.
The Stonechats did not show.

Report from Roger Lane.( Monday 24th Nov)

" Half an hour each at Charlestown and Porthpean today (2.30 to 3.30), quite rough but 'workable' !
Off Charlestown Wall were:
2 x Fulmar Petrels (first back from Grand Banks molt)
5 x G.N.Divers
1 x B.T.Diver

Off Porthpean were:
1 x Kestrel !
1 x Fulmar (same?)
2 x Gannets
12+, Comm.Scoters
3 x G.N.Divers (near enough to photograph !)
1 x B.T.Diver"

Thanks for the report Roger.
We are still missing the B.T Diver but hope to connect with it very shortly.

Monday, 23 November 2009

St Austell Bay .

St Austell Bay looking across from Porthpean.

Report from Roger Lane.(Sun 22nd Nov 2009)

" Virtually nothing to report today. Butterflies were rained off this mornig, thus did call in at St.Austell Sewerage Works/Menagwins at Tregorrick, where I saw small flocks of 10+, Goldcrests amd 12+ Chiffchaffs (the nucleous of the overwintering flock, which varies 'twixt 50 to 100 Goldcrests and also up to treble figures of Chiffchaffs.) Leaves still too thick to see anything else !
At Par Pool this afternoon were ELEVEN Tufted Duck, yesterday's 5 plus a flock of 6 adult males which flew in and remained in a group."

Thanks for the report Roger.
Things are very quiet on the home front at the moment.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Stonechat at Par

Stonechat ........Saxicola torquata

Showing well again yesterday.

Posing Post.

Black-Headed Gull ...........Larus ridibundus

Report from Roger Lane. (Friday 20th Nov 2009)

" Just to let you know I found nothing worthwhile at Par today. Did find 36+ Red Admirals west of St.Austell Bay (20+ at Trenarren).
All I saw is hardly worth writing about : 3+, Snipe; 5 x Tufted D.; 1 x Bullfinch; 1 x L.Egret and 1 x Kingfisher (on Par River, definitely different to one on Par East stream which is 'scruffy' and probably a 1st-year)."

Thanks for the report Roger.
Weather does look most dismal for the weekend.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Splish Splash

I am Having a


Thursday, 19 November 2009

Robin on the Posing Post.

Robin ...........Erithacus rubecula

Roger has an Interesting Day.

"Just to let you know what's about, my list for an hour at Portmellon (seen passing Chapel Point):
NOT St.Austell Bay ! In Portmellon Bay, sheltering were: c.20 Shags; c.10 Cormorants; 6+, GNDivers; c.20 Razorbills c.10 Guillemots.
Flying SW across Mev.Bay and on round Chapel Point into gale force SWesterly were:- c.30Shags; c.20 Cormorants; 50+,Gannets/hour; 100+, Auks sp/hour; 200+, Kittewakes/hour; 12+,Fulmars/hour (just returned from their molt on Grand Banks); 2+ (poss. 6+) LITTLE GULLS; 3 x SKUAS ( all apparently POMARINE ) and 1 x RED T.DIVER also flew SW.(11.30 to 12.30)
Stopped for 5mins at Pentewan on way back, and from road (with 'scope) saw: 6+, Gannets; 10+ Kittewakes and 1 x POMARINE SKUA ( my 4th today!) "

"So I called in Porthpean on my way back (2pm?), but being sheltered it was nothing like Chapel Point, best I could do were the following:

4 x GNDivers; 2 x Slav.Grebes; 15+, Comm.Scoter; 6+, Gannets and 10+, KITTEWAKES. "

Thanks Roger for that excellent report. Slightly out of the Baywatch jurisdiction but close enough for a mention.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Photographed yesterday on the boardwalk leading to the wilderness .

Reports from Roger Lane.

"Not a lot for today Tues.17thNov. Did butterflies this morning, only got 12 x Red Admirals in total.
Visited Par briefly (2pm?) this afternoon, hardly worth it: on the pond 7 x Tufted D. (again!). The council have opened the sluice gate (slightly) to let the flood water out (down the eastern stream), and thus the red marker is showing again 'Pond Full' exactly !
Otherwise, in the (rough) Bay (3pm?) I was not surprised to see a GCGrebe again, but close by, and well inside Killyvarder Rocks, was a G.N.DIVER, not seen one so close in before. "

"Charlestown Wall at about 1.30pm today (16th), there were several GNDivers; at least two x BTDivers and 13 x Comm.Scoters (a flock of 9 females, 2 more females and a pair (male + female). There were several Shags already with Crests, ready for the Spring !"

