Sunday, 31 October 2010

G.N.Diver at Par

Report. R.Lane. 31st October 2010.

"Good to see you and Angie , and Andrew this evening. Glad you had a good (long) day ! I went to Porthpean this morning, but the sea-state was still too rough to see any Divers. Yet the wind had dropped sufficiently for there to be NO pelagic birds either, (such as yesterday's Kittewakes and Gannets), so all I saw were 4 of yesterday's 5 Comm.Scoter, close inshore !
However, I went to Par in the afternoon, and from the western car-park initially saw only seven Cormorants, but the '8th Cormorant)' turned out to be my first G.N.DIVER of the year. After a quarter of an hour on the surface it disappeared, either swimming straight offshore to roost, or submerging to fish. It was still in summer plumage with an all black head but white markings on the neck at the water-line. It was very slow and very stocky (after a winter of cormorants!). It was first seen in the centre of Par Bay.(31stOct'10"

Thanks for the report Roger.

Well done on spotting the G.N.Diver.
Was this an early sighting for the time of year.. or around average for the Bay?
It was nice to see you and Andrew again both looking fit and hearty.

Saturday, 30 October 2010


Report. R.Lane. 30th October 2010

" Gave up butterflies when the clouds came. Went to Porthpean (where they've finished road works at last!). Only had 30mins before the afternoon rains came but managed to see the following despite the rough sea: 5+, Kittewakes (all juveniles); 25+, Gannets; 20+, GBBGulls (all birds singles, high-flying westward). Also 5 x Comm.Scoter on the sea (and a 6th flew west). Strong SW wind all day"

Thanks for the report Roger.

I guess we will be seeing the Divers very soon.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Site Visits.

Report. Mark Whittaker. 29th October 2010

"Braved the wind and rain and visited the patch this morning and saw the following

Spit Beach
Long Tailed Tit (3), Herring Gull (52), Cormorant (2), G B B Gull (2), Oystercatcher (32), Curlew (4), Little Egret (1), Turnstone (6) and a very splendid Black Redstart. Typical it started to chuck it down so didn't get a decent picture.

St Andrews Pool

Mallard (18), Black Headed Gull (26), Crow (8), Chaffinch (4), Robin(3), Moorhen (10), Crow (3), Herring Gull (4), Long Tailed Tit (5), Goldcrest (2), Mute Swan (3), Pied Wagtail (2), Blue Tit(5), Great Tit(2), Wren (4), Buzzard (1) Jackdaw (1) and Raven(1). Water Rail heard but not seen.

Par Beach Pool.

Black Headed Gull (91), Herring Gull (87), Cormorant (2), Crow (3), Mute Swan (11), L B B Gull (2), G B B Gull (1), Coot (29), Mallard (47), Moorhen (14) and Canada Goose (42). Just a quick noss here as rained again."

Thanks for the report Mark.

A nice tally from the three venues.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Rocks and Salad Bowl

Lots of these around the rocks and salad bowl at Par Beach. On a resent visit I counted 50 + on one of the low tides.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Starling Roost

Report .Geoff Barter.26th October 2010

"A bit quiet but last evening good views of a Water rail at the rear of the pool in the reed edge just along the path from the Massala also Cetti s singing in the area and a female Teal skulking tonight Water rail squealing but not seen & a Snipe flushed however the highlight on both nights starting at about 17.45 was the Starling roost well worth getting down to see . Good birding "

Thanks for the report Geoff.

I did notice the last late evening I was down Par the Starling roost. Not quite up to Slimbridge standard but a lot closer to home.
Enjoy your visit.

Saturday, 23 October 2010


Report and Photograph....Andy Cross

"This llama is one of a pair in a field above Polmear Parc which you can see with a pair of binoculars if you are looking from the carpark by the pool "

Thanks for the photograph and report Andy.
I will have a look on my next visit.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Sunset over Par Beach .

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Cormorant Lunch.

