Monthly Bird Review – March 2008

A very quiet month compared to 2007 with very little in the way of new rarities. Cattle Egrets remained around the Drift and Sancreed area and also at Stithians Reservoir. The Hume’s Leaf Warbler continued its stay at Tehidy Country Park. The Bittern was still at Stithians Reservoir until mid month and Iceland Gulls were reported daily from Newlyn Harbour.

A Stone Curlew flew west past St Ives Island on 1st but could not be relocated. Elsewhere the Glaucous Gull was again at Drift Reservoir and the first Willow Warbler of the Spring was seen at Stithians. The Hoopoe was at Sennen again on the 2nd and the Yellow-browed Warbler remained at Lower Nansloe Farm, Helston. A male Marsh Harrier was at Marazion Marsh on the 4th and the Water Pipit was again on the Red River mouth. Sand Martins were recorded daily from the 4th at numerous sites. On the 5th, Purple Sandpipers totalled 37 at Jubilee Pool, Penzance and the first Sandwich Tern of the year was seen at Penzance Harbour mouth. The Hoopoe remained elusive in private gardens at Polgigga.

A Little Bunting was identified at Porth Farm, Porthscatho on the 6th, having been apparently present for two days. Glaucous Gulls were at Sennen Cove and the Hayle Estuary and six Cattle Egrets were present again at Hay, Wadebridge. A Spoonbill was on the Camel Estuary at Dinham Flats and the Ring-billed Gull showed well in front of the southern hide at Stithians Reservoir. Trevose Head held two Lapland Buntings and up to fifty Corn Buntings on the 7th and a Wheatear was at Sennen. The Tamar Birdwatching Cruise was again an enjoyable experience for everyone on board on the 8th with good views of two Spoonbill, Avocet, Spotted Redshank and Red-breasted Merganser. A female Hen Harrier was at Coverack on the 9th.

Another, or more likely the same, Little Bunting was located at Porthmellin Head, St Mawes on the 12th but was not seen again after this date. Elsewhere, the adult Pacific Diver put in another appearance off Porthpean, St Austell. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the Hayle Estuary and nearby Carbis Bay held a Little Auk briefly. An uncomfirmed report of an Arctic Redpoll in a private garden near Truro was recieved on the 14th. The bird was unfortunately not reported again. Four Swallows were at Gerrans Bay and and the Long-tailed Duck was again at Loe Pool,Helston.

The 15th brought an early Alpine Swift seen by one lucky observer for ten mintes at Pentire Point, Newquay. Stithians Reservoir hosted a House Martin with returning Sand Martins. A Glaucous Gull roosted on St Clements Isle, Mousehole on the 16th and Porthgwarra held a Willow Warbler on the 18th. The ‘Siberian’ Chiffchaff was reported again from Long Rock, Marazion on the 19th and a Shorelark was at Lands End briefly before flying north. The 21st saw a Ruff at Town Bridge, Wadebridge and seawatching at St Ives produced Arctic Skua and ‘Blue’ Fulmar. The Yellow Wagtail thought to be of an eastern race, was again at Trevollard Farm, Saltash on the 22nd and the Spoonbill was again at Walmsley Sanctuary.

A Rose-coloured Starling was at the entrance to Levant Mine, Pendeen on the 23rd and last months Yellow-browed Warbler was relocated at Rosewarne, Camborne on the 25th. Elsewhere on the 25th, the Pacific Diver was again at Porthpean and a ‘Scandinavian’ Rock Pipit was at Par Beach. A Red Kite drifted west over Lands End on the 27th and two Chough were at Botallack. Seawatching on the 28th produced two hundred and seven Puffins, Sandwich Terns and Manx Shearwaters off Gwennap Head and a Balearic Shearwater off Pendeen. Two Cattle Egrets were in a field near Ryans Field RSPB on 29th and another Shorelark flew north over Nanjizal Valley.

White winged Gulls were reported daily from various sites in the county.

Paul Freestone (c) Cornwall Birding 2008

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