Monday, 31 January 2011


Photograph and report. Richard Ford. Kindly sent in by Nigel Climpson. Sunday 30th January 2011

Hi Trevor
Richard Ford sent me the below message and picture yesterday evening. It obviously relates to Sunday afternoon. Sadly I only picked the mail up today.

I was at Par Beach Pool between 14-16:00 today and saw the following:
2 Scaup (1 male, 1 female)
1 Water Rail
5 Bar Headed Geese
1 Grey Heron
16 Snipe
1 Jack Snipe
1 Bar Tailed Godwit
17 Oystercatcher over
1 Bullfinch over

And the 2 Bitterns are back, and after a bit of squabbling they ended up within a metre of each other for 20+ minutes – possibly pairing...?

Thank you Nigel for sending them in.
That is a great photograph of a pair of Bitterns ..Richard. You must be well pleased with that.
The lone Jack Snipe is also a great sighting.....I have yet to see one.

Iced up Par.

Report. R.Lane. 31st January 2011

A brief visit to Par this afternoon showed a 80% iced-over Pool with limited numbers of wildfowl. On the Pool were: 4 x Bar-headed Geese; 3 x Shoveler (fems); 2 x Scaup; 1+, Gadwall and 10+, Teal.
On the Bay were: 18+, G.C.Grebes; 2 +, Eider Duck (fems) and, unusually, a small flock of 5 x Goosanders (fems) preening just offshore. In the Dunes were 2 x Stonechats(pr) and 10+, Goldfinch.
On the way out 50+ Redwings were seen feeding on the Par football pitch.

Thank you for the report Roger.
I had a quick visit to the Manoa Valley at midday. I was too well wrapped up as it was a very pleasant wind free walk and I was sweating in the Davy Crockett on the way back.
Nearly all of the trees alongside the river have been cut down leaving it rather barren looking. The water was high and coloured and I could not find a Dipper at first so I continued walking till I came to the Holiday Park.
A pair of Dippers were just a few yards downstream of the bridge and I think they were collecting nesting material. On the way back I did see another Dipper a long way from the other two so I suppose that makes three.
A pair of Grey Wagtails were also performing a courting ritual darting back and forth chasing each other.
Close to the recently ploughed field I spotted a Male and female Bullfinch to round off a good day of pairs.

Dippers 3
Grey Wagtail 2
Song Thrush 2
Bullfinch 2
Wren 2
Robin 2
Long-tailed Tit 2
Goldcrest 1.

The only negative to the days walk was....I had knocked a setting on my camera turning off the image stabilizer . What should have been one of my best ever shooting days turned into an average photographic wise.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Following the Plough

Pied Wagtail .....Motacilla alba yarrellii

Meadow Pipit .....Anthus pratensis
Both images have been heavily cropped.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Pochards at PBP

No sign of the Bittern at 0930 hrs.
The only things worth recording at the PBP:
Pochards x4, Snipe, Shoveler x2, Cormorants x2 and Buzzard over.

Redwings x4 were at the entrance close to the Indian Restaurant also a female Bullfinch in the trees by the Hut.

On the way to Menabilly I saw Buzzard x2.
The Barton car park had a chain across and I wonder If anyone knows why.

A very brief visit to the Manoa Valley.
A farmer was ploughing the field and the Gulls were following close behind keeping him company. Also interested in the proceeding were a couple of Buzzards who kept sending the gulls up and then flying back to perch in the trees.
Meadow Pipits, Dunnocks and Pied Wagtails were also in the field helping themselves to the freebies that had been churned up.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Count at Par

Report. M.Whittaker. 26th January 2011

Did a rough head count of the species on the pool and beach today :

Par Beach Pool : Mute Swan (20), Coot (including the colour ringed bird 76), Moorhen (19), Black Headed Gull (31), Canada Goose (102), Herring Gull (87), Mallard (17), Cormorant (1), Pied Wagtail (2), Snipe (9), Scaup (2), Shoveler (4 Female)

Dunes/Strand line : Pied Wagtail (17) , Turnstones (7) and Female Kestrel

Shoreline : Black Headed Gull (327), Lesser Black Backed Gull (4) Herring Gull (51 including birds on Kilyvarder rock), Common Gull (24) and 20 Great Crested Grebe in the bay towards Polkerris.

Thanks Mark.
I hope to be down tomorrow around 0930 hrs.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Par Report

Report.M.Whittaker. 25th January 2011

Had a hour this afternoon despite the horrible weather and got 5 minutes between the showers to scope the pool and saw the following :Little Grebe (2), Gadwall (Pair), Scaup (Pair), Shoveler (2 Female), Tufted Duck (4 Male & 9 Female), Teal (7 Female 2 Male) and 7 Male Pochard. No sign of the Bittern but I was alot later going down and if it was there, it was probably active mid-day ish. Didn't scope the sea due to the constant rain.

