Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Report. Andrew Carey. 30th November 2010

"Quite heavily frozen at about 11.15 am, but some interesting ducks on the odd patches of clear water:

60+ teal, 4 widgeon, several gadwall and 2 goosander. I think they had hooked beaks, and they certainly had clealy defined neck lines at the bottom of the red marking as opposed to merganser with their straight bills and no clear line. I shall pop down later and hope they come closer, to try and get a picture."

Thanks for the report Andrew.
Things are hotting up in these Arctic conditions.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Marsh Tits

Report. T.R.Moore. 29th November 2010

Decided to have another sortie at St Andrews and the Hard Rock Cafe (1015 hrs)

A Cormorant was out of the water on the far side of the Pool close to the wooden bridge. I think if memory serves me right a first for me at St Andrews Pool.

The H.R. Cafe was very active with Marsh Tits, Coal Tits, Robin, Blackbirds, Dunnocks, Great and Blue Tits and a Song Thrush. Also spotted was a Buzzard and two Jays in the surrounding trees.

Photo wise I was a little disappointed with the Marsh Tit shots as most were not as sharp as I would have liked them to be. Still I was shooting on a setting of 800ISO to get 1/150 shutter speed. Hand held and the speed that they move at I probably did the best I could on the day with the prevailing conditions.

Down at Par.

A very brief look at the partly frozen pool did not produce anything of note. A lone Grey Heron in the trees.
On the grass verge close to the Indian Restaurant were 3x Redwings and a number of Blackbirds.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Teal at Par Beach Pool

Report. R.Lane 28th November 2010

"Probably you'll get better reports to replace this one, but we spent a very cold half-hour at Par today. On the way in we glimpsed a small flock of Teal (c.10) and little else! Driving up to the western car-park I did find an increase to 7 x G.C.Grebes in the Bay.
Then Andrew arrived and hinted there was more on the Pool than we saw ! So we paused again after leaving him to visit Fowey, and, thanks to Andrews remarks, we saw 1 x Barnacle G; 1 x Bar-headed G. and a flock of c.30 x Teal, quite sizeable for Par Pool, probably due to the weather. The Pool was one-third frozen over, after last night's minus 6degsC !"

Thanks for the report Roger.

We had a Brambling visit our garden feeder yesterday and today....seems well taken with the Nyger Seed.
Photograph on A&T Birding. http://alectobeestie.blogspot.com/

Barnacle Geese. Par

Report and photograph. Andrew Carey
"Starling roost at Par Beach Pool growing further tonight, appears much larger than Friday nights. The Bar Headed and one Barnacle Goose were on the pool this morning, along with at least 18 Teal.

here's the picture I promised of the two Barnacle Geese."
Thanks for the report and photograph Andrew.
Things are looking up in the sky at Par.
Dog watch finished this evening.......yipeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Friday, 26 November 2010

5000+ Srarlings at Par

Report. Andrew Carey. 26th November 2010

"Just a quick report from today down at the pool. At 12 noon there were 2 Barnacle Geese present, (photo to follow) and then around 3.00pm the immature swallow was skimming all over the pool, taking (I presume) insects from the surface. Only a single tufted duck present today, and Roger found a male shoveller duck which went to roost under the bushes on the island. We were then treated to a large group of starlings (both Roger and I estimate 5,000 + biirds) coming into roost."

Thanks for the report Andrew.
That must have been an impressive roost.

Around the Bay

Report. M.Whittaker. 26th November 2010

"Felt abit more human today so decided to get some fresh air and saw the following

On the water 11 Common Scoter out towards Carylon Bay and 8 Wigeon over towards Polkerris heading towards the daymark. 2 Stonechat on the beach and a large number of Song Thrush feeding in the bushes/gorse behind the small hut 10ish.
In the harbour were 6 Ringed Plover, 4 Turnstone, 2 Bar Tailed Godwit,
The Dunlin flock has now increased to 13 birds, and the first Redshank of the winter (total of 3 seen) last winter."

