Sunday, 31 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (31th January 2010)

"I crept out this afternoon when it got warm enough, same old places, birds only slightly different.
Started at Menabilly Barton car-park under mud. Found the flock of 50+, Chaffinches, then two 'unknowns' flew overhead with diagnostic flight, which turned out to be 2 x SKYLARKS (another year tick) before the end of January !
Back to Kilmarth and was surprised to see a single flock of 25+ Ravens, equalling my personal record for S.C'wall (25+ at Trenarren, April 2009?). Probably gathered at a carcass (or sheep lambing) since all wheeling over one field. Also in the vicinity were: 20+, Lapwings; 30+, Fieldfares and 2 x STOCKDOVES (another year tick for me).
St.Andrews Pond had 7+, Teal; 1 x Shoveler and 3 x Tufted Ds (better than Par Beach Pool !). At the Pool I could find only 1+, Snipe and 5+ Tufted Ds. Par Bay, in contrast to yesterday, was ruffled with wind, and although I found 7 x GCGrebes there appeared to be only 1 x GNDiver."

Thanks for the reports Roger. As you know we have been around the Somerset Levels for a day. A condensed version is....we saw 70 plus species of birds and four of them were life ticks.

Report from Roger Lane. (30th January 2010)

" Birds at Par are hardly worth recording: at St. Andrews there weer 3 x Tufted D and at Par Pool there were 8 x Tufted Ds. Par Bay however was as calm as a millpond and there were: 4+, GNDivers; 5 x B.T.Divers (in a flock) and 7 x GCGrebes. Also that SEAL again !"

Friday, 29 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (29th January 2010)

" I went out briefly late this afternoon (Fri.29thJan'10), just to Porthpean and Par, again !
At Porthpean it was nowhere near as good as yesterday. Saw only 20+, Fulmars; 1 x Razorbill; 2 x Comm.Scoter; 1 x G.N.Diver and 4 x B.T.Divers. Just as I was leaving a 'new' flock of 15 x Common Scoter flew in and landed just offshore.
At Par, there was even less! On the Pool just 6 x Tufted Ds (with a 7th at St.Andrews); 25+,Coots as before and 1 x GREYLAG Goose (which was a year tick for me at least !)."

Thanks for the report Roger.
I cannot add anything today as I did not manage to make a visit.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (28th January 2010)

"Pleasure to meet you at Porthpean today, I'd only popped out for half an hour due to my cold and throat, but I finished up going to Par !
Unfortunately, the light was deteriorating rapidly, and the Divers were being elusive but plentiful. I stayed awhile after you left but only saw a few more B.T.Divers. I forgot to take my notebook, but I think my final total was: 20+, Fulmars; 5 x Comm.Scoter off Charlestown (2 of which flew west); 1 x GCGrebe; 3 x G.N.Divers; 4+, B.T.Divers and 3 x Red Throated Divers (a year tick for me) ! Light got v.bad so went on to Par, where very little but: 5+, Tufted Ducks; 1 x Raven (over); 1 x Black Tailed Godwit (flying around Pool), and, surely not, but I think I heard a Cetti's Warbler in the reeds beyond the caravans ! (There were several rumours about one before Christmas'09 after which it ran out of anti-freeze presumably.) The temp. was back to 8degsC today. Do listen out for it, since the last one was about 5yrs ago !"

Thanks for the report Roger.
Also thanks for putting me onto the Red-Throated Diver which was a life tick for me.
The G.N.Diver and Shag were also patch year ticks and also ticks on my general list which now stands at one hundred and three for the year.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Porthpean Wren.

Wren .....Troglodytes troglodytes

Report from Mark Whittaker (Jan 27th 2010)

"A Greylag Goose was present at PBP from when I arrived (2pm) until 2:30 when it flew towards Polkerris way. All the usual mob there including 7 Tufted Duck."

Thanks for the report Mark.

I must have just missed it as I arrive at 1450 hrs. The only thing different from the usual was the Oystercatchers at the top end of the Pool by the caravan..a dozen at least.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Sentry Duty at St Andrew's Pool

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

Monday, 25 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (25th January 2010)

"Congratulations again on your day-out yesterday, makes mine for yesterday amd today look dull! Today (Mon.'25thJan) was no better (worse!) than yesterday.A brief visit to Porthpean produced just the following: 50+, Fulmars (this is last year's max.with 12 more at Charlestown); 2 x Razorbills; 1 x Common Scoter and 1 x GNDiver. Hopeless for P'pean, but at least you've got John's haul from Charlestown !
Otherwise a late, short visit to Par Beach Pool yielded just: 1 x Kestrel and c.10, Tufted D.! In the Bay were just 1+, Common Gulls and 5 x GCGrebes. The 'Ship' M.Thrush was missing (4pm), seems to move off with the sun (no worms!)."

Thanks for the report Roger.
Things are a little slow at the moment.
I did manage to see at Menabilly today. A dark Pheasant. G.S Woodpecker, Two Buzzards, Wren and the usual Redwings and Thrushes plus the Chaffinch and Goldfinch flock.