"Forgot to say that yesterday (15thNov) there were 9 x Tufted Ducks on PBP (including a female 'scaup-face' Tufted). Today (16th), I could only find 7 x Tufted D; a BHGull with Darvic ring number 2V77 (!) and 2 x Comm.Snipe. While in the (rough) Bay today: only 2 x Gannets; 2 x Comm.Scoter and 1 x GCGrebe."

Thanks for the reports Roger...sorry i have got a little way behind.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Goldie on the Salad Bowl

Goldfinch ..........Carduelis carduelis
Photographed at Par high tide area.

Dumped Rubbish

Rubbish dumped close to the slipway area of the site. Hopefully keeping the gate closed and locked will call a halt to this practise.

Leaning Tree

The leaning tree which you had to duck under yesterday to continue your walk through the wood. Today the remains of the tree after cutting and removal.

Gate Closed.

It was nice to see the gate leading to the slipway closed to stop the cars churning up the area and to stop the fly tipping which was an eyesore till it was cleaned up.
Also the site was on the ball with the fallen tree that blocked the walk to the woodland it has been cut up and removed. Well done for prompt action.
Spoke to a new birder on the site Ian Prophet (hope I got this right ) who told me he had seen a Black Redstart by the Caravans and Blackcaps further along by the Eastern Stream.
The Stonechats again greeted me and also Goldfinches were feeding on the *salad bowl* which is the first time I have seen them on the seaweed and debris.
Meadow Pipits and Greenfinches were also visible and making use of the mild conditions to show themselves.

Monday, 16 November 2009


Stonechat....Saxicola torquata

Photographed yesterday around the dune area of Par.

Divers at Porthpean.

Took a look at Porthpean this morning 1000hrs . The sea was reasonably calm but I could not locate much on the water the usual bobbing gulls were the only sighting at first.
After a while I located two GN Divers a few hundred yards out by the rocks looking towards Par.
I did not manage to get to the PBP so I have nothing else to report.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Roger Lane Reports. BITTERN

"Once the gales had calmed down this afternoon I spent an hour at Par, mostly watching the tide come into eastern stream! Note the Pool is now flooded, even the red marker is submerged ! On the eastern stream I was lucky enough to see the Kingfisher, again, it flew toward sea and Polkerris !
Rough old sea, could not see anything but gulls. Thus went to Par Beach Pool briefly, and got really lucky ! A large brown bird (Buzzard-size) flew from one part of the reed-bed to another part where it stayed (although not seen again). However, I have no doubt at all that it was a Great BITTERN ! The short flight was typical of those I saw in the late 1990's, and the only colour 'change' was the upper forewing which appeared lighter, even in the short flight.
A Bittern (or two?) is almost annual in the Par reed beds, but since it only flies twice a day (unless disturbed) it is seldom seen or reported ! It is said to be crepuscular and ONLY move at 'dawn' and 'dusk', but it must have been 'early to bed' for the Bittern today ! Not much hope of photographing since it is usually in the air for only 10-15secs, indeed it will take some seeing AT ALL ! As I say, I got lucky, some while since I've seen one there."

Thanks for the report Roger.
A great sighting well done.
I shall be looking with a lot more care at the reed beds from now on.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Rain Again.

Arrived at PBP at 0920hrs and first thing I noticed was the Canada Geese had not yet arrived on the pool from their roosting site and they still had not made an appearance when the weather forced me home at 1030 hrs.
Nothing unusual to report except the Tufted Ducks now number six.
It seems to rain around 1000hrs every morning just lately...not light stuff but heavy downpours. Looks like it is going to be a long winter.

Roger Lane Reports

"I think there have probably been 4 x Tufted D. from 6thNov, have had 2, 3 or 4 most days. Those Brent Geese must be wintering in the vicinity -- or lost ! My 1 x GCGrebe of 23rdOct was unlikely to stay since it was alone and they are sociable in winter. Now you have 3 together the flock should build up to 15+ especially as it gets colder (Have has 20+, once!).
I've not been to Par for a few days, but got out to Porthpean late this afternoon. Rather mediocre though since it was high tide and they all disappear and seldom/never "fish the high tide". Was rather rough anyway, and poor light by the time I got there ! Modest 'score' was:

4 +, Gannets; 2 x G.N.Divers and 12 x Comm.Scoter. Gulls galore but too dark to I.D."

Thanks for the report Roger.
Let us hope next week brings a few days of better weather.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Coming in to Land

Canada Goose......Branta canadensis

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Goldies on the Seed Heads.

Goldfinch .....Carduelis carduelis

Photographed at Par .

