Monday, 28 February 2011

Firecrest (Photograph)

Photograph. M.Whittaker
Superb photograph Mark.
It is very difficult to get a sharp clear shot of the wee managed both. Well done.


Report A .Carey. 28th February 2011

Thought I'd best send you a report as you've gone more than a little quiet of late!! Nothing much to report from Par Beach Pool for the last few days, just the usual suspects, not even the scaup. St Andrew's has had various numbers of Goosanders present, 5 on Thursday, 11 on Saturday, none that I saw on Sunday, Mark had 1 this afternoon.

Manoa Valley from 4.00pm this afternoon, no dippers, lots of chaffinches, a couple of chiffchaff, half a dozen goldcrests, and 1 firecrest. Mar and I saw the firecrest in bright sunshine, and his orange "crest" was remarkable, like a burning flame, and clearly why the bird is so called, just fantastic. No pictures for me, but Mark took some earlier, so he may send you one.

Thanks for the report Andrew.
Yes it will be the weekend before things get back to some form of normality this end.
I did add a couple of Life Ticks while I was away...Goshawk and the Oriental Turtle Dove at Chipping Norton.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Divers and Grebes

Report. R.Lane. 25th February 2011

Not a lot of success after the cold of winter and the promise of spring, things seem to have gone a bit quiet. Drew a virtual blank at St.Austell Sew Wks, but so mild birds were widely distributed I suppose.
Went to Porthpean for about half an hour, but tide was out, and so were the canoes ! However I managed to see c.40, Fulmars; 20+. Comm.Scoter; 3 x G.N.Divers; 2 x B.T.Divers; 1 x G.C.Grebe and also 1 x Red-necked Grebe, which, from the occasional records this year, appears to have overwintered in the Bay, quite unusual.

Thank you for the report Roger.
It has been a very quiet week. In our case it will carry on through the weekend(as far as Baywatch goes) as we are off to Slimbridge early tomorrow morning.
All reports will be dealt with when we get back.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Marsh Tit

Marsh Tit ......Parus palustris
Photographed at St Andrews..

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Ian Prophet. (Sad News)

An email from Dave Parker

John Swann contacted me this afternoon to say that Ian's brother had phoned him to advise of Ians passing. Below is the entry on the CBWPS web site, news page.

"It is with great sadness that I report the death of Ian Prophet from Par following a long and brave fight against cancer. A keen birder to the end, Ian will be remembered not only for the many rare birds he found but first and foremost because he was a genuinely nice man, a real rarity in today's world. Our thoughts are with his family."

I am sure I can speak for all the birdwatchers at Par and everyone else who knew him when I say he will be greatly missed by one and all.

Personally I found him an extremely helpful when it came to bird identification. He was obviously a gentleman of the old school. Condolences to Ian's family. Trevor

Ian was a gentleman and very knowledgeable. I had great respect for him and his dedication to bird-watching. I am very sad to hear of his passing and my thoughts are with Ian's brother and family. Angie

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Goosander at Par

A brief look at Par and St Andrews this evening 1700hrs.

Bar-headed Goose 3
Barnacle Goose 2
Goosander 10

The Goosander swam around to the far island and were out of sight when we left.

No Goosander at St Andrews although they had been seen earlier.

Thursday, 17 February 2011


WE'VE WON! The government has just confirmed they're totally scrapping the forest sell-off. The phoney consultation has been cancelled. The sinister legal changes to pave the way for privatisation have been dropped.We did this together. Next time someone tries to tell any of us that signing petitions or emailing our MPs doesn’t work, we’ll know exactly what to say: “People power does work. Just look at the Save Our Forests campaign”.Over half a million of us can feel very proud of what we've achieved together today.

Part of an email sent to me by David Babbs -38 degrees.

Ring-Necked Parakeet.

There has been a sighting of a Ring-Necked Parakeet at Windmill, Fowey today. The origin is yet unknown.
More info as and when I receive it.

