Monthly Bird Review – August 2008

A Ring-billed Gull was a nice find at Loe Pool on the 1st and seawatching at Sennen produced a Great Shearwater a bird showing characteristics of Yelkouan Shearwater. A Curlew Sandpiper and seventeen Greenshank were at Dinham Flats on 4th. The highlight of the month as far as waders were concerned arrived at Amble Marsh, Camel Estuary on the 6th in the shape of a summer plumge Spotted Sandpiper. The bird showed well again on the 7th but was not seen again after this date. Elsewhere an Osprey and a Hobby were at China Fleet Country Club, Saltash.

A Wood Sandpiper at Stithians on the 7th was still present at the months end and a Yellow Wagtail flew over Walmsley Sanctuary. There were thirty-two Med Gulls at Padstow on the 11th and a Wood Sandpiper was n the Estuary at Hayle on the 12th. The 13th proved to be a red letter seawatching day with Yelkouan Shearwaters past St Ives and Pendeen and totals of sixteen Great Shearwaters, thirty-one Cory’s Shearwaters, sixty-eight Balearic Shearwaters and forty-six Sooty Shearwaters reported from Cornish Headlands. Cory’s Shearwater was the only species in any number the following day, with thirty-three reported.

A Melodious Warbler was trapped and ringed at Brew Pool, Sennen on the 15th and the adult Rose-coloured Starling came to light again at Gwithian Towans, Hayle on the 16th. The Pink-footed Goose on the Estuary at Hayle on the 17th was probably the same bird at Drift on 26th. The WeBs count on the Camel Estuary on the 17th provided some impressive totals including sevent-eight Med Gulls, eighty-two Little Egrets and three Yellow-legged Gulls. The 18th produced good seawatching at Porthgwarra with four Great Shearwaters, three Cory’s Shearwaters and one-hundred and fifteen Sooty Shearwaters.

The elusive Rose-coloured Starling put in another appearance on the 20th, this time at Riviere Towans, Hayle and a possible Wood Warbler was at Stithians. A Grey Phalarope flew past Pendeen on the 24th and an Aquatic Warbler was seen by a single observer at Marazion Marsh. Elsewhere a Little Stint was on the Estuary at Hayle. A juvenile Osprey played to the crowds, fishing on the Hayle Estuary on the 25th and on the same day the ‘Seawatch SW’ observers at Gwennap Head, Porthgwarra were rewarded with undoubtedly the bird of the month, a Fea’s Petrel that flew past west at 14.00hrs. The project scored again the following day with the first land base sighting of Wilson’s Petrel this year. Five Great Shearwaters and a Cory’s Shearwater were also reported.

Another Melodious Warbler was trapped and ringed at Brew Pool on the 27th where two Tree Pipits and two Green Sandpipers were also seen. A Yellow-legged Gull was at Crowdy reservoir and three Ruff were on the airfield at Davidstow.  Seawatching at Porthgwarra produced two Great Shearwaters and eighty Sooty Shearwaters. Not a mega rarity but an American one all the same, a Pectoral Sandpiper was on a small pool at Porthgwarra on the 28th and twelve Pale-bellied Brent Geese were on Marazion Beach. Twenty-nine Brent Geese flew past Gwennap Head.

A Rose-coloured Starling in a private garden at St Agnes on 30th may well have been the bird recently frequenting the Hayle area. Yet another Melodious Warbler was trapped and ringed, this time at Lands End. A 2nd winter Ring-billed Gull was on the Estuary at Hayle on the 31st and two Melodious Warblers were at Sixty Foot Cover, Porthgwarra. A Stint sp. found and photographed at Walmsley Sanctuary was thought to be an adult of either Little or Red-necked. The photographs taken at Walmsley were not conclusive and although the bird was later relocated at Davidstow Airfield, it remained mobile and its identity is yet to be confirmed at the months end.

The monthly totals for shearwaters seen off Cornwall in August were: Yelkouan Shearwater (3), Great Shearwater (45), Cory’s Shearwater (135), Balearic Shearwater (501) and Sooty Shearwater (679).

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