Report from John Rance (25th January 2010)

"Off Charlestown Harbour this afternoon:

3 BT and 1 GN Diver
8 Guillemots
1 female Common Scoter-not sure where the rest of the flock were hiding!
2 Med Gull
1 Kittiwake
1 Peregrine "

Thanks for the report John.

I must have another look at what is a neglected corner of the patch although Roger does visit every now and again.
Put it on this weeks must do.

The Ship Inn Mistle Thrush.

Mistle Thrush ..........Turdus viscivorus
Photographed today at 1000hrs on the grass verge opposite the Ship Inn Par/Polmear

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Out of Bounds.

A very good days birding today.

First up was a Raven around the Cambourne area of the A30.
Second was the Whooper Swan at Drift.
Third came the mixed flock of Lapwing and Grey Plover in a field close to Sennen.
Fourth was the Long-tailed Duck in Sennen Bay.
Fifth was the capture of the Cattle Egrets at Brew Farm Sennen. We dipped on them earlier missing them by minutes.
Six came at Marazion Marshes when the Bittern obliged by flying overhead.
Seventh and last was the Purple Sandpiper at Jubilee Pool Penzance.

The Long-tailed Duck, Cattle Egret and Bittern were all Life Ticks.
The Purple Sandpiper was my hundredth this year.

Report from Roger Lane. (24th January 2010)

" Nothing exciting today. No butterflies at Trenarren, but 2 x Ravens (over). Went outside your area to Pentewan, still in sunshine, but still no butterflies and only 2 x Fulmars and 2 x GNDivers. Next was the Manoa Valley, but only 2 x Goldcrests and 1 x M.Thrush. Came home for lunch and only 100metres from this desk, I had a year tick in the form of 1 x JAY !
This afternoon, nothing at Pontsmill, except Great and Coal-tits galore at feeders. Later, found myself at Menabilly Barton car-park, in the mud. Plenty of LBJs but only ones 'sorted' were 20+, Linnets; 20+,Red-wings and 50+, Chaffinches. Back at Tregaminion was a single LBJ sat in the wires, which looked strangely familiar and sure enough 'bins' showed it to be my first 1 x M.PIPIT for the year ! Near Kilmarth were 1 x Kestrel; 10+, Fieldfares and 15+, Goldfinches.
At Par the M.Thrush was back opposite the 'Ship Inn', and on PBPool were 5 x Tufted D; 1 x fem.Gadwall and 1 x 1st-wint.Wigeon. On Par Bay were only 4 x GCGrebes, but tide was way out."

Thanks for the report Roger.
I ventured out of bounds and was well rewarded with three life ticks and seven year ticks.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (23rd January 2010)

The butterflies (2 Rd.Adms) were yesterday 22ndJan'10! At 2degsC lower temp., plus wind chill, I did not try for butterflies at Trenarren, today, or anywhere else for that matter. In fact I drove around like a lost soul ! Got as far as Respryn but it was full of mud and people !
I did pop down to Porthpean at lunch time but people nearly hemmed me in! All I saw were 40+, Fulmars; 2+, Comm.Scoter; 4+, GNDivers and 2+ B.T.Divers (only bird seen at Respryn was a M.Thrush !)
Back at Par Pool there were 15 x Tufted Ds, and in Par Bay 6+ GCGrebes !
Oh, while I recall, the 'Ship Inn' M.Thrush was feeding with Blackbirds nearer to the sluice gates (4pm). The Pool is still flooded of course but the depth marker is just showing today, Sat. Whereas yesterday, Fri. it was completely sub-merged !"

Thanks for the report Roger.
I know the Mistle Thrush is avoiding one local lady so your report about its latest movement is well worth printing.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Treecreeper. (Record shot)

Eurasian Treecreeper ........Certhia familiaris

A quick snatched shot of a Treecreeper in the St Andrew's swamp land.

Motley Collection.

Latin Identification

Mallard ................Anas platyrhynchos (St Andrew's Pool)

Grey Wagtail ........Motacilla cinerea (Manoa Valley )

Robin ..................Erithacus rubecula (St Andrew's Pool )

Report from Roger Lane. (22nd January 2010)

"Day off in yesterday's rain ! Today (22ndJan) I checked out 2 butterfly sites without luck, then, glory be, there were 2 Red Admirals together, at Trenarren of course! No more despite a long search. Birds were a mixed batch today, and widespread with it. After butterfly success I was nearest Porthpean, but tide was right out and not a lot of birds:
Porthpean: 40+, Fulmars; 5 x Comm.Scoter; 1 x GNDiver and 1 x SLAVONIAN GREBE (my 1st this year!). Checked 2 more butterfly sites over lunch (0) and ended up at Menabilly Barton (in the muddy car-park). Produced only 20+, Chaffinches; 10+, Goldfinches; and 50+, Redwings. Back toward Kilmarth were 20+, Lapwing (still), 1 x Fieldfare (!) and 1 x BULLFINCH flew across the road (another 1st this year !).
Finally down at Par Beach Pool there were 10 x Tufted Ds but otherwise so boring I counted the Moorhens(45+) and Coots(25+). The winter roost of Greenfinch is also starting with 20+ near the conven-iences. On leaving, believe it or not, there was the M.Thrush (for the 6th day running !) opposite 'The Ship'!"