A flock of 60 Siskins reported at St Andrews.
Goosander also back at Par...12

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Bittern. (Out of Bounds)

Photograph and Snippet. Andy Cross.
Has anybody been to a nice birding site in Lostwithial ? We were taking our grandson out for the day and decided to go up where i heard where there is a bittern when i got to the spot i had a good look aound and there was a bittern walking around like he owned the place As i always carry my camera i took a few shots but its to far away to get a good photo see attached photo When you are driving through Lostwithial take the road to the castle and keep driving on until you see a layby on your left with a bench up on the bank now on the right hand side you will see a gate which is slightly overgrown but will give you cover now you are looking down on a swampy area and you dont have to wait long to see the bittern if you look near the water area because you are looking down and the vegetation is short and sombody with the right camera will get some great photos andy cross.
That would appear to be an easier bird to see and photograph than the Par bird.
Probably be very interesting to the Bittern hunters.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Divers and Grebes

Report. R.Lane. 14th February 2011

A trip round the Bay this afternoon produced the following: Pothpean: 30+, Fulmars; 9 x Comm. Scoter; 2 x B.T.Divers; 3 x G.N.Divers; 2 x G.C.Grebes; 2 x Slav.Grebes and 1 x R.N.Grebe.
Little at Charlestown, just: 2 x Gannets; 8+, Fulmars and a 'sinensis' Cormorant in summer plumage. Zero from Carlyon Car-park !
Over to Par and St.Andrews Pond held just 5 x Goosanders (meant to look in Snowland pools but forgot !). Too rough for Par Bay and little enough on the Pool: just 1 x L.Grebe; 2 x Tufted; 2 x Scaup and 2 x Barnacle Geese (perhaps others during the day)
Shags and Cormorants at C'town and Porthpean almost all ads.are in summ .plumage(eg.crests).

Glad to see some of the Goosander back at St Andrews.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Bar-Headed Geese and Barnacle Geese. in Flight.

Late Showing Bittern

Report. A.Tonry. 13th February 2011

Par Beach Pool

2 Little Grebe, 1 Fulmar (over), 2 Cormorant, 1 Bittern, 1 Grey Heron, Mute Swans, Canada Geese, 2 Barnacle Goose, 1 Shelduck (over), 5 Bar Headed Goose, Mallards, 2 Scaup (M&F), 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Buzzard (over), Moorhens, Coots, 28 Curlew (over), 48 Snipe, Black Headed Gulls, Herring Gulls, 1 Lesser Black Backed Gull, 8 Woodpigeon, 1 Kingfisher, 4 Pied Wagtail, 1 Dunnock, 1 Robin.

Thank you for the list Angie.
The Bittern made a late and brief show at 1720hrs.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Washed and Blow-Dried

Goosander ......Mergus merganser

Nuthatch at Penrice

Report. T.R.Moore. 12 February 2011

Par 1000hrs.

Bittern in the far reeds. (showing well for scopes)
Bar-Headed Goose
Tufted Duck
Cormorants 2
Chaffinch 8 in trees by the river
Little Egret in the trees far downstream.
Pied Wagtails 7 searching the high tide debris.

St Andrews Pool and *Cafe* area.

Goosander 13
Marsh Tit 4
Coal Tit 2
Wren 1
L.T.Tit 2
Robin 2
Chaffinch 6 maybe more
Great Tit 2
Blue Tit 3
Dunnock 2
Water Rail in swamp area.


Nuthatch 3
Coal Tit 3
Great Tit 3
Blue Tit 2
Robin 2
Pheasant (male)

Friday, 11 February 2011

Forest Sell-Offs.

Breaking news!
The government have announced they will pause forest sell-offs for a few months. It's a brilliant sign, but our forests are still in danger. If we keep working together, we can save our forests forever - not just for a few months.The government is still going full steam ahead with changing the law to clear the way for a 100% sell-off. It looks like they hope the fuss will die down if they pause a few sales here and there - so they can press on with quietly scrapping legal protection for our public woodlands.Our petition is now 490,000 strong. Let's show the government we will keep campaigning until English forests are safe, by making sure the petition passes half a million signatures today.Please forward this email and ask your friends to sign:

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Water Rail

Water Rail......Rallus aquaticus
Photographed at St Andrews swamp area.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Goosander....Mergus merganser
A short visit to St Andrews Pool this morning 0945 hrs with Andrew Carey.
Besides the 13 Goosander on the Pool.
Swamp area and trees.
Wren x 2
Chaffinch x 7
Blackbird x 6
Marsh Tit x 1
Blue Tit x 2
Dunnock x 3
Great Tit x 1
Robin x 1
Long-tailed Tit x 1(AC)

Goosander at St Andrews Pool

The 13 Goosander are back on St.Andrews Pool this morning.

