Thursday, 31 March 2011

Sand Martins and Swllows

Report . R.Lane. 31st March 2011.

Hope you caught up with the RTDiver at St.Andrews this evening, and maybe some Sd.Martins came into Par Pool, or maybe not !

This afternoon I visited the Sewage Wrks (Manoa) and there were 10+, SAND.MARTINS and at least 2 x SWALLOWS

Visited Porthpean where there were 2 x Gannets; 20+, Fulmars; 6 x SAND.TERNS; 8 x Comm. Scoter and 1 x G.N.Diver.

On St.Andrews was of course the Red-throated Diver, almost certainly the same one as before.

But nothing of note was seen at Par.

Yes we did manage to see the R.T Diver at St Andrews this evening.... the Bush Telegraph kept us informed most of the day. . As we had Hesper with us it was a very brief visit that did not include Par.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Photograph Mediterranean Gull


Report and photograph. Nigel Climpson. 30th March 2011

 This full summer plumage Mediterranean Gull put in a very brief appearance at Par Beach pool this afternoon.

Well captured Nigel. Definitely a fine specimen.

Med Gull at PBP

Report. John Rance. 30th March 2011

Paid a quick visit to the Pool this afternoon; whilst enjoying good views of the still very obliging RT Diver, a cracking full summer-plumage Med Gull dropped in for a few minutes, looking very smart indeed as it settled on the water for a preen before heading off towards the sea. Also the two male Shoveler still present, several Chiffchaff and a solitary Swallow.

Thanks for the report John. So far Angie and myself have missed the Diver. Our dog has had an operation and someone has to be with her in case she scratches the stitches out....we hope to catch up with it if it still on the Pool late tomorrow.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Red-Throated Diver in Flight.

Report and photograph Nigel Climpson. Monday 28th March 2011 ..

I spent some time at PBP today trying for a good picture of the Red-throated Diver. I got one just as it departed seawards at about

That is a beauty Nigel.

Spitting Spider

Danny Cooper replies to R.Ford .

. Hi there, first lots of great photos on the site. As to richard fords sightings the spider is a spitting spider scytodes thoracia which is uncommon, the blue is a holly blue they emerge earlier than common by a few weeks!

Thanks for clearing that up Danny.

Monday, 28 March 2011

More Diver Photographs.

 Report and Red-Throated Diver photographs. Richard Ford. .

 It's a little late but I thought I'd share a few quick shots of the Red Throated Diver at Par Lake from Sunday afternoon. I've only had time to crop them and run a quick contrast/brightness on my laptop (the screen of which has not been calibrated), so if you want to use any of the website(s) and wish to play with them then please feel free.

Great photographs of the R.T.Diver Richard.

Red-Throated Diver

Dipper and Grey Wagtails


Report and photographs. Richard Ford.

. I don't know if you do spiders, but I haven't seen one of these outside of Wiltshire before and thought it may be of interest (it was in our conservatory). Also, could you confirm if this is a Holly Blue? My butterfly knowledge is lacking I'm afraid. It was from Black Head on the 20th - a second example was taken on the wing by a robin... The Dipper and pair of Wagtails were from the Manoa valley the weekend before - thanks for the tip on where to go for them too. :)

Thanks for the great photographs Richard.

I do not take many macro shots... and spiders I know nothing about. Saying that ..I am sure it will be of interest to some of the Blog readers.

It looks like a Holly Blue to me......but our expert Butterfly man is Roger Lane who I am sure will confirm it is indeed a Holly Blue or tell us what it really is. My butterfly knowledge is gradually improving but as yet is a long way behind Roger, A.Carey and probably many mores of the Blog readers.

Glad you found the Dipper tip useful.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Red-throated Diver on Par Beach Pool.

Report and photographs. A.Carey. 27th March 2011

Sorry you missed out on the very confiding Red Throated Diver on the pool today, gave great views and shots to many people and photographers. Also present at least two shovellers, and all the usual suspects. Hopefully it will still be there tomorrow. Attached, three pics.