Thanks for the report Roger.

Well done with the Red was a nice day for them to start.


Another quiet day. Started around 1100hrs at PBP and ended up at St Andrews with very little to show for it.
The highlight of the morning was a Treecreeper in the swamp area of St Andrew's and three Marsh Tits.
The afternoon stint 1400hrs was much the same with just a Grey Wagtail showing at Manoa Valley and the usual LBJ's.
At Porthpean I did manage a Fulmar to add to the year list with the Treecreeper.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

What was the Question Again.

Rook.........Corvus frugilegus

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (20th January 2010)

"So glad you enjoyed the Slimbridge/Chew visit ! I did the usual circuit today (20thJan), but it was a question of the 'same old stuff' !
At Porthpean it was calm but almost barren with 20+, Fulmars; 1 x Comm.Scoter; 3 x GNDivers and 1 x B.T.Diver. At Pontsmill ata private household feeding station were an incredible number of titmice, approx 10+, Bluetits; c.20 x Greatits; 20+, Coaltits and 20+, LTTits (moving through)! Opposire Kilmarth there was nothing UNTIL that Kestrel came along and put up: 20+, Chaffinch; 50+, Redwings; 40+ Fieldfares and 3+ M.Thrush ! At Menabilly Barton very little except 100+, Redwings and 1 x G.S.W'Pecker ! Finally, at Par Pond 15+ Tufted D; 1 x Comm.Gull and 1 x M.Thrush, still, opp. the Ship Inn (4pm) !"

Thanks for the report Roger.
My trip produced nothing worthwhile recording.

Porthpean Robin

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

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (19th January 2010)

"Welcome Home ! And congratulations on all those ticks, you wouldn't have done that well around here ! I was out every day, allbeit briefly, and had ONE, Year Tick, a Pock Pipit (or R'ipit in your language) !
Today was cold and v. blustery, didn't see a thing other than 1 x Tufted D on St.Andrews and NINETEEN x Tufted Ds on Par Beach Pool. (20 Tufted Ds for 'Par', must be a record for recent years.) Met several other (disappointed) birders. One had recently seen a Water Pipit, in drab winter plumage, but it's a difficult one."

Thanks for the report Roger.
I agree it was one of those non birding days or should I say.. not appearing day.

Cold and Very Quiet

The wind was biting cold and most of the smaller birds stayed in cover or had vanished since I last visited.
The PBP held only the usual residents.
At the top car park I scoped the shoreline and only saw a few Oystercatchers for my trouble.
Decided to have a look at Menabilly rather than walk in the wilderness. The Ship Inn Mistle Thrush was sighted just opposite the public house and was still there when I returned from Menabilly.
The road leading to M Barton was devoid of the usual Redwings and Thrushes and all I saw was a Kestrel , Jay and a flock of small birds.
Not a good day.

Menabilly Pheasant

Pheasant.......Phasianus colchicus
A rather timid bird (can you blame them) that soon moves out of sight.

Monday, 18 January 2010


A really good and interesting two days spent with Derek Julian, Sam and Ben at Chew Valley Lake and Slimbridge yielded twentytwo Year and six Life Ticks.
The birds in bold green are the Life Ticks.

Reed Bunting
Green Woodpecker
Barnacle Goose
Bewick's Swan
Water Rail
Peregrine Falcon
Mandarin Duck
Lesser Black-backed Gull
White Fronted Goose
Black-tailed Godwit
Greylag Goose
Stock Dove

Friday, 15 January 2010

Weekend Away.

We are off (Angie and myself ) on a birding weekend so the blog will lay dormant till sometime on Monday.
Keep sending your reports / photographs and I will update as soon as I can.

Chuckles Watching the Watcher.

Rook .........Corvus frugilegus

Lamb Season.

My first sighting of this seasons lambs...looking at the size of him I should say he is a few weeks old now.
Does anybody know how early the season starts in Cornwall?

Trenarren Lamb

Photographed in a field overlooking St Austell Bay.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (14th January 2010)

"Nice to meet you (briefly) today, made up for the birds which were few and far between along the Menabilly Road. As the thaw continues, the birds seem to come less obvious. Mind you Redwings were feeding virtually everywhere. Only variety in the fields along the road was: 1 x Kestrel; 10+, Goldfinch; 30+, Chaffinch; 50+ Redwings; 20+, Fieldfares; 3 x M.Thrush and 10+, Lapwings. Went down to Polkerris full of hope but the sun emerged making it impossible to see anything on the water, all I got from the visit was 2 x Ravens (over) !
Then down at the Par Ponds things wern't much better! At St.Andrews I found only 1 x Tufted D. and 1 x Gadwall (fem), and at PBPool just 9 x Tufted D. and 3 x Shoveler(1 fem). (Although the same(?) M.Thrush was on the verge opposite the Ship Inn again, making 4 x M.Thrush for the day.)
Moving on to the western car-park (rather late), I could find only 2 x GNDivers and 2+, GCGrebes!
However, I did meet Ray,( who been birding at Par for decades), he had been out to Spit Beach where among other birds he saw 3 x Purple Sandpipers and 1 x ad. Med.Gull."