Great Crested Grebes

Arrived at the PBP at 1015hrs and was greeted by the arrival of hundreds of Canada Geese to the pool in three relays. The Tufted Ducks are still on the pool and have been joined by another one making four today.

The tide was in and the usual gulls were seen also the Brent Geese . Further out to sea towards Polkerris were three Great Crested Grebes which I saw through a scope. Another patch tick for the blog.
Turnstones were again feeding high up by the dunes and little else was seen around the shoreline.
Robins, Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Greenfinchs and a Wren were also seen mainly around the Wilderness.
The Stonechats and Kingfisher did not make an appearance.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Turnstone Taking Off.

Turnstone .......Arenaria interpres

Brent Geese.

Arrived at the PBP at 1325hrs. The level of water was very high and I noticed a lot more of the larger gulls in attendance. The three Tufted Ducks were still on the water keeping towards the far end of the pool.
A walk in the wilderness area proved productive but not photographically. Four Jays were a little way up stream flying between the trees ..I managed to photograph one on a tree branch but I think yesterdays poor photographs were enough for a while. Also captured on film was a Robin, Wren, Goldfinch, Crow,Rock Pipit and Turnstones feeding on the seaweed right up to the dune area.
Across the river and in amongst the gulls close to the harbour wall were two Pale Bellied Brent Geese which again I managed to get a record shot of.
The Stonechats were again missing.

Report from Roger Lane.

"Called in at Par briefly yesterday,(9thNov), not much, but 1 x Jay and 4 x Bullfinches in Wilderness area, plus the 3 x Tufted D. on Par B.Pool.
I did get down to Porthpean for an hour in late afternoon, too late really, light poor, but in the hour saw:
2 x G.N.Divers, 1 x Black T.Diver, 12 x Comm Scoter (all female) and 3+ Gannets. Then just as I was leaving a small 'flock' of another 3 x Black T.Divers, in superb summer plumage, surfaced a long way out (half mile) ! But sun shone on the important white parts and they stayed and fished together (typical of B.T.Divers)."

Thanks for the report Roger.
Things appear to be hotting up.

Report for the 9th November from Mark Whittaker

"Birds of Note

Off Spit Beach

1 Great Northern Diver
6 Common Scoter

Inner Harbour

3 Redshank"

Thanks for the report Mark

Monday, 9 November 2009

Lazy Day

Canada Goose....Branta canadensis
Photographed at PBP

Red Admiral.
Photographed Par Dunes

Robin.......Erithacus rubecula
Photographed at Par Wilderness

Oystercatcher .......Haematopus ostralegus
Photographed at the rocks at Porthpean.
Normally I cannot see the eyes of an Oystercatcher..this one had a little Dracula about it.

Close Unit

Tufted Duck....Aythya fuligula

Record shot of Tufted Ducks on PBP.

Great Northern Diver

Called in at Porthpean at midday to try and locate the Divers. My luck was in as I saw a life tick and two patch ticks. The life tick was a Great Northern Diver and the other patch tick a Slavonian Grebe which was a little way closer to the shore.
Also a solitary Oystercatcher was seaching the shoreline directly below me and was joined very briefly by three Pied Wagtails that flew off in the Par direction.
Later in the afternoon 1400 hrs I had a shortish look around PBP and the shoreline.
THe Tufted Ducks were still on the pool and I managed a very poor noisy record shot. They kept themselves to the back of the pool which is well out of range for my lens to get a good shot.
A pair of Grey Wagtails were zooming up and down the river rather like Swallows but were far to fast for me to get a shot of them. The Kingfisher stayed out of sight so did the Stonechats which is most unusual.
A dozen Oystercatchers were on the beach but got chased by a dog and flew off to the harbour wall at Spit.
Turnstones were a plenty at the *Salad Bowl* and again I got quite close for a few reasonable shots.
The weather was more agreeable and I consider it a good days birdwatching.

Roger Lane Reports

"Have been after butterflies much of week anyway, saw 20+ Rd. Admirals today,and know where 30+ are wintering.
Regarding the Divers (and 1 Grebe) at Porthpean, thanks to Mark, he got it right, but 1 x RED.T.Diver was also present on 4thNov. Regarding seeing the divers etc, that's tricky (90% of time under water!). Took me half-hour to find 1st Diver, and 2hrs total was up to SIX. You need time, and patience, even then there is the problem of I.D. ! I think you can only hope for say 2 x GNDivers, one in particular seems to have a feeding territory relatively close in shore (1.e. quarter - mile out ! Cormorants and shags at distance are the biggest time waster ! Not much hope of photos, but patience with 'scope should work ! Westerly wind is OK/good (sheltered by Ropehaven cliffs).
They MAY have come in during southerlies (and storms) in first days of Nov., but I suspect they're here for the winter, will let you know, if I can get down the slipway (to use my ,scope from the car). There is now a good chance off the Charlestown wall, I saw two there but included as "seen from Porthpean"
NOTE: 4 x Tufted D. on Par Pool 6th Nov., 2 x Tufted D. today 8thNov'09."