Nice photographs Andrew.

I should imagine it is a rare occurrence to see a Diver on the Pool. Maybe Roger can enlighten us.

Bee Fly

Report and photograph A. Carey

Sorry the report is late, but I saw and photographed my first bee fly of the year at Pontsmill yesterday lunchtime. A pic attached .


Report. T.R.Moore. 27th March 2011 . . . . A very quiet afternoon on the feeder. Great Tit (M&F). Blue Tit x2. Robin x2 .Coal Tit x3. Pheasant (F) .Chaffinch (M). Red-legged Partridge x2. I was hoping for a visit or two from the Big 6 but none put in an appearance. Still...the R.L. Partridge was an added bonus providing a year tick.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Shovelers at Par

Report from Roger Lane.

Just a 'single' sighting for yesterday 23rdMarch. ON Par Pool late afternoon were a pair of Shovelers in summer plumage.' which apparently flew off about 4pm

However there are 3 new butterflies:

(RL) 1 x SP.WOOD 22ndMar2011 Wilderness area.
(APMC) 1 x HOLLY BL.23rdMar2011 " (Par)
(RL) 1 x LG.WHITE 24thMar2011 Pontsmill South

Thanks for the report Roger. I will update the list.

Pontsmill and Par.

Photographs and report. Andrew Carey. 24th March 2011

Yet another lovely day, and many more butterflies seen, including three new species photographed this year, Holly Blue, Small White and Brimstone, all at Pontsmill North with Roger. We also saw Peacock and Comma there, and Peacock, Comma and Small Tortoiseshell at Par Beach wilderness.

I've attached some pics, showing upper and underside of the Holly Blue, a Brimstone and a small white.
Another superb collection Andrew. It looks like you and Roger had a good day.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Manoa Valley

Well as Andrew stated in the previous was a nice day to be out. I decided I would have a look at the Manoa Valley hoping to see the Chiffchaff in their little corner. Alas..I never saw one....not even a Goldcrest.
The lack of birds (visible) prompted me to have a look for the Dipper again.
What I have rightly or wrongly concluded is the Dippers have moved some way downstream. The reason I think is ..the old overhanging trees on the riverbank had dropped in part into the river creating a Dam. Now they have all been removed the birds seem to me to have moved to the faster waters a fair way downstream.
I always could find a Dipper or two a hundred yards upstream and downstream of the first fence by the water outlet pipe. My last few visits I have failed to see one in this stretch of water. Now the best place to find them is adjacent to the bridge by the Holiday Park. I saw at least three today but they led me a merry old dance flying a hundred yards or more and often disappearing into the overhanging vegetation. I did manage a few photographs. A pair of Grey Wagtails were also out enjoying the sun but they kept their distance . The only other photograph I took was a Wren by the Sewage Works on my return trip. A great day to be out...but..where were all the birds!!

Par Butterflies.

Photographs and report. Andrew Carey.23rd March 2011

What a lovely day to be out and about, and I finished up at Par Beach, in the wilderness and boardwalk areas where I saw Comma (x6), Holly blue (x1, my equal earliest sighting) peacock (x3, 1 scruffy and 2 pristine), small tortoiseshell (x1) and speckled wood (x1 and a notably small specimen) butterflies in the space of an hour and a half, between 2.30 and 4.00pm.

Unfortunately, the holly blue was at least 15 ft above me, flitting amongst the ivy, and I was unable to get a picture, but I did take some shots of comma, peacock and speckled wood, one of each of which I have appended to this email.

Andy Cross had also seen the holly blue, by the end of the boardwalk, at about 1.00pm.
Great photographs Andrew.....