Thanks for the report Roger.

We have been out all evening so things are far behind.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Dunnock ........Prunella modularis

Photographed at Porthpean.

Report from Roger Lane. (13th January 2010)

" Mixed bunch today, not as 'good' as Mark, but different localities. Went looking for first butterflies this morning, but high humidity from melted ice and snow, prevented any flights, despite a temp. of 9degsC. However that took me to Trenarren where I saw only: 50+ Redwings and 1 x G.S.W'Pecker.
Afternoon, over to Par. Drove out along the Menabilly B. road where there was a selection left over from the freeze, that is: 10+, Goldfinch; 30+, Chaffinch; 50+, Redwings; 20+, Fieldfares; 1 x Mistle Thrush and 10+, Lapwings. At PBPool there seemedd very little, in fact other than 1 x Comm.Gull and 2 x Snipe I could only see 9 x Tufted D. Also c.12 x Curlew (over) and another M.Thrush, on verge opposite the Ship Inn ! A quick call into St.Andrews Pond produced just 1 x Gadwall (1 fem); 2 x Tufted D. and 1 x Raven (over)
Finished off at Porthpean, which was a little better with : 1, Grey Wag; 30+, Fulmars; 12 x Wigeon; 7 x Comm.Scoter; 12+, G.N.Divers and 2+, B.T.Divers."

Thanks for the report Roger.
A good haul even if you did not get any Butterflies.

Little Grebe

I had a quick visit to the pool today and got one patch tick and three year ticks.
My old friend the Rook greeted me again today..he was perched up in the tree about eight feet from me . I took a quick shot with twigs obscuring part of his face and body then he moved. Not far. ..just onto the next branch so I could get a clear shot. I thought .ummmm he has done this before and I had a quick glance about to see if I could see his mate rattling a tin. What a sport and character he is.
The PBP gave me the patch tick when I saw a Little Grebe disappear into the far reed bed. What surprised me was I had no other reports of a Little Grebe on the pool all last and this year. Silly me. Roger put me right and told me they have been calling them Dabchicks...well you live and learn.
Now the other two year ticks were......a roll of drums.......................Blue Tit and Greenfinch....patience is the Watcher's virtue.

Purple Sandpiper

Mark Whittaker photographed the Purple Sandpiper at Spit Beach today . (record shot)

Report from Mark Whittaker (Jan 13th 2010)

"Spit Beach 12-1pm

2 x Pink Footed Geese (Flew over from the Gribben, over Spit Beach and off over the gold course. Low flight so could see them well in my binoculars. I sadly couldn't get my camera out in time.
2 x Purple Sandpiper (Feeding with 4 Turnstones and have enclosed a record shot)
2 x Great Northern Diver and 4 unknown divers in a group. Quite possibly Black throated. Have taken a poor record picture and will send to Roger to see what he thinks.
1 x Med Gull in the harbour with 14 Black headed Gull
Also seen were : Little Egret, Curlew, Oystercatcher and Redwing

St.Andrews Pool 1pm :1:30pm

2 x Shoveler (1 x male 1 x Female)
1 x Tufted Duck
1 x Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 x Water Rail
1 x Bullfinch

Par Beach Pool and surrounding area

1 x Goldeneye (Male) still on river
2 x Grey Wagtail by river
2 x Meadow Pipit on beach
12 x Snipe at Pbp
8 x Wigeon at pbp (3 Male 5 Female)

Well done on the Woodcock btw .. Great tick "

Thanks for the report Mark.
I will add the Purple Sandpiper to the Latest Sightings List.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Caught on the Posing Post

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

Monday, 11 January 2010

Can anyone help out Roger with the Info?

"I wonder if you might ask your faithful public, who saw the Red-Crested Pochards: where and when? All I know is that several were seen on both St.Andrews Pond and Par Beach Pool, both yesterday (10thJan) and today (11thJan). Can we find out perhaps who was lucky enough to see them, the numbers involved and the times present, since they are extremely rare at Par, even over the last 25yrs.
Regarding today, I learned of their short visit from a photographer from Camborne (?),who had driven up especially to see them, but I could only direct him to the male Goldeneye in order to 'make-up' for the 'missing' R.C.Pochards ! Seemingly there was relatively little about this afternoon. At St.Andrews Pond were just 4+, Tufted D and 3 x Shoveler (1 fem.), but no RCPochards !
At PBPool were 10+, Tufted D.; 4 x Gadwall (2 males) and 3 x Shoveler (1 fem), unles the latter had flown back from St.Andrews Pond ! From the western car-park (admittedly at high tide) were 6+, GCGrebes and 1 x SHELDUCK (a new tick for the year !). Can you help with the visit of the Red Crested Pochards?"

Report from Derek Julian.

"Did a spot of birding in the St Austell area today;

St Andrews Pool, Par; 3, (2 male), Shoveler, 47 Mallard, 5 Canada Goose, 12 Moorhen, 2 Mute Swan, 5 Teal, 1 male Tufted Duck, 80 Redwing, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 14 Siskin, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Water Rail and 2 Grey Wagtail.