Thanks for the report Roger. I shall try sometime today to see the Divers and may also get down to PBP for a brief spell.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Dark Days

Things have got a little quiet at the moment..the present weather condition,the dark evenings and the dog watcher being away for three weeks has effectively grounded me over the weekend... but I do hope to make an appearance during the weekdays for shortish spells. Also I have not received any reports from Roger for the last few days and I suspect computer problems is the main cause as the last one went via a phone call then e-mail from Mark.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Rocky 11

Meadow Pipit.

Well it looks as if Rocky is a Mipit after all.


Meadow Pipit ......Anthus pratensis
Photographed at Par Bay. in the vicinity of Turnstones around the rocks and seaweed.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Gulls on Posing Post

Latin Identification

Black-headed Gull ..........Larus ridibundus

The 1st -winter and adult Black-headed Gull photographed at PBP.

Roger Lane Reports the Divers at Porthpean.

I had an email from Mark Whittaker who relayed the message below from Roger Lane whose computer is playing him up.

Tuesday 3rd November - Porthpean

1 Guillemot
6 Great Northern Divers
1 Black Throated Diver

Wednesday 4th November - Porthpean

4 Gannets
4 Great Northern Divers
1 Black Throated Diver
1 Slavonian Grebe

Thanks to both Mark and Roger.
I tried for the Divers myself at 10-00hrs this morning and although the sea was calm at Porthpean there was no sign of them. They are sure to come back soon so I shall keep trying.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Stonechat ...........Saxicola torquata
Turnstone...........Arenaria interpres

The New Perch

Heavy Rain Again

Today was almost a replica of yesterday the only difference was I managed to remain dry. This morning I noticed a LBB Gull on the PBP which I intended to photograph after looking for the Kingfisher...unfortunately the heavens opened on my return and I could not re-locate it.
Someone surely has made a new perch for the Kingfisher. If this is the work of nature then well done but I suspect it is man made. It does look the part though.
Still no sign of the Kingfisher today but the River is rnning fast with a lot of colour and depth so fishing would not be ideal.
Back around the dunes my friends the Stonchats made their usual appearence which I am always thankful for.
The sea and shore held the usual array of Gulls,Rock Pipits,Oystercatchers and Turnstone.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Roger Lane Reports

" Should be a diver or two in the Bay by now but don't get out much since you can't see them unless sea-state is calmer.
Had managed to see a couple of butterflies, incl. 1st Nov., but only 2 species are left, as you saw (!), Sp.Woods and Red Admirals ! The Sp.Woods will die-out within Nov. but the Red Admirals 'trapped' in GB now, will mostly survive the winter. I'll mention any Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb butterflies, if I see them ! Although certain places ALWAYS hold Rd.Adms every day of the year (on SUNNY days!). Have seen them virtually every day of the year from 1stJan onward, especially over recent years. They breed in Oct/Nov and, lay eggs, then larva survive most winters, emerging as adults as early as 14thJan'06/07, in those exceptionally mild winters we had. Only 10yrs ago many people did not believe that they overwintered as adults, let alone bred !"

Thanks for the report Roger.
I noticed how rough the sea was today and spotting anything on the water would have been virtually impossible.

Wild Foul Weather.

It is a wet here is a familiar wetland bird.

Moorhen ........Gallinula chloropus

Rain Stopped Play.

O! I sure picked the wrong hour to visit the site. Earlier I had decided I would try to locate the Kingfisher again.
The pool was full of its usual residents Geese ,Gulls et al with if my observation is correct a few dozen more Jackdaws at the poolside.
During the drive to the rough park it started to rain so I decided to don my waterproof trousers but foolishly left off my wellingtons.
The rain had eased a little as I made my way to the Kingfishers feeding post but as soon as I got to the waters edge the heavens was like someone throwing buckets of water at me. Now even though my jacket was wet I was still comfortably dry with the exception of my soaked socks and shoes. It was back to the car and home.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Winter Looms.

Robin ......Erithacus rubecula
I am hoping to pay a site visit tomorrow after the last few car less days.
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