Wednesday, 29 September 2010

House Martins at Trenarren

Report. R. Lane. 29th September 2010
"Not much to report birdwise. At Trenarren (near Blk.Hd.) were a flock of 50+, House Martins, and at Pentewan (out-of-bounds) was a H.Martin still feeding young in the nest ! Also a family of Ravens over Trenarren (and c.50 Butterflies --- half of which were Red Admirals)!"

Thanks for the report Roger.
Hoping one day to get a close-up of a Raven.

Out of Bounds. Davidstow.

It was a cold, wet and miserable morning that Andrew Carey and myself set out for Davidstow.
Arriving close to the Control Tower we saw Derek Julian and Jon Mitchell.
 Derek said  a Buff- Breasted Sandpiper was in the grass across the road.
John had the bird in view on his scope and kindly let me see what was a life tick for me.
Andrew took a few record shots in the Arctic conditions.
 I was frozen and cursed myself for leaving my fleece and gloves behind. The wind chill was awful and it blew straight across the Airport. Apart from 3x Ringed Plovers nothing else of note was seen.
We did try later to get closer to the bird  but unfortunately we never located it again.

Record Shot of a Buff-Breasted Sandpiper

Photograph. A.Carey

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Med Gull.

Report.R.Lane .28th September 2010

'Spent just 15mins at Par (in rain) this afternoon. Could see nothing out at sea. The strange thing at the Pool was that there was not a single Goose, of any species (4pm) ! However, amongst the B.H.Gulls was an adult, winter, MED. Gull. My first for some while.'

Thanks for the report Roger.

Andrew and myself were at PBP at 1500hrs and Andrew mentioned then that the Pool only had a lone Canada Goose upon it.
Cold day at Davidstow but it was worth the cold to get another Life Tick.... Buff-Breasted Sandpiper.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Tufted Duck

Report. R. Lane. 27th September 2010

'Not so much a report as just repetition ! In the afternoon there were masses of Canada Geese on the Pool, along with 1 x Bar-Headed G, the hybrid, and the juv. Little Grebe. Only new 'item' was a Tufted Duck asleep in centre of the Pool. Otherwise it was just the 5 x pale-bellied Brent Geese on the sea.

Late in the afternoon I did see another CL.YELLOW butterfly which came down off the Gribben and flew strongly from east to west along the dune system.'

Thanks for the report Roger.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Baywatch Sites.

Report. Derek Julian. 26th September 2010

"Great to have bumped into you and Angie today.

The following were noted from your area today;

Porthpean; 2 Gannet, 4 Shag, 1 Cormorant, 68 Black-headed Gull and 3 House Martin over.

Par Beach Pool; 137 Canada Goose, 1 Bar-headed Goose, 15 Coot, 27 Moorhen, 29 Mallard, 4 Grey Heron, 2 Cormorant, 126 Black-headed Gull, 146 Herring Gull, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Little Grebe, 8 Swallow and 1 House Martin.

Par Sands; 5 Light-bellied Brent Goose, 5 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Scoter flew west, 5 Swallow flew in off the sea with 1 House Martin."

Thanks for the report Derek.
Nice to have seen you both seems a long while ago since our last meet up.
Would have liked to have seen the Cettis Warbler again. We did find the Brent in the Bay after scoping the sea.


Saturday, 25 September 2010

Mixed Bag

Report. R.Lane .25th September 2010

"Not much to report, other than a good butterfly day in the west of the site as far as Trenarren, with c.40 butterflies of 8 species. Then came G.Prix practice, and a late dash to Par (4pm-5pm). Met Andrew briefly, but he'd had little luck.

I parked by the Pool awhile and recorded only 4, Herons; 3 (ad) Little Egrets; 1 x Bar Headed Goose; 1 x Hybrid Goose and the juvenile Dabchick we saw recently (striped head).

On to the western car-park and I was fortunate enough to see yesterday's 3 Brent Geese fly in from the direction of Spit, land near the rocks but left again when they found the tide covered their feeding ground. They are getting 'flighty' now and may move on, but the two day's sightings, albeit brief have convinced me they are indeed Pale-bellied Brents (as were the 16 before them). September is also the main month for the pale-bellied form, there being few autumn records outside it (see CBWPS 2004 Report)."

Thanks for the report Roger.
Tomorrow promises to be a good race.

Spit Beach

Report.  M. Whittaker. 25th September 2010

"Despite having a nasty virus I dragged myself down to Spit for some fresh air and saw the following


Main Beach at Spit - 2 Rock pipit, 1 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Cormorant, 3 Shags, 1 Black Headed Gull, 7 Sandwhich Tern, 12 Turnstone, 3 Carrion Crow, 7 Herring Gull, 6 Oystercatcher and 9 ducks on sea ( Wigeon probably maybe Scoter )? sadly scared by a man in a kayak.
Par Harbour (Tide Out)

20 Ringed Plover (All Juveniles), 1 Curlew, 3 Little Egret, 14 Herring Gull, 4 Black Headed Gull, 2 Great Black Backed Gull, 6 Oystercatcher and 1 Male Kestrel "

Thanks for the report Mark.
Hope you are feeling better after time out in the fresh air.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Brent Geese

Report. R. Lane. 24th September 2010

"Found three 'new' BRENT GEESE on the sea this afternoon, but they were well offshore since it was low tide. Thus they were not assigned to Dark phase or Pale phase. Although Andrew turned up, he did not have 'scope or camera. When the tide is in they will feed on the Par River rocks, so there is a chance for Trevor to photograph them to obtain an I.D.! The only other birds on the beach (other than Starlings) were several Turnstones.