Monday, 7 February 2011


Report. R.Lane. 7th February 2011

Only visited St.Andrews Pond today to see the flotilla of Goosanders (13, incl. 1 imm.male).no doubt the same 13 seen at Par Pool a few days ago. We would not have gone there had we not met Steve Rogers at St.Winnow who told us the Goosanders were back !
Although off site, I should like to use your blog to thank Steve for 'going the extra mile' at St. Winnow when he relocated the Cattle Egret and drove a quarter of a mile back to tell us and show us it's position, even although it was on the horizon and he was in a hurry. Thanks Steve !

Glad you found the Cattle Egret Roger. From yesterdays experience it would have been very difficult to find it without some added help. You were lucky that helpful Steve Rogers was at hand.
Well done to you both.
Those Goosander are eluding me...we were at St Andrews yesterday till dusk and they were not on the Pool then.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Bittern Still at Par

Report. T.R.Moore 6th February 2011

Bittern flew out of the reed bed close to where we were standing..1600 hrs.
Bewick's Swan still on the Pool.
A lone Bar -headed Goose swam with the Canada Geese.
Tufted Duck x 2
Blackcap (male) in the trees adjacent to the caravans at the far end by Imerys private Road.
Scaup (M&F)
Snipe x 7
Curlew x 43 Grazing on fields (East)
LBB Gull x 1
Starlings C 40
Goldcrest x 1
Greenfinch x 4
Common Gull x 1
Heron x 2
Cormorant x 2

St Andrews
Several small flocks of Redwing at dusk C 60
Songthrush x 1

Manoa Valley
We only searched the trees and undergrowth close to the Sewage Works.
Goldfinch x 6
Wren x 2
Goldcrest x 12
Firecrest x 2
Chaffinch x 6
Robin x 2
Coal Tit x 1
Blue Tit x 2
Great Tit x 1
L.T. Tit x 17
Chiffchaff c 14
Sparrowhawk x 1
Wagtails. Mixed flock mostly Pied C 50
Redwing x 1

St Winnow (Out of Bounds)
Cattle Egret x 1

Spit and Porthpean

Report by Marilyn Edyvean 6th February 2011

At Spit today I saw 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Little Egret, 7 female Goosander, 3f Eider, 1 Redshank, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit. At Porthpean I saw 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 23 Common Scoter.

Well done Marilyn. I should imagine they were quite difficult to see . Cannot believe conditions were ideal.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

A Pair of Dippers

Dipper ....Cinclus cinclus

Site Watching.

Report. T.R.Moore. 5th February 2011

Redwings x 7 on grass close to the Royal Massala Restaurant.
Bewick's Swan is still on the Pool...which was rather quiet at 0930 hrs.
No sign of the Ring-Billed Gull.

The Bay and Shoreline..

The waves were high and I could not pick anything out except the Herring and B.H Gulls.
A couple of Oystercatchers were searching the tide line and Turnstones x 3 were by the River along with a pair of Pied Wagtails.
No sign of the Goosanders reported yesterday on the River.

St Andrews Pool.

4x large Mallard Hybrids close together on the Pool.

1 x Water Rail
2 x Wren
1x Marsh Tit
2x Coal Tit
4 x Blue Tit
1 x Long-tailed Tit
2 x Robin
1 x Siskin
2x Dunnock
2x Goldfinch
Chaffinches & Corvids

All at the *Cafe* or close by in the swamp and trees.

Manoa Valley.

2x Dipper
1x Firecrest
3x Goldcrest
1x Grey Heron ...resting in the woods some distance from the nearest water.
1x Buzzard

Finally a male Hen Harrier (thanks to D.Julian and Colin Selway) was seen at Rosenannon Downs ....which is out of bounds. The Hen Harrier was my 200th bird on my Life List.

