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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Bittern in the far reeds. (showing well for scopes) Bar-Headed Goose Tufted Duck Cormorants 2 Heron 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 Corvids Water Rail in swamp area.
Nuthatch 3 Coal Tit 3 Great Tit 3 Blue Tit 2 Robin 2 Pheasant (male)
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 tosign: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-forests
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.
Report. T.R.Moore6th 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
Report. T.R.Moore. 5th February 2011 PBP. Redwings x 7 on grass close to the Royal MassalaRestaurant. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Market Town since 1189 and has now undergone a major regeneration program .
The new shopping and leisure centre (White River Place) opened October 2009 and employs 500 - 700 people.
Imery's modernized China Clay industry employs 2000 which is a huge drop from the early 20th Century when tin, copper and china clay found in the hills made St Austell a major Cornish industrial centre.
Another industry still alive and kicking is the St Austell Brewery which celebrated 150 years of trading in 2001.
This blog aims to provide a documented account of the Natural History and Wildlife of this small stretch of under watched headland. Your participation would be most welcomed. To contribute to this Blog. Please send any photographs(old or new), sighting or articles etc to email@example.com