Not a bad haul for a hours scoping at PBP

Monday, 24 January 2011

PBP. Sunday

Par Beach Pool on Sunday – 23rd January 2011

3 Shoveler, 4 Tufted Duck, 2 Scaup M&F, 5 Bar Headed Goose, 1 Barnacle Goose, 18 Snipe, 1 Cormorant, 1 Buzzard, 1 Little Grebe, Bittern (2 seen in the morning having a scuffle - M Whittaker and 1 seen in the afternoon), mixed flock of Goldfinch and Linnet late afternoon. The ringed Coot was still there

Sunday, 23 January 2011

A Brief View

At long last we managed to get down to the Pool...and boy was it cold standing out in the open for long periods of time.
We managed to catch up with some old faces and a few new ones during our stay.
Derek and Sam Julian, Nigel Climpson and his wife, Mark Whittaker and late arrival R.Lane all managed to keep us company and impart valuable knowledge which we thank them for.
Roger kindly presented Angie and myself with a very good book on Butterflies in the hope I suspect to get us into form two by the end of the season. Thank you Roger we appreciate it very much.
Mark Whittaker has been sending in regular reports on the Bittern over the last two weeks and I am sure most of the new faces with bins, cameras and scopes were all hoping for a sighting.
The bird did make a brief appearance during the time we were there (1400-1700 hrs) but unfortunately it was not a photographic opportunity.
Thanks to Mark for keeping us updated on the bird.

Peacock Butterfly

Report. R.Lane. 23rd January 2011

Regarding Butterflies on the patch. This morning I drew a blank at Trenarren and Pentewan, due to the bitter NE wind. Gave up and came home for lunch (Holmbush, N). Happened to glance out of the window (2.15pm) only to see a PEACOCK butterfly come over the hedge and head toward our garden shed, presumably looking for a place to roost after a morning out ! The 3 species in January is unusual.

Well done Roger. Is another one possible this early in the year?

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Par Beach Pool

Report M.Whittaker.22nd January 2010

Bittern showed briefly around 1ish at the back right of the pool. Scaup pair still present, 3 Female Shoveler, 1 Male Gadwall, 1 Male Wigeon, 20ish Snipe and late afternoon 1 Med Gull with the Black Headed giving them quite a hard time.

I hope the Bittern is still showing when I get down tomorrow.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Comma at Trenarren

Report. R.Lane. 21st January 2011

On Thurs.20thJan., in addition to another single Red Admiral at Trenarren, I had a single COMMA (which is very rare this early, 9degsC). Hence 1 x COMMA, Trenarren, 20thJan.2011, 1st for year.

Today (21stJan) at Trenarren,, I was treated to a fine display of up to 15 x Ravens in courtship flights (they nest in Jan/Feb); flying upside down and 'side-slipping', also a new one to me, one of a pair would 'dive-bomb' the field below, pulling out of dive at the very last minute !

Later, on 21stJan, I met Andy, Mark and others at Par Pool where several new ducks were seen and confirmed by Mark and Andy. Namely: 8 x Shoveler; 10 x Tufted Ducks; 2 x Scaup (pr); 2 x Gadwall and 1 x Wigeon (MW). The Bittern had been showing well earlier, apparently. In Par Bay there were 20+ G.C.Grebes.

Butterfly list is kicking off early Roger. Well done

Par Beach Pool

Report PBP. M.Whittaker. 21st January 2011

Bittern showing well .. Snipe (29), Pair of Scaup, Male Wigeon, Pair Of Gadwall, 8 Shoveler (7f & 1m) and Mallard x Pintail hybrid thats normally on St.Andrews.

Thanks for the report Mark.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Report from Five Sites

Report M.Whittaker. 20th January 2011

Porthpean : Black Throated Diver (6), Razorbill (4), Fulmar (11), Great Crested Grebe (3), 2 Flocks of Common Scoter (21) & (11)

Charlestown : Red Necked Grebe (1), Black Throated Diver (5), Fulmar (7), Great Northern Diver (1)

Carlyon Bay : Black Throated Diver (5), Fulmar (13), Gannet (3), Slavonian Grebe (7), Razorbill (17), Great Northern Diver (2)

Spit Beach : Eider (8 - Immature Male & 7 Female), Razorbill (9), Black Throated Diver (1), Great Crested Grebe (20)

Par Beach Pool - Gadwall (Male & Female), Wigeon (1 Male), Shoveler (3 Female), Snipe (14), Scaup (Male & Female), Bittern showing well and at one point sitting in a tree at the back of the pool. Another different bird (A Carey) showing earlier as well.