Thanks for the report Mark.
Glad to hear you are feeling a little better.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Last Swallow Sighting

Report. R.Lane. 24th November 2010

" Nothing much to report, raining so hard could hardly see out of the car at Par Pool this afternoon ! All there was to report were 5 x Tufted Duck (2male, 3 fem.). Hardly worth mentioning. Nice to have so many small birds back again e.g. "Hard Rock Cafe" !
P.S. I think the last 2 x Swallow records were by Andrew, 19thNov.'10, I believe. No sign today."

Thanks for the report Roger.

Yes I agree about the small birds at the H.R. Cafe. It was a nice visit which would have been much better if I had seen the Marsh Tits. Still I will be back .
Hope you are keeping warm and well during this cold spell.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Blue Tit at the Cafe.

Blue Tit .....Parus caeruleus

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Cafe

Decided to visit St Andrews Pool and the *Hard Rock Cafe*this morning (1015 hrs)_. ...primary to see the Marsh Tits that Mark Whittaker saw last week. Although things were a little on the quiet side I did manage to see Great Tits, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Dunnocks, Robin, Magpie, Blackbirds and a new visitor to the Cafe a... Song Thrush.
No sign of the Marsh Tits or Coal Tits.

A largish Rat was also prevailing itself of the freebies.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Starling Roost.

"Good to see you and Angie today, it's been a while.

Shame you left so soon tonight, there was the biggest starling roost I have seen at the pool so far, well into four figures in terms of the number of birds, and I attach a pic that I took of just a small portion of the birds"
Photograph and report. Andrew Carey.
Thanks for the report and photograph Andrew.
You have captured it superbly with the moon playing a leading role ...


Report. T.R.Moore. 21st November 2010

Managed a short visit to Par this afternoon 1400-1600 hrs.

PBP was much the same as my last visit with the only birds worth reporting : 4x Grey Herons and 1x Cormorant.

Walking towards the western river from the rough car park I flushed a flock of 15x Chaffinches . I was hoping to see one of my old friends the Stonechats but I failed to locate one.
The river itself was deserted. The only bird visible was a Little Egret high up in the trees far upstream.

The shoreline was alive with Turnstones ...I estimated 40 + ...little else was seen except 6x Grey Wagtails.
Further up shore close to the debris around the dune area adjacent to Imerys was a large flock of Pipits C15 .
I think Meadow but I cannot be sure.

The scope produced 4x Great-Crested Grebes in the eastern side of the bay and another couple of un-identified.

Friday, 19 November 2010


Report. R.Lane 19th November 2010

" Went over to Par this afternoon, where we met Andrew, of course! As usual 5mins after Andy had left (dusk), the long-term, immature Swallow overflew the car, presumably the same one Andy saw in the morning.."

Thanks for the report Roger.
No good news from here. Dog watch extended by three days and the car is still off the road.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Barnacle Goose

Photograph and Report. Mark Whittaker
"Spit Beach. 2 Stonechats (1m + 1f) on the gorse by the hut
7 Turnstone, 4 Dunlin, 19 Ringed Plover and 1 Bar Tailed Godwit in the harbour
St.Andrews Pool. 1 Water Rail near the "hard rock cafe",
3 Marsh Tit feeding on the hard rock cafe",
1 Jay and 7 Teal (6 male and 1 female)
Par Beach Pool. Barnacle Goose and 1 x Snipe"
.Thanks for the photograph and report Mark.
Just another week of dog watch and hopefully things will get back to normal.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Porthpean Divers and Others.

Report. R.Lane. 15th November 2010

"After finding 21 butterflies, clouds stopped play! Thus went to Porthpean where calm seas enabled sightings of the following:
1 x Guillemot; 1 x GCGrebe; 4 x GNDivers; 14 x Comm.Scoter; 1 x continental-type Cormorant; also an unknown diver/grebe, seen once.
Later drove over to Par Pool and met Mark, Andrew and others, but saw only 1 x Barnacle Goose; and 1 x Snipe. Others saw additional items"

Thanks for the report Roger.


