Paul Freestone reviews a superb October in the County, which produced highlights from the East and West, including a 2nd for Cornwall.
The Hudsonian Whimbrel was still present at the beginning of the month at Perranuthnoe, often proving elusive for those still wishing to see this long-staying American vagrant. Wrynecks were reported at Lamorna, Kenidjack and Nanquidno. Seawatching was productive on the 1st with a total of 22 Balearic Shearwaters, 27 Grey Phalaropes, 7 Pomarine, 22 Arctic and single Long-tailed Skuas, 8 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 Leach’s Petrels and a Sabine’s Gull seen from St Ives, Pendeen and Cape Cornwall. A Baird’s Sandpiper showed well at the American Wader Magnet that is Davidstow Airfield on the 2nd and a first-winter Red-backed Shrike was present at Porthgwarra. A Wryneck was found at St Gothian Sands NR and a Lapland Bunting was in fields at St Levan. An Osprey was seen sporadically on the Fal Estuary complex. A Little Bunting was at Pendeen briefly on the 3rd before it flew south. There were reports of Yellow-browed Warblers at Porthgwarra, Land’s End and Portreath and a possible Baltic Gull was at Stithians. Elsewhere, Ring Ouzels were seen at Polgigga and Porthgwarra. Continue reading
The first week in March was a mirror image of the last week in February with all the long staying vagrants and scarcities still at their respective sites. The exceptions were a Waxwing at Indian Queens on the 4th and an early sign of spring movement in a Hoopoe at Trewince near Stithians. The Lapland Bunting flock at Port Isaac swelled again to a massive one hundred and fifty plus birds on the 6th, the biggest flock ever encountered in the Countyâ€™s ornithological history. Continue reading
The Pacific Diver was still present in Mounts Bay at the beginning of the month and the Rose-coloured Starling remained obliging in the gardens of Weethe Cottages, Penzance. Elsewhere on the 1st the drake Ring-necked Duck was at St Gothian Sands NR again and the Lapland Bunting flock at Gunwalloe swelled to over forty individuals. Four Firecrests were in Cot Valley and Walmsley still hosted three Pink-footed, seven Barnacles and a Bean Goose as well as the three Spoonbills. The â€˜Greenlandâ€™ White-fronted Goose remained at Drift and Long-tailed Ducks were at Sennen and Helston. Black Redstarts were reported in good numbers in early February and Bramblings were regular visitors to birderâ€™s gardens. Continue reading
The month started well for county year listers with the Pacific Diver lingering into the New Year at Mountâ€™s Bay. The bay also held Grey Phalarope (2), Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes and Black-throated Diver on the 1st. Other lingerers included the White-fronted Goose at Drift, Long-tailed Duck at Sennen, Bitterns at Marazion and twelve Lapland Buntings at Gunwalloe. A single Avocet graced the river at Tresillian. Carbis Bay still held large numbers of gulls feeding on the sprat shoals and included an adult Little Gull on the 2nd. Six or more Balearic Shearwaters were also present as was a Red-necked Grebe.
Snow was still falling in the county at the start of the month with most of it still on the ground from the last few days of November. The Green Heron was continuing to show at The Lost Gardens of Heligan commuting between The Jungle and The Lost Valley on the 1st but this was the last report of it, possibly a casualty of the freezing conditions? Continue reading
The 1st saw the American Bittern re-locate to Walmsley Sanctuary, where ironically the last American Bittern was in Cornwall in 1999. Although elusive, it did show well on occasion and was last seen on the 6th. Continue reading