Looks like you have been on the move today Mark. Well done.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Photograph and report. A.Carey 19th January 2011

Hi guys, hope you made it back from Wolverhampton in one piece!!?

It has been fairly quiet down at the Par Beach Pool, guess the birds must have been missing you. Highlights include the pair of scaup coming in to clean and preen, and they spent much of today there, a photo of the young male bird attached, and Ian Prophet's probable Siberian Chiffchaff yesterday.

30+ curlews flew over yesterday late afternoon, as did a presumed escaped budgie or canary (not sure which, but it was very yellow!!)

The bittern showed this afternoon in the reeds beyond the causeway.

Thanks Andrew.
Yes we are back in sunny Cornwall. It seems as if it has been quiet while we have been away.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Grey Heron

Grey Heron .......Ardea cinerea
Photographed at PBP 2010.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Westerly Wind

Report. R.Lane. 14th January 2011

Around the Bay once again. Nothing exciting at Porthpean but 1,000s of gulls sheltering from the stiff westerly wind, together with 30+, resident Fulmars and 10+ diving Gannets (and one probable Kittewake)
The 1,000s of gulls were made up of double figures of GBBGs; LBBGs; and Comm.Gulls; triple figures of BHGulls and Herr.Gulls, more gulls were flying in from the east. Despite checking 100s of BHGulls not one Med Gull could be found !
Drove on to Charlestown where gulls were all flying west toward the shelter of the Porthpean cliffs. Very few diving birds could be seen (due to SUN on the water), with the exception of 2 x GNDivers and 1 x Slav.Grebe.
On to Par Pool where I met Andy and Mark, and heard about today's limited Pool sightings. I went on up to overlook Par Bay where 'everything' was feeding in the shelter of the harbour wall: hundreds of gulls naturally, but also 3 x Brent Geese and 2 x Wigeon. Other birds were waders: Oystercatchers; Turnstones also 2 x Bar-T-Godwits and several Dunlin, presumably from the inner harbour.

That must have tested your gull skills looking through that lot.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Site Message

Sadly, a relative of Angie’s is terminally ill, so unfortunately, we will not be around for a few days as we have to travel up Country. Please continue to send in your reports and we will endeavor to post them as soon as possible.

Latest Bittern Photograph.

Report and Photograph. M.Whittaker. 13th January 2011
9 Oystercatcher and flock of 200+ Jackdaw over, 2 Female Shoveler, 3 x Greater Black Backed Gull, 1 Lesser Blacked Backed Gull, 6 Tufted Duck (5 Male + 1 Female) on the pool, 1 x Cetti's Warbler finally confirmed and Bittern showing very well .
Well done Mark with both the Bittern and Cetti's Warbler.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Report. M. Whittaker.12 January 2011

Large amount of gulls on the pool with 7 x Greater Black Backed and 5 x Lesser Blacked Backed. A further 4 Greater Black Backed on the shoreline. 5 x Bar Tailed Godwit on the beach. Kingfisher present on the Western River and 9 x Goosander over making there way towards Spit. At least 2 x Bittern present on the pool between 1pm - 3pm.

I hope the Bitterns are friendly to each other and not going to start a patch fight.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Report. R. Lane. 11th January 2011

Just a basic 'Round the Bay' today. Porthpean first where there were: 10+, Gannets; 40+, Fulmars; 4 x Razorbills; 15+, Comm.Scoter; 4 x G.N.Divers; 2 x B.T.Divers and 2 x Slavonian Grebes.
On to Charlestown where there were 10+, Razorbills, 1+, Guillemot; 2 x G.N.Divers and 3 x B.T.Divers; 2 x G.C.Grebes and 1 x Slavonian Grebe.
Only other stop was Par Pool where I met Marilyn; Mark, Andrew and several local birders. Not much on the Pool except c.12 x Snipe; 3 x Tufted Duck and several people reported the Bittern. I went up to overlook the Bay and there were only 12+, G.C.Grebes.

A nice list of seabirds Roger....5 year ticks in that bunch for me.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Save our Forests

Email from Andy Carey

Hi all

some of you may already be aware of this petition, but just in case, here's a link

I've just signed up to support the save our forests petition. The government is planning to sell off all our forests and I wanted to let you know about the petition. The more of us take part, the stronger the message will be.Please sign the petition now:

Interesting report of a swallow this morning, albeit off patch

Bittern seen at 12 mid-day in near reedbed at Par Beach Pool


Colour Ringed Coot

Photographs. Ashley Hugo.