Photograph. Andrew Carey

"Trust you're keeping well and that your car is feeling better??

I gather that Mark is planning to send you a pic of the barnacle goose, there again today, so thought I'd send you a record shot of the fat little goldcrest in the trees at the righthand end of the pool, at around 3.30pm.
Actually had a firecrest in my garden for 0.5 hours last tuesday, no pic, camera in the car, but great views briefly."
Thanks for the report and photograph Andrew.
I am looking forward to the return of our Firecrest, Goldcrest and Blackcaps and if they appear the same time as last year then it will be around December 11th.
Hope you manage to keep the Firecrest over the Winter.
The car is not good news....possibly it will have to be replaced. Pity because I like it a lot.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Swallows still at Par

Report. R. Lane. 14th November 2010

" The G.Prix cut the day in half really with poor weather before and after ! However, went over to Par for a breath of fresh rain where I met Mark and Andrew at the Pool. We were lucky enough to see the same 2 Swallows (ad. and imm.) toward dusk, one of which Andrew had seen over the beach in the morning. A gentleman who watches regularly from a car told us that one Swallow (at least) had been present since at least 12thNov'10 . So they had been present 3 days, up to Sunday night's frost at least.
There seemed little else of interest and the light was fading, but a small flock of 10+ Teal overflew the Pool. I believe Mark also heard water rails at the back of the Pool but no sound from the Cetti's Warbler, still thought to be present.(The recent Barnacle Goose was also absent)."

Thanks for the report Roger.

Well the race at least lived up to the billing.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Swallows at Par

Report R.Lane. 13th November 2010

" Another mixed bag today, though did not go out until after the G.Prix practice! First of all I went to Porthpean: the flock of Comm.Scoter had risen (from 11) to 14 including 1 or 2 males. Otherwise there were only 4 x G.N.Divers and 1 x B.T.Diver (off Duporth). To me the most interesting bird was a 'sinensis'-type Cormorant, with white head and nape.(Continental ?). Also holds bill slightly upward and can be mistaken for a diver - until it jump-dives !
Only other stop was at Par Pool where Andrew 'flagged me down' at the Pool, having found a Barnacle Goose amongst the few Canada G. I have not seen one at Par for several years. While watching the Pool, surprisingly, we spotted a SWALLOW against the sky-line, and feeding above the Pool, which eventually 'disappeared'. However, a few minutes after Andrew left (4.15pm) the Swallow returned together with a 2nd Swallow ! They fed much lower now flying close over the car roof together, and enabling me to see that one was a long tailed Adult, while the other was a short tailed 1st-winter, presumably. Still visible at 4.30pm and apparently in good, fast-flying condition"

Thanks for the report Roger.

Well done Andrew with the Barnacle Goose.
I should imagine it is getting late for Swallows.
What is the latest you have seen one at Par ..Roger?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Cormorants and Shags

Report. R.Lane. 11th November 2010

" Made a quick visit to Porthpean late (3.30pm) in the afternoon. No rarities to report, although Porthpean was much more sheltered than expected, thanks to the western cliffs. It was coming up to roosting time and the suite of birds was very different to that of calm sunny mornings.
Other than gulls, the predominant birds seemed to be Cormorants and Shags, on the water and flying to roost on cliffs(c.30 Shags and c.10 cormorants. Far out Gannets, were battling across the Bay. Most impressive were some 1,000 Gulls flying in to roost in shelter. (Still no Fulmars!)
I did manage to find 1 x GNDiver and 6+, Comm.Scoter amidst the waves. Otherwise it was gulls everywhere, still flying in as I lest in the dusk, at 4pm!."

Thanks for the report Roger

Only gulls but no buoys !

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Redwings and Fieldfares.

