Monthly Bird Review – July 2008

July started off where June finished, being quiet. A hobby was at Clapper Marshes on the 1st and the drake Scaup remained at Stithians Reservoir. The first Cory’s Shearwater of the season was seen off Goran Haven, St Austell on the 3rd and a Green Sandpiper was at Clapper Marshes. On the 4th a Red Kite was over Chycoose, Devoran and a female Garganey was at Walmsley Sanctuary. Elsewhere, six Common Crossbills were over Chapel Carn Brea, St Just and Storm Petrel and nine Common Scoter were off Rosemullion Head. An Osprey was mobbed by Gulls at Falmouth on the 6th. Strong South-westerlies on the 6th kicked off the seawatching season and resulted in six Balearic Shearwaters, twenty-two Storm Petrels and five Pomarine Skuas from seven different sites.

On the 8th two Black-throated Divers were off Charlestown, St Austell. On the 9th, an adult Rose-coloured Starling was at the entrance to St Ives Holiday park, Hayle. It transpired on the 10th that the bird had been present in a private garden in Hayle for the previous four days. Also on the 9th, a Sooty shearwater flew past Sennen Cove. Two Pomarine and four Arctic Skuas flew past Gwennap Head, Porthgwarra on 10th and a Pink-footed Goose was reported from Drift reservoir. More than fourteen Med gulls were reported on the 11th, including eight at St Johns Lake, Torpoint. Elsewhere on the 11th Green Sandpipers were at Walmsley (4) and Clapper Marshes (6).

A Hobby flew over Gillan Cove on the 13th. On the 16th there were thirty-two Med Gulls at St Johns Lake, Torpoint. A female Garganey was at Walmsley Sanctuary on the morning and evening of the 17th and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was at Sennen Cove. A Roseate Tern flew west past Gwennap Head on the 18th and a Grey Phalarope flew past Rumps Point on the 19th. Estuary counts on the Camel on 20th produced thirty-eight Med Gulls and sixty Little Egrets. The adult Rose-coloured Starling was seen again at Hayle on the 21st and a Wood Sandpiper was at Copperhouse Creek briefly. On the 23th a Hobby was over Nanquidno Valley.

Another Wood Sandpiper appeared at Brew Pool, Sennen on the 24th and a Little Ringed Plover and drake Scaup were at Walmsley Sanctuary. An unseasonal Red-necked Grebe was on the pool at Long Rock on the 25th and Med Gulls totalled forty-seven birds at Tregirls Beach, Camel Estuary. Elsewhere, a Hobby was over Croft Pascoe Pools in the afternoon. Thirteen Greenshank were on the river at Tresillian on the 26th and sixty-six Med Gulls were at St Johns Lake, Torpoint. Two BH Gull x Med Gull hybrids were found with these birds. A Wood Sandpiper was at Gwithian on the 27th and two WILSON’S PETRELS were seen from a Shark fishing boat eleven miles NNW off Padstow. On the 28th a juvenile Spoonbill on the estuary at Hayle was later found to have been ringed in May 2008 in France. Also on the estuary an unseasonal Red-breasted Merganser fished the main channel and five Little Terns were brief visitors. Elsewhere, Little Ringed Plovers were at Stithians and Walmsley Sanctuary.

A turn in the weather kicked off some big shearwater movement on the 29th and seawatchers were rewarded when two-hundred and five (205) Cory’s Shearwaters and a Great Shearwater flew past Porthgwarra. The following day (30th) The Lizard scored highest with seven-hundred and ten (710+) Cory’s and twenty-five Greats. Elsewhere Cory’s totals were: Porthgwarra (170+), Coverack (62), St Austell (6) and Mousehole (2). Porthgwarra had quality over quantity with Cory’s, Great, Sooty, Balearic and Manx Shearwaters, Storm Petrels, Arctic and Great Skua and a Sabines Gull! Away from the seawatching, two Little Terns were on the Penryn River at Falmouth and ten Common Terns were on the beach at Gwithian.

Cory’s Shearwater movement continued on the 31st but in much smaller numbers, a total of eighty-one individuals reported from four sites. Bad weather brought good numbers of birds into the Hayle Estuary including six Black Terns, thirty plus Common Terns, seven Arctic Terns and twenty six Black-tailed Godwits.

The months Shearwater totals from all Cornish headlands were: Great Shearwater (27), Cory’s Shearwater (1231), Balearic Shearwater (183) and Sooty Shearwater (18).

P.Freestone (C) Cornwall Birding 2008

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