2 images, Barnacle Goose and CR Coot from y'day

I am not sure if that is the same bird that Nigel Climpson photographed on the 29th December. His Coot had two green and a red and silver (metal).
I cannot make out the silver band on yours so it may be a new bird.
Thanks for the photographs Ashley.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Par Bay and Pool

Report. Ashley Hugo and Paul Freestone. 9th January 2011

Hi Trevor

Me and Paul Freestone had the Bittern at Par Beach Pool at about midday in the reeds on the far bank of the pool today. We checked the bay and on returning to the pool was a single Barnacle Goose, (5 I think, didn't pay much attention to numbers) Bar- Heads and the Colour ringed Coot (Kane has been informed). Just the usual stuff on the pool. In the bay were 8 Great Crested Grebe but that's all we could pick out as sun was in the wrong place. Bar-tailed Godwit (2) and a Little Egret on the beach. Hope these are of any use to add to what's already on there, sorry for the late email.

Thanks for the report. Pity we missed you both as it has been quite a while since our paths crossed.

Bittern and Woodpigeon

Report Nigel Climpson . (Richard Ford) 9th January 2011

Hi Trevor
I am passing on a list sent to me by Richard Ford.

Par Harbour: 09/01/11
2 Redshank
1 Shelduck
1 Common Egret
5 Bar Tail Godwit
4 Grey Plover (Spit Beach)
20+ Dunlin
10+ Turnstone
3 Curlew + 12 arrivals to roost
7 Oystercatcher + 15+ on Spit Beach
7 Wigeon
1 G. Black Backed
And, lastly, 2 Black Redstart, one male and on female (a first for me)

No Scaups though...

Par Bay:
3 G. Crested Grebe - a pair were courting

On my account (Nigel) the two Scaup left the harbour at 10am
Also I observed the Bittern at PBP attempting to swallow a Woodpigen (whole). No success, no surprise. This behaviour was pointed out to me by Iain Stewart.

Thank Richard for the report Nigel.

That Bittern/Woodpigeon battle must have been something else. I do hope you managed a photograph.

Spit and Par

Report. M.Whittaker. 9th January 2011

Spit : 5 x G B Backed on the driers with 4 x L B Backed, Shelduck and 7 Wigeon in Par Harbour, 1 x Female Eider on the rocks with 2 x Grey Plover and 3 x Purple Sandpiper just round the corner towards Carlyon Bay also on the rocks below.Par Beach Pool : 1 x Little Grebe, 5 x Chiffchaff, 3 Gadwall (2 m + 1f), and the pair of Scaup in late afternoon. Must be coming in to clean after being in salt water. Also the Bittern was seen and reported mid-day. Bar-headed and Barnacle Goose also present.

Missed the clan today. The Purple Sandpiper I would have liked to have seen.

Saturday, 8 January 2011


Report. A.Tonry. 8th January 2011

Boscoppa today: 1 Brambling, 1 Goldfinch, 7 Chaffinch, 2 Blackcap M&F, 2 Long Tailed Tit, 2 Great Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 2 Dunnock, 2 Robin, 7 Blackbird, 6 Redwing, 1 Songthrush, 22 Starling, 6 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 7 House Sparrow, 8 Herring Gull, 1 Raven (over), 2 Carrion Crow, 4 Magpie.

No Firecrest today. Still waiting for the Goldcrest, Siskin and Bullfinches.

Butterfly News

Report. R.Lane. 8th January 2011

My best news today is a single Red Admiral butterfly at Trenarren, out at noon attempting to warm up despite 7degs ambient temp. and bad wind-chill. I was quite surprised to see one despite the fact I'd driven there for that purpose !
My first butterfly for 2011, but 2nd to one in Falmouth on 1stJan'11 !

Well done Roger. I have been wondering when the first one would appear.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Singing Chiffchaff