Monday, 21 March 2011


Report. R.Lane 21st March 2011

There has been a singular lack of Divers off Porthpean this March month, and yet Danny Cooper saw 20+ GNDivers off Black Head on 13thMarch. Took me several days to work out what's happening. GNDivers particularly, collect in rafts further off-shore than usual (winter), something to do with pairing perhaps? (BTDivers do the same off The Dodman Point).
In most years the rafts of Divers can just be seen '2 Kms' out, where they may number 30+. This year although apparently 'missing', Danny has shown that they WERE off Black Head (not visible from Porthpean).
Today at Porthpean I believe I found out why. Where they used to 'raft' is now occupied by the string of, so-called' "lobster keep pots", which they are apparently not, since a naval type vessel was attending to the 'pots' (as most days recently). It is this (human) activity which has driven the Divers further out from P'pean than usual. In fact I managed to see 3 x G.N.Divers and 4 x B.T.Divers at extreme distance, beyond the 'pots'.
Incidentally if anyone knows what these 'pots' really are, please let us know, on this Blog.Thanks.

Very interesting observation Roger. I hope someone can come up with the answer.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Butterfly List

Butterfly List. R. Lane

The Butterfly list for 2011 on your "St.Austell Baywatch" needs some reorganising/correcting. There was NO Comma on 20thJan'11 (it was 'disturbed from hibernation' by workmen and thus does not count.) However there was a very early Painted Lady on 20thJan'11. All the errors are mine, not yours !
Thus in date order the list should read:
8thJanuary 2011, Rd.Admiral, Trenarren (RL); 20thJanuary'11, Painted Lady, Trenarren (RL); 23rdJanuary'11, Peacock, Holmbush (RL) 3rdMar'11; Brimstone, Pontsmill (RL); 3rdMar'11, Comma (RL), Pontsmill (RL); ? Mar'11. Sm.Tortoiseshell, Pontsmill (RL); 16thMar'11. , SM.WHITE, Pontsmill (RL & LS)

Sorry I have temp. mislaid the date of the Sm.Tortoiseshell., have put a questionmark. Hope you can translate! Several more new ones coming up in the next weeks, hopefully !

I will amend the list Roger.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


Report and Photographs. Nigel Climpson

An interesting afternoon in the Luxulyan Valley. Very difficult for photography. All pictures ISO 1600 and about 1/100 sec at f5.6. hand held !
A pair of Dippers and a stunning male Grey Wagtail on the river just up from Ponts Mill.
Still several Redwings to be seen.
On the way back at 5pm a Water Rail just below the turbine house at Ponts Mill, and a bat, assumed Pipistrelle, circling above. I have no doubt that somebody will correct me if wrong.
Nice photographs Nigel and considering the light conditions you have done really well

Sunday, 13 March 2011


My own not so impressive sightings at PBP late afternoon.
The Sand Martin was again seen around the pool area.
The pool held nothing of interest ...just the usual residents.
A circular walk around the back of the caravans produced 2 x Reed Buntings, 2 x Chiffchaff , 2x Goldfinch and a single Redwing by the Imerys private road.
The Bay scoped ...1x Eider (young male) and 6x Great -crested Grebe.

Good Haul at Black Head.

Report .Danny Cooper. 13th March 2011

Hi there, good couple of hours at black head this afternoon with 21 Great Northern Divers and three Red Throated, I heard a Tawny Owl at 17:00 befor a single Curlew fley SW the Ravens were very vocal and a flock of 17 Linnets came in to roost on the head. The Fulmars waere also displaying to each other then as I was leaving I noticed lots of birds on the sea in a big "raft" a small raft of 22 Fulmars and an amzing 64 Shags! There were 20 plus Gannets around the bay and I also saw 2 Peacock Butterflies

That is a very impressive number of Divers....The Shags is a truly amazing total. Must have been a very impressive sight indeed. Well done Danny


Report John Rance.