Report. R Lane. 10th November 2010

" Birds for today (while waiting for butterflies to warm up to flight temp!). At Porthpean were the following:
Porthpean: 1 x Razorbill; 11 x Comm.Scoter; 4 x GNDiver and 1 x B.T.Diver.

Later there were small numbers of both Redwings and Fieldfares (c.10 and c.5) at Trenarren. Don't know if they've been reported for the 'patch' "

Thanks for the report Roger.
I think yours are probably the first to be reported if not seen.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Mixed Bag

Report. R.Lane. 8th November 2010

"A sparse but mixed bag today. Porthpean is proving very empty this autumn, but the Fulmars will be back from the Grand Banks any day now, indeed they are already late ! However, all I was able to find were:
1 x Gannet; 1 x G.N.Diver and 1 x B.T.Diver (the one from Charlestown on 5thNov?). Anyway very nice in ad. w.pl., saw it for all of 30seconds !
Went to Par, briefly, in the afternoon rains, only noteworthy items were :
Par Pool: 1 x Tufted Duck (male); Par West: 1 x Curlew & Par Bay: 3 x GCGrebes."

Thanks for the report Roger.

I am on dog-watch for awhile so things are very quiet.
The car is also playing up and does not help matters at all.

Saturday, 6 November 2010


"Took this picture of a common snipe in the reeds by the caravans at par beach pool but very shy i could only get one shot see how well they blend into their surroundings " Andy Cross.
Photograph.... Andy Cross
Thanks for the photograph Andy.
A great shot of a difficult bird to see. Perfectly camouflaged in the reed beds.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Black-Throated Diver

Report. R.Lane. 5th November 2010

" Not much today, out to lunch until 3.30pm when I visited a quiet Porthpean and saw only:
1 x Razorbill and 1 x G.N.Diver
Moved on to Charlestown where I saw only 1 x Razorbill and 1 x BLACK-THROATED DIVER (my first this autumn)."

Thanks for the report Roger.

Well done with the B.T.Diver.

Unidentified Warbler.

Report. M.Whittaker. 5th November 2010

"Porthpean 12pm - 2pm Very quiet with only really 3 x Shag, 1 x Great Northern Diver (s.p), 1 x Seal and 3 flying Red Admirals when the sun came out.

Par Beach Pool 2:15 - 4pmAgain pool very quiet. 1 x Grey Heron fishing by the depth marker, 2 x Cormorant right of the Island and behind the caravans 2 noisy Water Rail.I did see a interesting warbler (also by the caravans pool side) which looked very much like a Phylloscopus type warbler. Had a good view of it but I left my camera in the car. Very prominent white eye stripe and certainly not a Firecrest. Looking in my book looks alittle bit like a "albientus" Chiffchaff but I'm no expert on warblers. Eye stripe did appear very bold white. Worth having a noss around for it .. was at the back end of a tit flock. When they moved off it stayed and went back into the reeds slowly. Didn't appear to have a yellow the supercilium and the size was took big for a Yellow Browed."

Thanks for the report Mark.

No fireworks today then. Still could be something rare lurking around the reed beds.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Red Admirals still Flying.

Report.R.Lane. 4th November 2010

" Not so good today. Went to Porthpean about 11.30am, but could only find :
1 x Gannet; 2 x Razorbill and 11 x Comm.Scoter !
Moved on to Charlestown before lunch but only found 2 x G.N.Divers(1ad in s.p.,1imm)

It was so mild at Trenarren this afternoon, that 15+ Red Admirals were flying about, including courtship chases, without any sun! The large flock of tits, warblers, and goldcrests etc. were flying high in the trees due to mildness, with no wind-chill. Heard Jays and Ravens, that's about all."

Thanks for the report Roger.
I have noticed the odd Red Admiral in the garden recently.