Report. R.Lane. 7th January 2011

Mixed Bag again ! A quick visit to the Sew Wrks yielded only the regular species i.e. L.T.Tits; Goldcrests; Grey Wag (1); Pied Wags (100+) and 2 x Dunnocks, for the year list !! The only species of note were once again Chiffchaffs, some 25+ were seen, mostly from the lay-bye within the Sew.Wks. (not in Chiffchaff Corner as yesterday, since no sun. However, ambient temp. was c.8degsC and some Chiffs were actually singing !
Visited Carlyon Bay cliff car-park later, sea state rough, and saw only the 1 of 2 pairs of Fulmar which breed there, oh, and Greenfinch for the year list!
'Back' to Charlestown but sea-state even worse, and the sole interest was 4 x Oystercatchers for the list ! Not a Diver in sight, (nor the 2 prs of annual nesting fulmars)
'Back' to Porthpean, no better, other than 2 x Rock Pipits for the list (!) and c.20 x Fulmars. The usual 10+, Shags (all with full crests already) and c.4 x Cormorants. However due to the wind and sea-state I missed a diving, sea-duck of an unidentified species, in the surf, as the light was going. It was probably a fem.Scaup but I'm far from certain. I can't rule out fem.Vel.Scoter (or even scoter !). It looked a bit wary and about to fly, but it was still there when I left, with the same poor sea-state and failing light. The likelyhood is fem Scaup, given we have 2 or 4 at Par. Someone go down Sat., it could even be dry later !

Top stuff again Roger.
Where exactly is Chiffchaff Corner?


Report A. Tonry .7th January 2011
The Copse, Boscoppa – 1 Firecrest, 1 Brambling, 1 Blackcap F, 4 Redwing, 12 Blackbird, 9 House Sparrow, 11 Chaffinch, 2 Robin, 3 Dunnock, 38 Starling, 2 Coal Tit, 2 Great Tit, 3 Blue Tit, 8 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 1 Songthrush, 2 Carrion Crow, 1 Jay & 15 Herring Gull.

Pity I missed the Firecrest but it great to know it has returned once again to the Copse.

Photograph. Bittern

Photograph. Mark Whittaker. 7th January 2011
Looks like you got close to it Mark. Great shot

Bittern Showing Well.

Report. M. Whittaker. 7th January 2011

St.Andrews Pool - Plenty of Finches and Tits around the hard rock cafe today with Chaffinch,Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit and 2 x SiskinPar Beach Pool - 18 Oystercatcher over, The 5 Bar Headed Geese flew in with the Barnacle Goose in tow, 1 x Male Reed Bunting down behind the depth marker with the Bittern which was around for 20 minutes showing very well. Also 1 x 1st winter Greater Black Backed Gull on the pool.

Well done Mark. I hope you got a good photograph for your troubles.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Mixed Bag

Report. Roger. Lane. 6th January 2011

Bit of a mixed bag today squeezed into 2 hrs of the afternoon. Visited St.Andrews Pond, and saw only 2 x Shoveller (pr.). Drove out to Menabilly Barton and noted flocks of Chaffinches; 20+, Fieldfare and 30+, Lapwing. Visited Polkerris but car-park was full, and I could pause only to see 2 x G.N.Divers.
Continues to Par Pool where I met Andrew and Mark. The Pool held a 2+ Teal; 2 x Scaup flew in, and the Bittern showed itself later(MW). My 1st sighting this year !
I drove up to the western car-park to overlook the Bay but there was little to be seen other than the reglar G.C.Grebe flock, c.10; 3 x Brent Geese were close in and seen to be pale-bellied. Perhaps the most interest was a small flock of c.10 x Lesser Black-backed Gulls, adult and immature. Most were the common British species graellsii but at least one adult, if not two, were the Scandinavian species fuscus, which is strikingly darker (i.e. L.f.fuscus).

Where abouts at Menabilly were the Lapwings Roger?
Were they in photographic range?

Bittern Still Showing

Report. M.Whittaker. 6th January 2011

Bittern showing this afternoon at the right of the pool briefly, 2 Scaup present (m + f) and a Siberian type Chiffchaff feeding in the reeds at the back of the pool.

Thanks for the information Mark. I hope it stays around for awhile.

Photographic Painting.

Maybe I should explain the last three photographs put up.

The Dipper was most certainly not one for the purists . It was basically an experiment. The general idea was to use a soft image and soft focus to create a watercolour painting effect. It was never intended as a sharp image.
Whether things work or not it is a good rule of thumb to stray away from the well travelled paths and dip into the undergrowth now and again.

The Water Rail. Well at best it can only be described as a record shot.....which it was , pure and simply.
Mark and Angie saw it first and called me over ..... I was the only one with a camera.
The swamp area at St Andrews is always dark with all sorts of vegetation, sunken trees etc providing cover for the bird. When I got there it was the only time it was in full time to adjust settings, it was point, shoot and hope. The general light conditions were very poor, I was shooting on a 500mm lens hand held and the bird was (as it always is) moving through the undergrowth. It was never going to be anything other than one for the record archives.