The jungle drums may well have been beating and this may have filtered through to you already, but just in case you didn't know, theres a Waxwing at Kingfisher Drive in St Austell at moment. Its been there a couple of days, unfortunately its spending most of its time in someone's back garden so its quite distant and awkward to see and I suspect would be equally awkward to photograph without aggravating the residents; but its making short flights round and about the vicinity now and again so you may catch up with it if you have a mosey around the area. Out of consideration for the residents I think it'd be unfair to publicise the address of the particular garden its favouring , but lets just say if you find the Latter Day Saints Church and keep a sharp eye out, you won't be far away. Had good views this morning; even if watching a Waxwing whilst basking myself in warm Spring sunshine in a tshirt and shorts was slightly surreal!

Thank you for the report John.
As you suspected word did filter through.
I do agree it can cause a degree of aggravation especially if the people are non birders .
So if anyone reading this is going to see the bird, please do respect peoples privacy at all times.

It definitely was a day to be out and about.

Sand Martin

Report. Danny Cooper

Hi a couple of hours at the pool yesterday morning, plenty of fresh in goldcrest and chiffchaff. Ten snipe on the pool, little grebe, 3 teal, female shovler. Also cetti`s warbler singing and 2 male reed bunting plus one female, one sand martin over the pool. Cheers danny the pirate.

Thank you for the report Danny and welcome to the Blog.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Early in the Year.

Bar-Headed Goose, Barnacle Goose with Canada Geese at Polkerris.

Widgeon and Moorhen

Photographs. Andrew Thomas.

Winter Visitors.

Report. R.Lane 12th March 2011

Went out after butterflies this morning but found nothing but cloud ! However saw several species of birds (in capitols) that will be leaving us soon, having wintered locally. For instance, at Pontsmill were 5+, REDWING, 1 x KINGFISHER (a surprise here, flying close to the stream but down woodland paths!); Also resident Dipper, Nuhatch and all the Tit family at the feeders (except Willow-tit of course).
Another winterer (?) at St.Andrews Pond was a single WATER RAIL, a species which possibly reached double figures at Par plus St.Ands this winter.
Nothing of note on Par Pond (save 1 x TUFTED DUCK, which will soon be gone). No hirundines, this morning, but this afternoon's rain may bring down a Sd.Martin or two (we should be so lucky!).
On the sea I could only find 5+,G.C.GREBES (some gone?), but a good count of SEVEN x COMM.EIDER, which may stay on into summer, not being mature enough to mate until their 3rd year.

I am sure double figure Water Rails at St Andrews is correct. I personally saw 4 the last time I visited.

Red-necked Grebes

Report. R.Lane. 11th March 2011

Two hardly successful stops today. Went to the Sewage Works, nothing exciting (had hoped for hirundines!). However, did see up to a dozen Chiffchaffs, still overwintering (should leave in a week or so); also a few M.Pipits in field, and heard a few Goldcrests. Most trees had Chaffinches picking the day's fly emergence off the branches, but not one brambling, as in most years. 4+ Buzzard overhead and that was about it (did not look at the stream).
On down to Porthpean and Charlestown and for once could not find a diver anywhere ! They should be about throughout April, even May. All I did see were: 30+, Fulmars; 1 x L.Egret; 3 x Comm.Scoter and best of all 2 x Red-necked Grebes ! (One inshore at Porthpean and one off Charlestown).

Thanks for the report Roger.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Hawk and Falcon

Report. R. Lane. 10th March 2011

Not a lot to report, just 'flyovers' basically. Was at Par Pool for about 5 minutes (!) but the only activity I saw was a large (female) Sp.Hawk drifting westward across the Pool (into the wind, for lift?), when a flock of Starlings from the dunes went up and intercepted it, harassing it continuously, despite it's side-slipping and dummy threats !
Also on the Pool were many L.B.B.Gulls, and on the beach of Par Bay, scores more, with half as many G.B.B.Gulls, with more flying westward over the sea. When I returned to Holmbush even more were flying west over the tree-clad depression inland from Carlyon and Charlestown, probably to avoid the wind strength at sea. This is a daily event in early spring always AGAINST the strong winds, with no significant movement on calm days. The afternoon was completed by the scream of a Blackbird nearly flying into a wall Looking up immediate I was in time to see a Peregrine Falcon come over from the north, heading for the coast at high speed (at right angles to the wind ! ). Possibly from Carn Grey?

