Monthly Bird Review – February 2011

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 ‘Greenland’ 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 birder’s gardens.

A Black Kite was over Hewas Water and Mevagissey on the 3rd and an adult Bewick’s Swan was at Par Beach Pool. The probable ‘Tundra’ Peregrine was seen almost daily at Walmsley and the Hayle Estuary and Carbis Bay area continued to attract good numbers of Goosander. Two Little Gulls were also in the bay on the 3rd. An adult Ring-billed Gull was at Par Beach Pool on the 4th and three early Manx Shearwaters flew past Gwennap Head. The drake Lesser Scaup was at Dozmary Pool again on the 5th and a Cattle Egret was at St Winnow on the Fowey estuary. On the 6th an Iceland Gull was in fields at St Leven and 42 Purple Sandpipers were on Battery Rocks, Penzance. A huge mixed flock of finches, larks and buntings at Park Head, Newquay contained over 500 Skylark, 300 Chaffinch, over 100 Linnet, twelve Yellowhammers and three Corn Buntings.
A probable American Herring Gull was on The Cowloe, Sennen on the 7th and the drake Ring-necked Duck reappeared at Stithians.

Thirteen Goosanders were at St Andrews Pool, Par and twelve Lapland Buntings flew over Hawkers Cove, Padstow. Three Bitterns were at Loe Pool, Helston and 36 Black-necked Grebes were counted off Loe Beach, Feock. A Red Kite was over the A398 towards Penaligon Downs, Wadebridge on the 8th and three Avocets were still present at Tresillian. On the 9th an Azorean Yellow-legged Gull was in fields west of the B3318 near St Just and an Iceland Gull was on The Cowloe at Sennen. The probable Northern Harrier was seen between Sennen and Polgigga on the 10th when it flew north over fields at Skewjack Farm. Two Bearded Tits were reported form Marazion on the 12th but there were no subsequent sightings. Another Cattle Egret was in fields between Lelant Downs and Carbis Bay on the afternoon of the 13th and seven Ruff and a 2nd winter Little Gull were with a mixed flock of Lapwing and Golden Plovers at Sancreed. The following day there were two Cattle Egrets at Lelant Downs.
The first Wheatear of the year was exceptionally early on the 15th at St Mawes and three Firecrests were at The Lost Gardens of Heligan. A Cattle Egret flew over Coronation Park, Wadebridge with four Little egret on 16th and a Swallow was over Camelford. A Waxwing was in a private garden at Helston on the 17th. Two Ring-necked Parakeets, of unknown origin, were at Windmill Farm NR on 18th having been there for over a week and a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull was on the estuary at Hayle. A juvenile Iceland Gull was at Hannafore Point on the 19th and a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull at St Gothian Sands NR was likely to have been the bird seen at Hayle the previous day. Hen Harriers were in apparent abundance on the 20th with birds reported at Zennor (3), Camborne (male), Amalveor (imm. Male) and Men-an-tol (ringtail).

The next five days followed without much change in proceedings until 25th when a probable Azorean Yellow-legged Gull was on the sea at Pendeen, a Black Guillemot was off Cape Cornwall and a drake Velvet Scoter was at Kennegy Cove. A huge flock of Lapland Buntings containing eighty-six individuals was discovered in fields between Porth Quinn and Port Isaac on 26th and over one hundred birds were there on the last day of the month. Two Choughs were in the Porthgwarra area most of the month. Rarities still present at the month’s end included the Pacific Diver, Rose-coloured starling at Penzance, Lesser Scaup at Dozmary Pool and the probable ‘Tundra’ Peregrine at Walmsley.

Leave a Reply