Now the Song Thrush is the sort of photograph I really like. * The Hard Rock Cafe* is a notoriously bad spot to photograph birds at this time of year. Later on in the year when we have the right kind of light...we do not have the birds. Something to do with a guy called Murphy. Most visitors land in one of the trees , then swoop down upon the rock and leave almost instantaneously. After many tries I believe the best option is to photograph them in the trees where they are relatively still for a short while before and after the visit.
Taking everything into account the Song Thrush was certainly a successful photograph and meets most of the criteria laid down in the photographers handbook.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Dipper ,Water Rail and Song Thrush

Dipper......Cinclus cinclus

Water Rail......Rallus aquaticu

Song Thrush......Turdus philomelos
The Dipper was photographed at the Manoa Valley.
The other two...St Andrews swamp and cafe area.


Mark Whittaker Reports. 5th January 2011

The Bittern was showing very well at the back of the pool at 2pm today and 5 Snipe came down into the reeds by the depth marker.

I hope to get a shot of it soon.....

Reports Tuesday and Wednesday

Report R.Lane. 5th January 2011

Short visit again this Wed. afternoon. Met Andrew at the Sew.Works. Drove across cattle-grid to look at 'Chiffchaff Corner' during brief afternoon sun and saw at least 20+ Chiffchaffs preening and feeding in the sunlight. Also c.10, L.T.Tits, 1 x Blackcap (fem.) and 1 x Jay. (Afternoon sunlight spot only.). Also, thanks to Andrew, saw Goldcrest(s), Mipits and Grey Wag., back outside grid.
Left Andrew with camera set up and drove down to Porthpean where it was slightly different to 4thJan, but rougher sea-state. However managed to see: 1 x Gannet (cf 4th!); 40+, Fulmars; 2 x Slavonian Grebes; 2 x G.N.Divers; 2 x B.T.Divers and 1 x Red-T.Diver. Also 9 x Comm.Scoter (not seen 4th). Drove on to Charlestown where the following 'oddments' were seen: 2 x G.N.Divers; 1 x B.T.Diver & 1 x Razorbill and another Gannet. (Also a POSSIBLE Red Necked Grebe, too choppy and distant to be sure).

Although I only went out for an hour yesterday, to Porthpean, I notice each of my few birds is different from other reports as follows:
Porthpean, 2.30pm: 30+, Fulmars; 50+, Gannets (plunge-diving on fish shoal); 2 Slavonian Grebes; 2 x G.N.Divers and 9 x B.T.Divers. Also 1 x G.C.Grebe (probably from Par flock).

Seabirds must come in second to Butterflies Roger.
The Divers, Grebes and Fulmars are next on our list. Probably have to wait till the weekend though.

Little Egret

Photograph. T.Cross
Not sure that this will be of interest to you, but to our Great Surprise this Little Egret appeared resting high up in our Oak Tree in the Gover Valley area of St.Austell today.
Welcome to the Blog
Thank you for the report and photograph.
A lovely bird to see and especially in suburbia.
I would love to see one in the trees at the bottom of my garden.


Report Olly Mears

Dear St Austell Baywatch,
Thanks for the blog!
For the record, 1 Firecrest in my back garden near the bottom of Sandy Hill, St Austell yesterday afternoon.
Happy new year!

Hi Olly.
Thanks for the report and welcome to the Blog.

Our garden Firecrest has failed to make an appearance this year. Lovely little bird to have in your own garden.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Year Lister

Report.T.R.Moore. 4th January 2011

This time of the year a lot of birders are out and about adding to their new year list. Me included.
This morning I was on a respectable 72...71 for the Baywatch Sites and I was determined to fill in a few chinks.
Two of them Dipper and Grey Wagtail I was confident I would see at the Manoa Valley. The Marsh Tit was a fair bet at St Andrews so that was today's plan.

Manoa Valley 1030 hrs.
A lot of small birds were moving through the trees as I pulled onto the car park adjacent to the Sewage works.
Chaffinch, Long-tailed Tits and Blue Tits were seen also numerous Pied Wagtails inside the works gate.
Strangely on the way to the river nothing was seen with the exception of a lone Buzzard perched in the trees a field away.
Getting to the river I saw the Dipper 30 yards cannot move upstream from this point on the bank I was on. After taken a record shot it chose to fly off further upstream and I know unless it got flushed (unlikely as the opposite bank is rough with very few walkers.) then it would stay where it was.
Two ladies approached me and asked what I was photographing. After telling them they said ..."there are two more feeding someway downstream as we have just passed them."
Well they were correct ...a hundred yards down I saw them both within ten foot of each other...I photographed them both and thought...I have photographed three different Dippers within 30 minutes of will take something to better that.
Now I was looking for the Grey Wagtail the Dippers shadow. Well I never saw one the whole walk back to the car park.
Back at the car I was watching two Goldcrest in the tree opposite but not once did they offer a clean photograph.
Just as I started the car up to leave a Grey Wagtail landed on the road 30 yards away..tick two right on the button.