We returned to the Pond, open to the stiff N.wind, but found only 1 x B-H.Goose again amongst the many Canada geese (although the hybrid Canada/Grey-lag was also there). Otherwise the only interest was 2 x adult Little Egrets. Unfortunately NO juvenile Bar Headed geese. Since they were present for only one day, did anyone chance to photograph the family group of FIVE birds, which, Andrew says, were around for at least an hour, or more. If so please send a copy to St.Austell Baywatch,or let one of us know please."

Thanks for the report Roger.
It would indeed be an interesting photograph.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

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

Photographed at the Manoa Valley.

Grey Wagtail

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Report. R.Lane.22nd September 2010

'Another negative report I fear ! I hear from Andrew that you were at Par 'from the crack of dawn'. Don't worry you didn't miss anything, the same flock of c.60 x Canada Geese (and no others) were still coming and going from 2pm until 5pm!
When I arrived (in pouring rain) although there were no geese of note, I found what I THOUGHT was a rare grebe (B.N.Grebe or Slavonian?). I wished you or Andrew would come along with a large 'scope or camera, and blow me if Andrew did'nt turn up ! Fresh from W.Penwith, Hayle Estuary and Botallack, if you please !
Anyway got him to photograph the Grebe, and the scruffy thing turned out to be just a juvenile Dabchick (with white stripes down head and neck ), although he took many shots of it to be sure. That's the second time his camera has come to my rescue when I got something wrong -- how embarrassing ! Other than that, I saw nothing at Par (even on the Beach), and Andrew saw nothing 'down west', surprisingly!'

Thanks for the report Roger.

I am glad I did not miss the action.

Grey Wagtail at Manoa Valley

Report. T.R.Moore. 22nd September 2010

Arrived at PBP at 0900hrs with hopes of seeing the Bar-headed Geese that were reported on the Pool yesterday.
There was c100 x Mallards around the margins ..a huge number and all close together. It soon became obvious that the B-H Geese were absent as only 12x Canada Geese were on the Pool and it did not take long to verify they were all alike.
A lone Cormorant was drying out or aiding digestion depending which school of thought you adhere to. My belief is it is the latter as it got spooked by a walker and was soon back in the water. Also, I have seen them doing this during a rainstorm.

The Bay was devoid of visible waders with the exception of 3x Oystercatchers.
A lone Grey Heron fished well upstream on the River and also 2x Jays were spotted moving through the trees.

An lunchtime visit (1200 hrs ) to the Manoa Valley was also pretty much uneventful. I had gone to see if I could locate the Dipper which was a regular during the early months of the year. Alas! no sign of it. But, I did manage to find a Grey Wagtail perched on one of the numerous posts that jut out from the riverside banks. The resulting photographs are not bad and will probably get an airing during this quiet spell I am enduring.
Small birds moved through the trees but I could only recognise the Long-tailed Tit....others I think were either Warblers or Goldcrests.

Rats at St Andrews Pool.

Photograph and report. Chris Holyoak.

"I don't think I have seen any prior references in your blog to the Rat population at St Andrews Road pond. They seem to thrive alongside the pond and frequently show when there aren't too many walkers about. Presumably they get to eat what the ducks leave behind."

Thanks for the report and photograph Chris.

Have not seen any myself but I am not at all surprised.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Crowds Flock to See the Bittern at Par.

Photograph. Andrew Carey

A first for the blog and I'm sad to say I missed it! We met up with Roger at Par on Sunday afternoon who advised me that there was a Bittern from the Mallard Class at Par Station and he had been there with Andrew Carey only a few minutes earlier. We headed over to the station, but unfortunately missed it. I could still smell it though! Many thanks to Andrew Carey for sending in a picture of this classic steam train. (for more of Andrew's images see: It was very good to meet you Andrew. Hope to see you again soon.

Brent Geese.

Photographs and report kindly sent in by Andrew Carey

Were you aware that there are now at least 5 bar headed on Par Beach Pool? An adult and four juveniles! And somebody said they'd seen six, but in an hour of watching, I only saw 5 this afternoon.

Thanks for the report Andrew. I will have a look first thing in the morning and hope I have not missed the boat.

Roger informs me that the Brent Geese are the rarer Pale-Bellied variety.

Roger Lane writes.

"The recent sighting of 16 Brent Geese off Par River, by Roger Lane on 16thSept.2010 were wrongly identified by him as the Dark-bellied form, due to lack of optics, their being against the light, and other excuses!
The same flock was then photographed in good light with good optics the next day by Andrew Carey, with the result that they are clearly seen to be of the Pale-bellied form (see posting on Blog).This is notable due to the size of the flock since 16 of the Pale-bellied form are seldom seen together"

Monday, 20 September 2010


Chaffinch ......Fringilla coelebs

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Brent Geese.