Par Sands; 3 Great Northern Diver, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Rock Pipit, 1 Raven, 30 Redwing and 1 Reed Bunting.

Par Beach Pool; 11, (9 male), Tufted Duck, 29 Coot, 34 Moorhen, 24 Mallard, 32 Mute Swan, 1 male Blackcap, 1 Heron, 11 Pied Wagtail, 4 Gadwall, and 2 Snipe."

Thanks for the report Derek you had a good haul.

Fisherman of Par.

Little Egret...........Egretta garzetta

Fast Train.

A strange sort of day where most things seemed to be in reverse order. I initially decided to visit Menabilly Barton again to try for a Mistle Thrush/Song Thrush/Redwing and Fieldfare photograph...I ended up down the Manoa Valley.
A slippy walk on the melting ice yielded nothing but the usual Goldcrests, Wrens and Thrushes and no photograph was worthy of the Blog.
After lunch and returning Angie back to work I had a look down the Menabilly Road. Everything seemed a lot quieter than it was yesterday. Chaffinches and a Black Pheasant were feeding by the Church on what I suppose was feed left out for that purpose by a farmer. Nothing really showed at Barton except a few Redwings in the *Bull* field leading down to the farm. They were all out of camera range and easily spooked.
Next stop Par.
As I passed a cottage on the way back I noticed a movement in a field opposite and glanced what I thought was a female Pheasant. Stopped car..grabbed camera ...saw said bird still there about 40 yards out and photographed it for the record .
Getting closer was out the question as it took off almost immediately...
Saw plenty of activity on the pool at PBP but saw little to get excited about. A pair of Shovelers were over the far side with the Tufted Ducks close at hand.
Met both Ian and Roger at the top car park and showed them the poor photograph. It was confirmed just as I had suspected as a Woodcock. Whooooee another Life Tick...the Watcher is on the Fast Express.
A little Egret was photographed fishing the stream by the Indian Restuarant.

Amended Result.

After an evening of changing my mind..I am again going to have to change the Blkwit back again to a Barwit.
Thanks to all those that helped.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Mistle Thrush.

It looks as if we had another life tick as well as The Black-Throated Diver...a Mistle Thrush at Menabilly Road.

Bar-Tailed Godwit (?)

A Good Haul

Managed to drag Angie out today. We visited PBP at 1130 hrs and was confronted with a well iced up pool.
The first thing we noticed was the return of the Bar-headed Goose and we both got photographs. We did see a dead Robin by the tree at the beginning of the pool and his/her mate looking down upon the scene...very sad and distressing... I grabbed a handful of seed from the car and placed it in full view of the survivor hoping he/she will escape the same fate.Very little else was showing and we made our way up to western car park.
There was small amount of activity at the shoreline and we saw a lone Bar-tailed Godwit (hope I got it right) and single Turnstone. Across the Par River harbour side was a lone Redshank and a Stonechat landed our side of the river before flying off into the tree area opposite.
The Goldeneye was well downstream today a little way seaward of the slipway.
A lone Dunlin flew overhead and landed on one of the exposed rocks out at sea.
Next we decided to have a look down the Menabilly Road for the Redwing, Fieldfare and Lapwing. All three were seen plus a Kestrel, and Buzzard. Angie also saw a Sparrowhawk while I was watching a large flock of Chaffinches/Finches in the field at the top of the Menabilly Barton car park.
Numorous Thrushes were in the trees and hedgerow as we made our way back home.
Later on in the afternoon 1600 hrs we had a quick and rewarding look at Porthpean.
A good view of Lapwings opposite the boat house was our first treat. Angie scoped the bay and we had GNDiver and BTDiver plus a Cormorant I caught low over the water.
A trio of Oystercatchers were also in the rocky area of the bay.
A roundup.

Life Tick.......Black-Throated Diver.
Baywatch Ticks...... Fieldfare,Redshank,Lapwing and Black-Throated Diver.
Baywatch Year Ticks.......Fieldfare,Kestrel,Stonechat,Redshank,Bar-tailed Godwit,Lapwing,Dunlin Cormorant and Black-throated Diver.

Report from Roger Lane. (10th January 2010)

"Flocks of Redwings (few) and Fieldfares (many) still flying NW over Holmbush for the 4th day in succesion, but many of both species were in the gardens of Bucklers village, most unusual. A few Lapwings were still flying W. Despite fresh snow on ice, I managed to get out to Par once more, but was it worth it ?
All I could find at St. Andrews Pond were 2+, Teal; 8 x Tufted D and 1 x Lapwing. Despite being almost ice-free. It wasn't much better at PBPool, which was 75% iced over, although there were surprising numbers of Canada G. I could not find Trevor's Bar-Headed Goose (nor the Pink-footed G.). 8+ Tufted D. appeared to be the only duck other than Mallard, and there were 2 x Comm.Gulls on the ice. Strangest I suppose was a single Dunlin probing in the slushy ice at centre of the Pool !
Par Bay was little better with 1+, GCGrebe and 8 x Wigeon. While on the Beach were 3 x Dunlin and 1 x G.R.Plover. Perhaps Mark or someone did a little better (forgot to check on the Goldeneye)."