St Andrews Pool 1500hrs.

The Cafe was in good heart today.
Marsh Tit 3
Long-tailed Tit 2
Robin 2
Blue Tit 4
Great Tit 4
Dunnock 2
Song Thrush 1
Corvids many
Water Rail 2

Par Beach 1600.hrs
Saw the 3 Brent Geese 30 yards out to sea.

Mission accomplished.

Patch report

Report. Mark Whittaker. 4th January 2011

Menabilly :
14 Fieldfare, 12 Lapwing, Female Kestrel, 40 Redwing, Skylark, 200+ Starling and a 100+ Finch flock.
Sadly due to distance and light unable to scan properly but a large number were Chaffinch.

Par Bay the 3 Brent Geese remained and on the pool were the usuals including a Shelduck and Little Grebe. Bittern was seen at 4:05pm behind the depth marker where it then moved at 4:40pm to in behind the pool towards the masala restaurant.

I managed to photograph the 3 Brent Geese at high tide 1600hrs about 30 yards off shore. The light was very poor and the best I can say of them is ...record shots.

Black Redstart and Chiffchaff

Photograph and report Andrew Carey. 4th January 2011
I ventured out today, and spent some time down on the beach by the river. The black redstart was still present, along with at least 3 stonechat, too many meadow pipits to count, small flocks of both goldfinch and linnets and, best bird of the day, a chiffchaff, all bar the goldfinch feeding on the banks of flotsam and seaweed.

I've attached a different shot of the black redstart, and one of the chiff.

I reckon that Chiffchaff is one of at least two seen a couple of days ago around the same area.
Angie also photographed one or two.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Home and Away.

Report. A.Tonry. 3rd January 2011

From today:

Boscoppa: 1 Moorhen, 2 Robin, 2 Blackcap M&F, 7 Blackbird, 8 Woodpigeon, 6 House Sparrow, 7 Chaffinch, 2 Carrion Crow, 2 Goldfinch, 18 Starling, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Magpie, 1 Dunnock, 1 Jay, 4 Herring Gull, 1 Collared Dove.

Par: All I can add to Roger’s list for Par is: 1 Teal M, 1 Bullfinch M and my count of the Curlew grazing at Trill Farm was 15+.

Manoa: Large flocks of Herring Gull/Black Headed Gull and Carrion Crow, c150 Pied Wagtail, 7 Grey Wagtail, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1 Wren, 1 Great Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 5 Long Tailed Tit, 1 Robin, 1 Magpie, 1 Buzzard.

Truro Road/Top of St Mewan Hill, St Austell (stubble field): 50+ Redwing flock, 9 Songthrush, 2 Fieldfare, 6 Blackbirds, c25 Starling, 1 Jay.

Penrice Woods at Dusk: 1 Tawny Owl.

Well I missed the Bullfinch, Owl and Fieldfare.

Images from Par

Photographs. Andrew Carey

I attach a picture of the black redstart, still down by the river mouth today, and a male stonechat, taken looking to the east from the river, and also one of the three Brent geese out on the sea, taken before you arrived this afternoon.
Nice photographs Andrew.
I did manage to see the Brent Geese.... scoped from the dunes.
By the time I got to the top car park they had flown off Polkerris way.
Report. R.Lane. 3rd January 2011

I spent a short time at Porthpean where there was very little (for Porthpean), I did see the following: 10+, Gannets; 30+, Fulmars; 2 x Eider Duck (fem & imm.male); 3 x GNDivers, 2 x BTDivers and 1 x RED-throated Diver. Otherwise very cold and quiet. Never seems good at high tide though.
Drove over to Par where I met your goodself, Angie and Andrew. On the Pool were 1 x Comm.Gull (1st winter); 1 x Snipe; 5 x Bar-headed Geese and 2 x Scaup (from yesterday), oh yes and a Dabchick.
Moving up to overlook the sea Angie and your magic 'scope saw: 6 x Eider Duck; 6 x Goosander (flew around the Bay); 3 x Brent Geese (pale bellied, AMC); 2+, GCGrebes and 2 x Wigeon (pair, which swam into the Par River estuary eventually). Oh yes, the Blk. Redstart was also on the Par River (anon).
Several Curlew were in the Trill Farm fields east of Par again. Otherwise waders probably went to roost at Spit at high tide (c.3.00pm).We packed up early due to the perishing cold !
P.S: forgot a large flock of 50+ Redwings on Par football pitch !