Report. R.Lane. 16th September 2010

'Am glad to say a flock of Geese on the sea off Par River were 16 x BRENT GEESE. Am not entirely sure whether they were Pale-bellied or Dark-bellied, as today I left my 'scope at home for the first time this year ! (Ready for dreaded MOT tomorrow !). They appeared, from a distance (low tide), to be Dark-bellied. But hopefully someone got closer than I did ! I think they arrived about 4.30pm (since I didn't see them at 4pm). There were also 3+, Waders of medium size !' '

Thanks for the report Roger.

Hope the M.O.T goes well tomorrow.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Clouded Yellows.

Report. Lee Slaughter. 12th September 2010

'A very nice afternoon walk to pontsmill with my wife Lisa & young sons, Robert & Michael produced 2 x fresh Clouded Yellows which given their sedentry habit in the same field flying round & round are probably home bred in that very field (privately owned but I climbed the gate to explore with my children knowing that the worst that could happen is that someone would yell at us to get out but no-one did). This was also witnessed by Roger Lane standing & watching these Clouded Yellows by the gate with my Wife Lisa Slaughter. Given an average 2 months lifecycle in the wild I calculate that these are offspring from immigrant adults that oviposited on or about 7th-15th July. Were there any Clouded Yellows seen in Cornwall during that time?

There was also a very fresh Comma & a bright blue that flew up into the trees which could possibly be a late Holly Blue although Roger Lane thinks it would have probably been a Common Blue despite it flying up into a tree. Quite a few Speckled Woods still about with a few Large & Small Whites too. Altogether a nice Sunday Afternoon for mid-September.'

Thanks for the report Lee

Not the ideal day for me to get glad someone made good use of a nice September day.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


Report. R.Lane. 8th September 2010

"After finding a brand new, pristine Cl.Yellow south of the Pontsmill Valley today, Wed.8thSept.2010 I was well pleased, (since only a dozen or so have been seen in C'wall still). Went on to check out the Pool on which I saw both Bar-headed and usual Hybrid goose, and then to the beach (western end) to look for waders. However, it was high tide and again there were none. However, to my surprise a bird flying just offshore of the strand line from East Par to West Par proved to be a returning KINGFISHER, which flew on up the W.Par River and out of sight ! This is the earliest I have known a Kingfisher to return, though it may be in transit westward still."

Thanks for the report Roger.

Hope the Kingfisher stops around.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Commic Terns

Report. J.Rance. 6th September 2010

"Quick note to report that a flock of 4 juvenile 'Commic' Terns circled the Pool this afternoon and then headed out to sea- I'd guess they were Common but identifying juvenile Terns gives me (and the best birders I know) the heebies so I'm sticking with 'Commic' for now!

I also found a ringed Black Headed gull, which I've reported to the BTO. White ring on the right leg with black code 72NV7 ( I think...! Perhaps if you encounter it you could try and get a photo for certainty? ), also a metal ring on its left leg. If I get a reply on its origins I'll of course let you know.

Other than that, circa 100 Mallard, circa 200 Canadas, accompanied by the Bar-Headed Goose and the Greylag x Canada hybrid, 7 Moorhen (3 juv) , 2 Coot, 5 House Sparrow, a few Swallows and House Martins passing through, and numerous BH and Herring Gulls."

Thanks for the report John.
I will keep a look out for the ringed gull and try to get a photograph.

On the Rocks.

Turnstone.....Arenaria interpres
Low light evening shot of a Turnstone on the low tide rocks at Par Beach yesterday.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Report. A.Tonry. 5th September 2010

"My list for Par this evening (from memory!) – The hybrid Greylag Goose and Bar Headed Goose are still present at the pool, as is the Canada Goose with the injuries who does not appear to be able to fly and is still limping. We (Trevor, Angie and Roger) watched the Canada Geese leave the pool in small groups, as always, but this one stayed behind again with 4 friends who were staying close to him/her. There are still 5 Cygnets on the Pool. There were 3 Grey Herons and Roger said we had just missed 2 Little Egrets. Many BH Gulls and 1 Cormorant. We didn’t stay there long and I was busy talking to Roger for most of it! From the top car park and from the beach: Fulmar x 1, Sandwich Tern x 3, Oystercatcher x 3, Pied Wagtail x 12, Swallow x 6, Great Black Backed Gull x 3, Starling x c100/120 (not sure!), Dunlin x 1, Turnstone x 8, Lesser Black Backed Gull x 2, Cormorant x 2, Rock Pipit x 1, Black Headed Gulls (lots!)."

Thanks for the report Angie.

At long last we have connected again with some waders.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Canada Goose.

Canada Goose ....Branta canadensis
Part of the nightly ritual at PBP is the Canada Geese taking off to roost. Last Sunday up to 300 took off in groups of around 20.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Bar-Headed Goose.

Photograph. A.Tonry.
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