Photographs by: Andy Cross. Taken at PBP.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Common Gull

Report. Roger Lane. 18th October 2010

"Brief visit to Menabilly car-park, in poor light, showed 4 of the finch species John reported yesterday and a POSSIBLE Brambling or two with the chaffinches (but not sure, dull, 4pm). Seems to be a nucleus of Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches and Linnets.
Down at Par Pool, one I was sure about, was my first COMMON GULL of the autumn, an adult in dark plumage. On the beach were many dark Herring Gulls and several Black-backed Gulls, suggesting a Scandinavian origin."

Thanks for the report Roger.
Have to have another look for the Brambling...still need it for a life tick.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Water Rail.

Report. John Rance.17th October 2010

"Spent a nice afternoon in 'the patch', firstly up at Menabilly checking out the stubbles fields: Wheatear, Gold and Greenfinches, Linnet, Chaffinch, Skylark, M Pipit, Buzzard and Kestrel, amongst others; and then onto the Pool where it was rather crowded so I only did a quick scan and picked up nothing remarkable until on my way out, driving past the ticket hut with the window down did I hear the unmistakable squeal of a Water Rail coming from the flooded woodland opposite. Didn't have the chance to stop again to locate it unfortunately. That's the first WR I've seen or heard at the Pool since the Spring so a newly arrived migrant I suspect-Winter must be on its way, despite the sunshine!"

Thank you for the report John.

Geoff reported the Water Rail in the previous post. I suspect it was the same bird. Well done both of you.

Various Sightings.

Report Geoff Barter. 15th-16th October 2010

"Having come off Scilly on Thursday late afternoon after 2 bird packed weeks had the following sightings Friday early AM Kingfisher /Little Egret on the Par River /Cettis singing nr the sluice pond at the Polmear end and Water rail sharming at the rear of the pool Saturday late morning walk around the Gribben from Menabilly produced 2 Wheatears 6 Alba wagtails 2 were White wagtails 4 Skylarks & the usual pair of Peregrine also 30 + R Admiral 6 Speckled wood & I clouded Yellow -late last night there was a Grey Plover on the tideline at dusk at the docks end of Par Beach "

Thanks for the report Geoff.

Hope you enjoyed your short visit(I guess) to your home county and also the Scilly trip.
Nice to hear from you again.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Grey Herons

Report. R.Lane. 14th October 2010

"Looks like the 'endless' butterfly days have finished ! Popped over to Par this afternoon and there was nothing new at the Pool, just the B.H.Goose and Andy, to whom I chatted for half-hour . When he left for tea I drove up to western car-park (4.15pm) where there was little of interest except SEVEN Grey Herons, all standing in mud channels awaiting the incoming tide (also many cormorants). Drove back via the Pool where there were 2 more Grey Herons ! That is at least NINE Grey Herons at Par today (and probably other days of low equinox tides), and not a Purple or Green Heron among them !
Must now see Autumn Watch since Andy says there is a short video of the Heligan Green Heron."

That must be some kind of record for Grey Herons at Par. Thanks for the report Roger.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Guest Article

Tips on Bird Feeding and Appropriate Bird Food During Fall and Winter

As the end of the year approaches and the seasons change from summer to fall, the diets of wild birds also change. While birds eat a high-protein diet consisting mostly of insects in the warmer summer months, migration and the need to prepare for the cold winter months cause them to shift to a more high-fat, high-energy diet. It is during the fall or winter months that feeding birds living in your backyard or immediate area becomes more important as their natural bird food sources become scarcer.

The most important types of bird food to give birds during the winter months are those which have a high-fat or oil content. These include black oil sunflower seeds, hulled peanuts or peanut butter, white prosso millet or millet mixes and suet cakes. If you want to save money, you can buy the bird food in the fall, as many seed stores are selling them at discounted prices to move them and make room for winter merchandise. They can be kept fresh by being stored in storage bins that can be closed tightly in order to keep the inside cool and dry and prevent rodents and bugs from getting at the bird food.