Thanks for the report Roger.

Bar -headed Goose

Bar-headed Goose..........Anser indicus

The Goose has returned to Par.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (9th January 2010)

"Seems to get colder by the day, more ice getting out of my place than to & from Par ! However, spent most of 2hrs over there. Met Mark first, on my way in, he had done a pretty thorough job. Then met Ian later, in the western car-park.
Ian had had a good sighting at St.Andrews Pond, he had flushed 2 x WOODCOCK, somewhat un-usual hereabouts (today 9thJan'10, probably weather related), he said I could email it in to your goodself.
My own lists were typical of this prolonged cold spell. At St.Andrews Pond all I saw were: 4 + Teal; 8 x Tufted D. and 20+ Redwings, some of the latter looking worse for wear, or rather lack of food. Down at PBPool there were: 6+ Teal; 2 x Gadwall ; 6+, Shoveler and 8+ Tufted D. (Male Goldeneye on Par River).
At the western car-park: in Par Bay were 5+, GCGrebes and 2 flocks of Wigeon which totalled 60+. In Par Dunes was a single Stonechat ! My first this year (but still havn't got a Rock Pipit !).
Overhead and mostly flying NW were 2+, Redwings; 10+ Fieldfares and 12+ Lapwings. While on the Beach were 1+ Ringed Plover and 3+ Dunlins. Other than Ian's Woodcock, 'best' sighting was the 60+ Wigeon (and the everyday friendly neighbourhood Goldeneye (MW & IP)."

Thanks for the combined report Roger, Mark and Ian. Unfortunately I was held up with the shopping thing and did not manage to get out to any of the sites.
Ian's Woodcock is another latest patch sighting.

I still have not seen a Stonechat but did manage a Rock Pipit along with the Turnstone and Ring Plover the other day.

Snow Covered Hill.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Song Thrush

Song Thrush.....Turdus philomelos
Photographed today at Par . Never still and chasing a Mipit around the grass.

Weary Wagtail.

Pied Wagtail.... Motacilla alba

Report from Roger Lane. (8th January 2010)

"Managed a rather chilly hour at Par, despite the perishing temperature ! Met Nigel on my way in who, I gather, had been photographing the male Goldeneye, now up on your blogsite, and a handsome fellow he is too ! Nigel was looking for the Pink-footed Geese which were absent from the Pool, just as he left, they flew in with Canada geese, but left again in half an hour!
PBP had a very wintry look, being up to 90% frozen over, with one ice-free lead for all the gulls, ducks and geese. However, a prolonged look showed quite a few, none too obvious wildfowl (in addition to the 2 x Pink-footed Geese). These were 8 x Tufted D.; 20+, Teal; 3 x Gadwall and 4 x Shoveler (only one male).The male Goldeneye was still on Par River apparently (Nigel).
The western car-park produced a motley crew. In the Bay were the 6+, GCGrebes and apparently little else, due to strong sun and choppy surface. On the Beach were 5+, Turnstones and 10+, R.Plover; While in the air and flying NW were 10+, Redwings; 5+ Fieldfares and 1+, Lapwing. All looking for open ground no doubt.
An unusual and quick drive to St.Andrews Pond was hardly worthwhile with just: 20+, Redwing; 2+, Lapwing (over); 10+, Teal and 6 x Tufted D. (making a total of 14 for both Par Ponds)."

Thanks for the Report Roger.

I did manage a fast visit between errands today arriving around midday.
Very little was showing but I made my way down to the Par River and saw and photographed the Drake Goldeneye but alas at a great distance. He was somewhat upstream just as Nigel stated but swimming towards the bridge and going away from me.
Song Thrush were in the Wilderness and a Mipit or two were seen in the grassy area by the playground.
I also met Nigel by the PBP looking for the P.F.Geese. It was bitter cold out there as you well know so I did not hang about.

Report from Nigel Climpson

"The drake Goldeneye is still in the Par River between the docks and the sluice gate this morning. See attached photo from the slipway."

Thanks for the report and the photograph Nigel.

Drake Goldeneye

Photographed on the Par River by Nigel Climpson

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (7th January 2010)

"Met chap who first saw the Blk.Redstart (on caravans) and also heard from Mark via email this evening. Seems I'd better get my meagre list in before you hear from either of them !

Thurs.'7thJan'10: at PBPool were just: 2 x Comm.Gulls; 3 x C.Snipe; 1 x male Shoveler and among the geese, 2 x PINK-FOOTED GEESE ! (Thanks for confirmation from chap, above, passing by; I'm hopeless on grey geese ! Oh yes, and 1 x LAPWING of which there had apparently been more earlier). Patch ticks ?
In a long, cold, session overlooking Par Bay from western car-park there were only sundries, namely: 1 x Gannet; 1 x Wigeon (on sea); 8 x GCGrebes; 2 x GNDivers and 3 x B,T.Divers (seen once as they preened, after 45mins watching !)

