Monthly Bird Review – February 2009

Lingering rarities included the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling at Henver Road, Newquay and Glaucous and Iceland Gulls were reported every day at Newlyn Harbour. The Ring-billed Gull remained at Helston boating Lake and the Bittern was seen sporadically throughout the month at Marazion. The Snowy Owl was still at Sperris Quoit, St Ives at the months end. Cattle Egrets were at Newton-in-St Albans (8) on 1st, Pendeen (1) on 1st, Polzeath on 5th, Sancreed (2) on 6th, Gannel Estuary (2) on 16th, Landrake (2) on 12th, Drift Reservoir (2) on 20th, Land’s End (4) on 24th and Hayle (9) on 28th.

Twenty Little Gulls were at Gillan Creek on the 1st and a Glaucous Gull was on the Cowloe at Sennen. A Grey Phalarope was in Sennen Cove on the 2nd but a report of a Snowy Owl at Goonhilly Downs on the 3rd was thought to be erroneous. The Three female Scaup remained at St Gothian Sands NR from the 3rd and a Siberian Chiffchaff was at St Austell sewage works. Two Grey Phalarope were on the sea off Cot Valley on the 4th and eight Water Pipits were at Treraven Meadows. This local nature reserve near Wadebridge has without doubt been the best place to see this species throughout the winter. The Grey Phalaropes off Cot were joined by two more on the 5th and two others were off Lizard Point.

The Snowy Owl was seen again at Sperris Quoit on the 6th and what appears to be the same bird was seen and photographed at Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth at 4pm on the 7th. An Iceland Gull was on the estuary at Hayle on the 7th and two Balearic Shearwaters flew past St Ives Island. A Glaucous Gull was at Drift reservoir on the 8th. Stithians Lake held male and female Goosander on the 10th and there were over thirty Red-breasted Mergansers in the Carrick Roads. Elsewhere a Glaucous Gull was on flooded fields at Seaton. Two Goosander were at Crowdy Reservoir on the 11th and a Long-tailed Duck was off Pendower Beach. The Snowy Owl was back at Sperris Quoit on the 11th and remained until the months end. A male Ring Ouzel made another appearance at St Gothian Sands NR on the 12th and four Little Auks were reported off Smeaton’s Pier, St Ives. A Bittern flew past the hide at Loe Pool, Helston on the 13th and a drake Pintail joined the three Scaup at St Gothian Sands NR on the 14th.

A Lapland Bunting was at Trevose Head on the 15th. A possible Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat of the form halimodendri was in a private garden at Newlyn on 16th and four Velvet Scoter were in the Carrick Roads. Elsewhere, Gerrans Bay held Long-tailed Duck, eight Slav Grebes and twenty-four Black-throated Divers and nearby Yeryan Bay had twenty-eight Black-throated Divers and a Red-necked Grebe. Four Firecrests were at Mount Hawke. Two Velvet Scoters were in Carbis Bay at the months end from the 17th and a Whimbrel was on the Cowloe, Sennen on the 18th. A Snow Bunting was at Torpoint on the 21st and a Hawfinch was in the Upper Fowey Valley. Two Spoonbill were at Kingsmill Lake Briefly on the 22nd. A Whimbrel was at Mousehole on the 23rd and Treraven Meadows NR held two each of Green and Common Sandpipers. Four Spoonbills were seen from the Tamar Bird Cruise on the 24th and a Red-necked Grebe was in Carbis Bay. A Jack Snipe was at Maer Lake CWBPS reserve on the 26th and two Hawfinch were at Ninestones, Upper Fowey Valley on the 27th. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was with two Pink-footed and two Barnacle Geese at Siblyback lake on the 28th.

P.Freestone (c) Cornwall Birding 2009

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