O...missed the Common Gull .
Soon be ticking off those Divers from the Year List.
Still it is pretty good stuff compared with the summer months.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Spit, St Andrews and Par (+ update)

General report. Spit Beach ,Spit Harbour and St Andrews....A.Tonry, M Whittaker and T.R.Moore

Par Beach. A.Tonry. M Whittaker, A Carey, R Lane and T.R.Moore

List for today:-

Spit (including track to Spit): 3 Chaffinch, c25 Herring Gull, 8 Woodpigeon, 7 Blackbird, 2 Robin, 1 Raven, 40 Black Headed Gull, 1 Great Black Backed Gull, 1 Greenfinch, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Starling, 1 Songthrush, 2 House Sparrow, 1 Curlew, 8 Cormorant, 9 Oystercatcher, 4 Wigeon, 9 Eider, 5 Shag, 5 Grey Plover, 2 Turnstone, 2 Mute Swan, 1 Velvet Scoter, 5 Black Throated Diver, 1 Little Egret, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 23 Common Scoter, 12 Gannet, 6 Redwing. In addition, a gentleman I do not know the name of, but is known to Andy said he had 1 Purple Sandpiper on the rocks at Spit.

Spit Harbour: 2 Scaup M&F, 2 Wigeon M&F, 1 Shelduck, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 4 Little Grebe, 1 Redshank, 2 Bar Tailed Godwit, 33 Dunlin, 5 Ringed Plover. Also seen from Spit, 7 Lesser Black Backed Gull in the mouth of the western river.

Par Beach Pool: 2 Scaup M&F, 1 Peregrine Falcon, 2 Chiffchaff, 5 Greenfinch, 1 Bittern, 38 Curlew (on fields to the East), 1 Mistle Thrush (on field to the East).

Mark Whittaker also reported Gadwall behind the island (not sure how many, but I think it was 2) and a “small Warbler (yellowish)”, but no confirmed ID).

Roger Lane reported that he had seen from the western car park: 15 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Common Gull.

St Andrews Pool: 3 Water Rail, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Songthrush, 4 Blackbirds, 2 Blue Tits, 1 Great Tit, 2 Long Tailed Tits, 2 Teal, 14 Mallard, 1 Dunnock, 2 Robin, 5 Canada Geese, 20 Goldfinch, 5 Chaffinch, 2 Wren, 8 Black Headed Gull.

UPDATE: Confirmation from Mark Whittaker: There were 3 Gadwall behind the island at Par Beach Pool this afternoon; 2 Female and 1 Male.

Another Two

The year has started off very well...with two Life Ticks today: Velvet Scoter and Grey Plover.
The two days tally has reached a reasonable 66 with a lot of common jobs still to see.
Last year I reached 100 before January was out but without the expertise of D Julian and a visit to Slimbridge I cannot see it happening this year.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Black Redstart.

Report and Photograph. Mark Whittaker. 1st January 2011
A very Happy New Year to you
Manoa valley today produced a very pretty Firecrest along with around 20 Meadow Pipits and all the common ticks including Dipper and Grey Wagtail.
St.Andrews had 2 Shoveler Duck (m & f) with no sign of the Female Goosander.
Did have a look in Snowlands but very quiet indeed.
Par Beach Pool still had the Female Goldeneye showing at the back right along with Tufted and a few Teal. Didn't see the Bittern but had been seen in the morning.
I met Bob and Lesley Mitchell at St.Andrews Pool who said there was a Black Restart on the beach at Par near the river mouth which I saw and have added the photo for you.
We did manage to catch up with the Black Redstart after your tip off.
The bird is showing really well around the Western River. Thanks.

In and Out of Bounds

Report Simon Taylor. 1st January 2011

Happy new year to you both

Today's sightings -

Pendower Beach - 3 Slavonian Grebe, 15+ Black-throated Diver, 9+ Great Northern Diver, 1 Med Gull, 3 Teal
Port Holland - 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-throated Diver, 10 Fulmar, 4 Shag,
Caerhay's - 2 Brambling in with 300+ Chaffinch
Porth Luney - 1 Great Northern Diver
Par Beach - 10 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Wigeon, 5 Oystercatcher, 8 Eider, 2 Gannet
Par Beach Pool - 2 Gadwall, 6+ Teal, 1 Shelduck, 1 Brambling, 1 Heron, 1 Water Rail,
St Andrews Pool - 2 Shoveller (pair), 1 Goldcrest, Marsh Tit calling

A nice list Simon to kick start the New Year.
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