Friday, 4 February 2011


Bullfinches .....Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Photographed at the Manoa Valley. Unfortunately the image stabilizer was off.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Mallard Hybrids.

Has anyone got any views on what type of hybrid these are?

Goosanders Gone.

Report. R.Lane. 3rd February 2011

I'm glad the Bewicks Swan stayed for you to get some 'pics' this morning ! Otherwise it seemed a bit empty during the afternoon when we visited (no goosanders !). All that I could find were: 2 x Gadwall, 4 x Shoveler; 2 x Tufted Duck and 2 x Scaup ! And of course, the Bewicks Swan, which I was pleased to see was feeding, but still staying 'aloof' (mostly).
The sea-state was a little less rough, but not enough to see anything, except Turnstones on the tideline ! Your excellent photos show the bill pattern well and the black 'colour' coming up the centre to the top of the bill, which, I believe is by no means always the case, but I guess it is C.c.bewickii.

Yes I am glad it stayed around long enough for me to see it. Pity the Goosander had left.
I did notice 3 x Mallard hybrids together and they were much larger than the usual Mallards. The strange thing was there were also 4 at St Andrews Pool and like those at Par they kept close together.
It started to rain heavily as I approached the Bay but it did look as if a wader or two might be about. Out came the trusty Poncho which does a fantastic job of covering the camera....without it I would have had to sit it out in the car. Not worth blowing the camera up. Well I rewarded with 12x Turnstones, 1 Ringed Plover and a Redshank. All were photographed but the distance was too great to have anything but a record shot. The Redshank will probably pass muster, just, but the Ringed Plover although it could be identified as such will stay in the archives.

St Andrews Pool and *Cafe*

March Tit x 4
Coal Tit x2
Wren x 1
Song Thrush x 1
Dunnock x 3
Robin x 2
Blue Tit x3
Great Tit x 2
Blackbird x6

All the above were photographed at the Cafe or surrounding trees.

Bewick's Swan

Bewick's Swan ........Cygnus columbianus

Photographed this morning at Par Beach Pool between 1000-1100hrs.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Bewick's Swan and Goosanders.

Report.R.Lane. 2nd February 2011

Par turns up trumps ! The usual quick visit to Par in pouring rain this afternoon, looked like being a washout ! Nothing could be seen on the sea, due to waves (and kite-surfers). Back at the ice-free Pool were the usual: 2+, Tufted Ducks; 2 x Scaup; 2 x Gadwall and what should come out from behind the island but a flock of 13 (THIRTEEN) Goosanders, including an imm.male! Excellent views were obtained (through the rain) as they swam around the Pool in a tight flock, even 'running on the water'! It is thought they went to roost at dusk on the far side of the causeway to the island.
Fortunately, while the Goosanders were out of sight behind the island, I glanced at the swans and noted one smaller individual, further out, with a yellow and black bill. It was of course a BEWICKs Swan !
Excellent prolonged views again, and it was still there at dusk. It was an adult, in 'snow-white' plumage.
Both species' sighting's were my first for Par Pond in 27yrs ! No more 'goodies', but while looking up in the mist, a flock of 35+, unidentified Duck flew east and several tried, unsuccessfully, to turn and land !
Main sightings must be the flock of 13 x Goosanders (1imm male) and 1 x ad. Bewicks Swan. I blame the above sightings on the rain and fog !

Well done Roger.
My intended morning visit got derailed . I hope they stay around for a while.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Par Report

Report. R.Lane. 1st February 2011

A quick visit to Par this afternoon gave a list quite similar to yesterday's, except Shoveler ! On the Pool (75% iced over) were: 5 x Bar-headed Geese (one left alone); 9+ Shoveler, incl.2 males (max. this winter?); 2 x Gadwall and 1 x Pintail hybrid. Plus sundry Teal and Snipe, (and doubtless a Bittern or 2!)
On Par Bay were 16+, G.C.Grebes; 5 x Eider Duck (fems), LBBGs of all ages, Comm.Gulls and 40+, Curlew flew west toward harbour roost, in two flocks (my highest count this winter).

Thank you for the report Roger.
I am a little surprised the Pool is still frozen to that extent.
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