P.S. Another 70+ Lapwing flew west along coast AFTER my first email to you this morning (when I had seen 20+Lapwing).Seen from home. Mark did very well at the Porthpean end of Bay today."

Thanks for the report Roger.
Yes both have done really well today ...typically I had a very short trip down the Manoa Valley and did not manage to get to Par today.
That would be Ian Prophet Roger. I met him at St Andrews on the 1st..he was looking for the Y.B.Warbler but dipped.
A few to add to the latest patch sighting list.

Report from Mark Whittaker (7-1-2010)

"Walked to Portpean today and had 2 hours there (12pm -2pm)

Main road leading down to the carpark - Jay x 1, Great Spotted Woodpecker x 1, Yellowhammer x 8, Common Buzzard x 1 and Collared Dove x 2 .

Grass area just below were the boats are stored (on the right with a few picnic benches) - Redwing x 3 and Fieldfare x 1

On The Beach/On Sea - Fulmar x 3, Black Redstart x 1 (on the main beach wall), Little Egret x 1, Great Northern Diver x 1, Black Throated Diver x 1 (flew in just as I was leaving) and Common Scoter x 1. Also the pair of seals were seen."

Thank for the report Mark
You certainly made it all worthwhile.

Snowy Views from Yesterday.

The Par River looking upstream at a snow scene photographed from the top of the Western Beach.
A cold and sad looking Herring Gull on the snowy foreshore of the Par Beach Pool.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck.....Aythya fuligula
Photographed at St Andrews Pool. Note the purple sheen on the head.

St Andrews Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail .........Motacilla cinerea

Snowy Morning.

Arrived at the part frozen pool at 1100hrs and was greeted by the usual residents plus the Tufted Ducks. Took one or two record snow shots and went up to the Western car park.
The G.C.Grebe ..eight today...were some way out towards Gribben and I did not locate anything else on the sea bar the usual Gulls and a lone Oystercatcher.
Around the shoreline and the *sandwich bowl* I managed three patch year ticks that have alluded me so far.Rock Pipit, Ringed Plover and Turnstones.
At St Andrews I managed a few reasonable snowy bird photographs, but again, it was residents only for me during my short visit... which was conducted through the confines of the car.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (5th January 2010)

"Despite the ice & snow, I managed to do my customary afternoon hour at Par, and for once it was quite rewarding, if a little chilly !

When I left home all I had seen was the garden Blackcap ! I stopped off for a moment at St. Andrew's Pond, and along with 2 male Tufted D. was a large Muscovey duck (plus a few Redwings), Bit difficult to know whether to count this bird, although I believe it's down as an escapee, but 'should be re-ported'.
On to PBP where it seemed perhaps wildfowl have moved south. Roosting around the edges of the Pool in reeds were: 4 x Teal; 3 x Gadwall (1male) and 4 Shovelor (1 x Ad. Male, 1 x 1st-wint. and 2 fems).
The Pool was 75% ice covered again which probably explains the reason that the best duck was on the sea!
The tide was out and hence sundry species were about on the beach including: ubiquitous Oyster-catchers; 15+, Turnstones; 1x Bar-T-Godwit and 1 x R.Plover. On the sea were 7 x GCGrebes; 1 x GNDiver; 1 x B.T.Diver and best of all, a long way out (being low tide) a Black & White 'something' which was too far out for my 'scope', I thought I knew what it was, and this was confirmed as the tide allowed it closer to me, when the 'scope enabled I.D. of 1 x ad.male GOLDENEYE. The first I'd seen on the sea of Par Bay (although a sea-duck) and almost 10 times as 'rare' as a female, such as that on the Pool in December. Worthwhile !"

Thanks for the report Roger.
Well done braving the terrible weather...a justifiable reward.

In the Spotlight. Manoa Valley.

Latin Identification

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

Wren ............Troglodytes troglodytes

Monday, 4 January 2010

Tree Top.

Blue Tit ..........Parus caeruleus
Photographed today at the Manoa Valley.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

On the Rocks

Short Visits

We did a trio of short visits today and added a few more to the lists.
At St Andrews Wood we saw a Jay (patch year tick)and most of what we saw on the 1st. of January.
The next stop was a quick look at PBP which yielded nothing but the usual but an overhead Oystercatcher was another tick.
At the Western car park (plenty of spaces today) a few Great Black-Backed Gulls(another tick) were far out around the low tide marks with the Herring and B.H Gulls .
The Manoa Valley was the last stop off with plenty of LBJ's dashing in and out the trees.The only new addition to the list was a Coal Tit.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

A Good Visit.

Angie and myself paid a quick but rewarding visit to the Manoa Valley.
We had Meadow Pipits, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Wren, Grey Wagtail and Goldcrests along with Blue Tits and Blackbirds. Also a male Bullfinch(patch tick)showed itself before flying off as the cameras were raised.
A little later and further down the valley Angie spotted the bird of the day.....a feeding, swimming, diving Dipper (patch tick) who was joined by another one and also a Grey Wagtail. Unfortunately we were unable to close the gap between ourselves and the birds so the photographs were not as good as we would have wished. Still..Angies photographs are probable the best so I will let her put them up on her own blog.