What is the latest we are likely to see one?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Velvet Scoter

Report. R.Lane. 3rd November 2010

" Hate these long dark evenings, but despite (or because of) the weather, the morning and early afternoon turned out quite well. This morning I visited Porthpean, which again was calm and before the rains came I saw:

3 x Gannets; 1 x Razorbill; 3 x G.N.Divers; 8 x Comm.Scoter and 2 x VELVET SCOTER. Also a Harbour Porpoise, feeding inshore and being mobbed by gulls each time it surfaced !
Regarding the Scoter: the small flock had increased to 8 (from 5). Some considerable distance from them I picked up a pair of more stocky Scoter. I thought I knew what they were from their silouette but had to wait ages to be sure when one 'stood up' and flapped it's wings showing the diagnostic white wing patches. This is my earliest date ever for autumn 'Velvets', I believe they were a pair (and typically not associating with the Comm.Scoter.)

Visited Par briefly in the afternoon rain. At the Pool were 30+ Coot and 45+ Moorhens, mostly out feeding on the grass, which must have been mostly migrants, we don't have that many residents ! At the same time a Sp.Hawk was circling overhead.
In Par Bay, amongst the gulls, were 3 x G.C.Grebes (possibly including the Porthpean bird from yesterday, since they do commute, on the wing, along the whole of St.Austell Bay (and strange they look, in flight !)."

Thanks for the report Roger.

Well done with the Velvet Scoter and the others.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Great Crested Grebe

Report. R.Lane. 2nd November 2010

" Managed to visit Porthpean this morning before the cloud and drizzle. Due to the Westerly wind it was mill-pond calm, but apparently devoid of Divers. All I was able to find were :

2 x Razorbills; 5 x Comm.Scoter and 1 x Great Crested Grebe (my first for autumn)"

Thanks for the report Roger.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Unknown Grebe.

Information. R. Lane. 1st November 2010

"Just a point of information rather than a report. Did see c.30 x November butterflies this morning, and a couple of Brambling at Menabilly car-park this afternoon. Later I was parked down by the Pool at Par when Chris Hollyoaks joined me (around 4pm, close to an early dusk) when a small Grebe took off from the back of the Pool and flew directly towards us, clearing our cars by about 4 metres, then flew on out to sea!
What species it was and where it was going is a mystery, there being no other fresh water for miles (small grebes don't like rivers). The most obvious answer is that it was the immature Little Grebe which was photographed weeks ago, but going where? Par inner harbour is a possibility. As for species, a sea-grebe (e.g. Black-necked) was mentioned, but the light was too poor to ascertain anything really. It must go down as an 'unusual experience' I guess, but if anyone has recent, or future, records on Grebes at Par I should like to know (through this blog-site, please)".

Thanks for the information Roger.
Just seen the American Bittern has re-located to Walmsley Sanctuary CBWPS reserve. Next stop back down the line Par.

Around the Sites

Yesterday was a start ..stop... sort of day. Beginning at PBP in the morning .
Nothing unusual was seen ...just the two Cormorants so we decided to go to Menabilly Barton. Again nothing really interesting happened during our short stay so we decided to come back later with the hope of looking through the flocks that seem to favour the trees around the car park.
Later on our return we decided to have a look at Treskilling Downs before going back to Menabilly. The Downs area was bleak and the rain had made things a little awkward so of we went a wandering down the lanes close by.
Just off one of the minor roads a lot of bird activity was spotted....they turned out to be flocks of Redwings and Fieldfare... also a Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen whilst searching through the trees.
Jays seemed to be everywhere and we had a count of seven for the whole day.

Back to Menabilly Barton things had livened up with various flocks alighting in the tree tops. Most of the flocks were of mixed species consisting of Linnets, Goldfinches, Chaffinches and the odd Blue Tit and a Brambling which was our target species (a life tick for us both ) so we were well pleased with the course of events.
Also seen were Corvids, Red -legged Partridge, Pheasant, a Kestrel (soon chased off by Crows) and a Buzzard on one of the telegraph poles.

Now off to PBP again where we met Andrew and Roger
The evening finished with the Starlings roost (C 300) around 1500 hrs and a sight of a lone Grey Heron fishing for his supper on the Pool.
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