When selecting a bird feeder to dispense bird food during the fall and winter months, make sure that it has a roof or other cover to protect the seed from snow and rain, and make sure that they are placed in sheltered areas. You might also want to use a feeder with a larger capacity so that you won’t have to replenish the bird food as often. However, you will still have to clean the feeders on a regular basis in order to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for disease and to remove soggy seed. You might also want to install a heated birdbath so that birds can enjoy a clean water supply for drinking and bathing.

If you want to feed the birds with suet cakes along with other types of bird food such as millet or seed mixes, you can get the Large Plantation feeder with two suet baskets. This is a platform type feeder with suet cages on both sides and a platform in the center where you can place seeds or millet. The feeder is covered with a roof to keep the feed dry while the open construction allows birds easy access to the bird food.
On the other hand, if you would like to feed birds with peanuts or cracked corn, you need the Deluxe Wire Mesh Feeder. This feeder works with peanuts and cracked corn, as well as seed mixes including sunflower and safflower seeds. The mesh allows birds easy access to the bird food, and perches allow them to sit and peck at the food. The wire mesh feeder also comes with a roof to protect the bird food inside from the elements, and a ring from which you can suspend the feeder. And the roof would maintain its shiny look even after being exposed to snow and rain, since its lacquer coating would protect it against tarnish.

About the Author:
Chantelle Voss is the Owner of and a birding enthusiast. Your Bird Oasis will help you transform your garden into your own bird oasis with a variety of beautiful Bird Baths, Bird Feeders, and Bird Houses to choose from. With exquisite artistic Bird Bath Fountains, Bird Bath Bowls, Decorative Bird Feeders at your convenience, you can add a unique touch to your garden and create a haven for the birds in your area.
Thank you Chantelle for your guest article.

Chantelle can be contacted at :

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail ..........Motacilla cinerea
Photographed at the Manoa Valley.

Friday, 8 October 2010


Photograph Andy Cross
Andy asked. Could it be a female Redstart ?. He saw it on the sand pile by Par Beach River.
Thanks for the photograph Andy. (nice one).
I think it is probably a Wheatear but leave it to the experts to verify it.


Report. Mark Whittaker. 8th October 2010

"9 Curlew, 7 Ringed Plover and 2 Bar Tailed Godwits in Par Harbour5 Pale Bellied Brent Geese still at Par Sands"

Thanks for the report Mark.
Well done with the Green Heron photographs.
Mine was the worst photograph I have ever put up on the blog and I do not think I will ever do it again.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Bar-Headed Goose

Bar-headed Goose. Click to Enlarge
Photographed yesterday morning at PBP.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Green Heron at Heligan.

Angie came home for a flying visit at lunchtime today and told me that there had been a report of a possible Green Heron at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, which had been found by Bob Mitchell (whose website by “Bob & Lesley Mitchell” can be seen at:, but that it was yet to be confirmed and released and that I should make my way there, so I grabbed my camera and off I went! Apparently, there are 6 accepted records of Green Heron in Britain and 1 in Ireland . The most recent published record for the County of Cornwall was in 1889. A great find and congratulations to Bob Mitchell for finding and identifying it so quickly. I am hoping it will stick around long enough for Angie to see it on Saturday. It is a lovely looking bird.

Thanks to Derek Julian and Colin Selway for putting me on to the bird.
The record shot was taken at 1000 ISO at 1/30 sec ..500mm handheld.
No wonder it was not sharp. I altered the settings but as it happens...I never saw the bird again.

I must say I was impressed with the Horsemoor Hide at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The feeding stations were very cleverly done using large chunks of wood. Information within the hide was also excellent as were the videos.

If you are thinking of making the trip not go to the Hide but make your way to the Pool adjacent to the The Lost Valley.

Rare Green Heron. (Poor Record Shot)

Green Heron.. Butorides **********

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Photograph Andy.

Taken at the sea end of Par River.
Maybe Roger or someone can confirm it is a Razorbill.