Report from Roger Lane. (2ndJanuary 2010)

"Not a lot to report, but met Mark at PBP (first time for a month), and hence he saw similar birds I gathered ! I did go to the Manoa Valley earlier, and did a little better than yesterday (the 'score' for which was zero!). Am trying to get the 'common' stuff for my year list, but only added 10 to my 35 of yesterday, as below:

Half an hour at the Sew.Wks produced (for my list) just 10+, Chiffchaffs; 1 x Goldcrest; 3 x Goldfinch and 1 x G.S.W'Pecker (also C.Wren and Buzzard).
At PBP, as well as Mark, saw 20+, Snipe; 1 x Comm.Gull; 1 x Dabchick and 3 x GADWALL (same male plus the 2 females) seen in Dec.month, also 1 x Oystercatcher and 3 x Tufted D.
Could not park at western car-park, but stayed long enough to see there were 8 x GCGrebes in Par Bay again. Congratulations all on the good 'haul' yesterday everybody !"

Thanks for the report Roger.
We were also at the Manoa Valley but at a different time I guess.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Wagtails at St Andrews Poolside

Grey Wagtail ............Motacilla cinerea
Pied Wagtail .............Motacilla alba

Report from Roger Lane. (1st January 2010)

"Happy New Year and well done on the days excellent species total. I guess it helps to have more pairs of eyes and good hearing ! Funny I nearly pulled into St.Andrews Pond as I went toward Par, wish I had now ! All I saw was the Tufted D. (male asleep)! Although I had about 35species today none of them were exceptional (that's without getting out of the car!). Drew a complete blank at the Manoa Valley for the first time ever ! All I've seen was as follows:

Visited the Gribben Road and drove out to Menabilly Barton where, surprisingly, the only birds were the flock of 30+ Lapwings (Grn.Plovers) flying due south very rapidly, possibly out to sea, knowing how cold it was to get tonight ! Back near Kilmarth, over Penhale Farm land I saw 10+, Collared Doves and the wintering Fieldfare flock of 20+ birds, with a single Mistle Thrush nearer to hand.
Down at Par Beach Pool I have never seen so many people (c.100+ cars) being New Year's day, could not even find a spot to stop, initially. Later at the Pool I did see: 3 x Tufted D., 1 x Dabchick and a Comm.Gull or two. At the western car-park, same old story but now 8 x GCGrebes and just 1 x GNDiver."

Thanks for the report Roger.
I am going to have to chase those wintering Fieldfare (patch tick) and the Mistle Thrush ( Life and patch tick)very soon.

An even Finer Start from Derek Julian

"Par Beach Pool; 4 Tufted Duck, 12 Snipe, 107 Canada Geese, 61 Mallard, 34 Moorhen, 15 Coot, 116 Herring Gull, 19 Black-headed Gull, 2 Common Gull, 1 Heron and 1 Buzzard.

Par Sands; 7 Great Crested Grebe off shore, 1 Little Egret, 4 Oystercatcher.

St Andrew's Pool, Par; 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Water Rail, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Great Spot Woodpecker, 2 Marsh Tit, 9 Redwing, 8 Siskin, 37 Mallard, 2 Teal, 11 Moorhen, 1 Jay, 8 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 36 Black-headed Gull, 11 Herring Gull, 1 Little Egret, 2 Mute Swan.

Porthpean; 6 Great Northern Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver, 24 Razorbill, 6 Gannet, 1 Raven, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Cormorant, 4 Shag, 31 Herring Gull, 17 Fulmar, 4 Black-headed Gull.

St Austell Sewage Works; 8 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, Treecreeper, 1 Grey Wagtail, 47 Herring Gull, 3 Black-headed Gull, 1 Pheasant and 5 Long-tailed Tit."

Thanks for that report Derek.

We Hit 'Em for Six

Yes folks..a great start to the New Year with six new patch ticks in the order seen.
Common Snipe PBP
Common Gull PBP
Siskin St Andrews Pool
Great Spotted Woodpecker. St Andrews Pool
Redwing.St Andrews Pool
Marsh Tit.St Andrews Pool

Thanks must go to Derek & Sam Julian who accompanied us on the walkabout and gave us expert tuition.

A Fine Start.

Managed to get down to the site this morning 1115hrs.
The Snipe were flying about the Pool and I managed to see them but not get a photograph. A lone Heron was observed in flight crossing the Pool.
A Common Gull was airborne with the other Gulls( thanks for pointing it out D Julian) and I did manage to take a long range shot of it in flight...not very good.
Saw the seven G.C.Grebes in the low-tide surf but did not see any Divers.
St Andrews Pool was more productive with sightings of :- Tufted Duck (1), Siskin, Wren,Teal (1), Little Egret, G.S.Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Redwing, March Tit, Chiffchaff, Grey and Pied Wagtail plus the usual water birds and Tits.
A Water Rail was heard but not seen .
A nice start to the New Year.
Happy New Year Everyone. From St Austell Baywatch.
free counters Fatbirder's Top 500 Birding Websites