Thanks for the report Roger. We are both still under the weather but gradually improving.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Baywatch Sites

Photographs. Andrew Thomas

An e-mail sent to me from Andrew Thomas of Shrewsbury.

'My name is Andrew Thomas and I am a regular visitor to Par. I was born in Tywardreath and have family there - one of whom put me on to your web-site.

I was down last week and took a number of photo's that may be of interest, which are attached (all dated 25.2.11): '

: A number of (I think) Great Crested Grebes in the bay (I would welcome advice)
: Mallard at Polridmouth eating a frog!
: Herring Gulls over Gribben Head
: Fulmar over Booley.
Thank you for the e-mail and photographs Andrew (we are collecting Andrews at Par) and welcome to the Blog.
I am sure being a local lad some of the Blog readers will recognise your name.
Maybe the next time you visit your family we will come across each other at the PBP.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Site Visits.

We did an afternoon visit to the sites below. R.Lane and A Carey were also in attendance.

St Andrews Pool
34 Jackdaw, 2 Carrion Crow, 4 Long Tailed Tit, 3 Robin, 2 Dunnock, 2 Wren, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Water Rail, 4 Blue Tit, 6 Blackbird, 4 Woodpigeon, 3 Raven, 3 Chaffinch, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Songthrush, 6 Teal, 30 Canada Goose, 3 Mute Swan, plus Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Black Backed Gulls and Herring Gulls.

Par Beach Pool
4 Snipe, 22 Pied Wagtail, 4 Teal, 6 Tufted Duck, 84 Canada Goose, 24 Mute Swan, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Dunnock, 1 Robin, 8 Linnet, 2 Stonechat, 2 Blackbird, 5 Starling, 2 Blue Tits plus Herring Gulls, Black Headed Gulls, Coots, Moorhens, Mallards, Jackdaws and Carrion Crows.

Par Bay Western River
2 Red Headed Goosander where the river bends to the left.

Pay Bay
1 Snipe (over), 4 Curlew (over), 5 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Eider, 9 Gannet, 2 Stonechat (M&F), 1 Little Egret (over), 1 Lesser Black Backed Gull plus Black Headed Gulls and Herring Gulls.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Hawaiian Goose

Hawaiian Goose......Branta sandvicensis

We had a message from Andy Carey today to say there was a Hawaiian Goose at Par Beach Pool. We went there at about 4.30pm and saw it on the grass opposite the caravan sales office. The receptionist came out and said they had given it bread and water and phoned the RSPCA, who had said they know of the bird in the area and there is nothing they can do because it has "angel wing" and they will just put it to sleep if they come out to collect it. Not acceptable really and not what we would expect from the RSPCA. We wonder if they are mistaking it for the Canada Goose that has been at the pool throughout the winter, with a dodgy wing and unable to fly out to graze, as the girl said that they quoted it was a "Canadian Goose". This bird is definitely an Hawaiian Goose and seems very healthy and full of life and just needs some santuary. It seemed very lost, but very friendly towards humans, to the point that it runs towards you and then gets frightened, as if it thinks you will feed it and then realises you are not going to. It does have an obvious problem with the one wing and the other side looks a bit dicey too. We are concerned that if it is unable to fly it is vulnerable to predators. We have left a message on the answerphone of the Wingz Bird Sanctuary and we will try to contact them tomorrow to see if they have a bird missing or if not, whether they can have a look at Par Beach Pool for it and see if they can help it at all, as we are travelling to the Midlands tomorrow for a funeral. Had it been left to Angie the bird would have been here with us tonight!
free counters Fatbirder's Top 500 Birding Websites