Thanks to Andy for sending the photograph in.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Migrant Hawker

Report. R.Lane. 4th October 2010

"Not a lot at Par this afternoon. On the Pool 1 x B-Headed Goose. On the sea 5 x Brent Geese (close inshore but can only assume they are the same pale-bellied form, still in residence.). On the Par East stream, I just glimpsed the Kingfisher again. It came in off the sea, close to the cliffs, and inland toward the Pool, even flew over the field above the cliff at one stage ! Otherwise a single Peacock butterfly was unusual for Oct., since they should all be in hibernation by now !
I also saw 1 or 2 x Migrant Hawker dragonflies. This is a separate (late) species which we may not have on the blog list. 'Migrant Hawker' is the specific name i.e. 'aeshna mixta'. "

Thanks for the report Roger.
I will add it to the list.

Sunday, 3 October 2010


Report. R. Lane. 3rd October 2010

"Today's sightings include several over the Par Eastern Cliffs , namely 5 x Buzzards and 3 x Ravens. Then streaking up the eastern stream came the Kingfisher ! Together with dragonflies (including scarce Migrant Hawkers) and butterflies (6 species) it's surprising what 20mins of sun can do !
Back to the Pool at c.4pm, Geese galore, but not a Bar-headed G. in sight! Met Andrew as a consolation!
On up to the western car-park where 2 x Sandwich Terns were close inshore (latish)and despite our theorising that the Brent Geese had left, there were c.4 far out among the breakers (non-divng, and 'tipped forward' as they swam to use an expression a lady used recently !). Whether they were 'the Famous Five' or a new batch, I don't know."

Thanks for the report Roger.
Where are you most likely to see the Kingfisher on the Eastern Stream?

Saturday, 2 October 2010


Report.R.Lane. 2nd October 2010

"Wasted half-hour at Par today. Did see the Little Grebe (juv) and 1 x Bar Headed Goose on the Pool. Also the southerly wind had brought a few Terns into the Bay, but only briefly. There were 4+, Sandwich Terns and 2+, COMMON Terns. Hopefully someone saw more from Spit."

Thanks for the report Roger.

I have had a report of a Razorbill on the Par River . The photograph did indeed look like a Razorbill but at the moment I do not have permission to put it up on the Blog.
Is this a rare occurrence?

Birdwatcher at Manoa Valley.

We are not alone.....

Friday, 1 October 2010


Report. T.R.Moore. 30th September 2010

An unexpected chain of events yesterday left me with a window of free time.

I decided to have another go at locating the Dipper at Manoa Valley before proceeding on to Par to round off the day.

Very little was seen as I made my way towards the River. Weather wise it was quite pleasant, a far cry from Davidstow I visited on Tuesday.

As I approached the railing I cautiously crept the last few yards to see if the Dipper was around the extended pipe which is a place I have seen it before. O!! I must have flushed it because it shot of low downstream.

While pondering my next course of action I noticed a dog walker going downstream on the opposite bank. The dog was waggling along 50 yards behind the man who repeatedly stopped to let the dog gain ground. Right I thought…maybe he will flush it again …and … ideally it will head upstream towards where I had remained.

Lo and behold this was exactly what happened . The Dipper landed on a half submerged rock 50 yards downstream of me. Quickly I rested the camera on the railing and fired off a few record shots.

Now I had to get closer.

Well I have read a few S.A.S books and watched Ray Mears so as I recall it called for a little Bushcraft. The only problem was ..there was no where to go. The river was on my right and a fenced field on my left and the slight wind was blowing my Gucci downstream right towards him. My crawling days ended many years ago….so it was hope for the best. While the Dipper looked downstream I moved a few yards and rattled off some shots and much to my surprise I was gaining ground.. I got to within ten yards of it and then it was off like an Olympic Sprinter sucking a Fisherman’s Friend…and like the sprinter it did not go far and I saw it land about 50-60 yards further downstream. This went on for about one hour….back and forth. On one occasion a dozen or more middle aged mountain bikers flushed it back into view . I ended up photographing it in five different locations. Most of them are just average record shots but a few will pass muster for the blog although not up to Charlie Flemings standard.

As I was leaving a Grey Wagtail was spotted briefly close to the river bank and completed what was an enjoyable morning.


Dipper......Cinclus cinclus
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