The long staying Snowy Owl was reported sporadically throughout the month from Sperris Quoit and at least one Hawfinch remained in the Upper Fowey Valley until the 19th. The Ring-billed Gull lingered all month at Helston boating lake and Iceland and Glaucous Gulls were reported daily from Newlyn Harbour.
Five Cattle Egrets were at Newtown-in-St Martin’s on the 1st and a 1st yr Ring-billed Gull was on the Camel Estuary at Dinham Flats. Single Sand Martins were at Walmsley Sanctuary and Marazion Marsh RSPB and Hen Harriers were reported from Tregonetha (3) and Trewey Common,Â Zennor (1). A 1st winter Snow Bunting was seen briefly at St Gothian Sands NR. Three Cattle Egret flew over Polgigga on the 2nd and the two Velvet Scoter remained off Feock in The Carrick Roads. Two Spoonbill were at Kingsmill Lake on the 4th with three Spotted Redshank. A Cattle Egret was at Drift Reservoir again and an American Wigeon (or Hybrid) was at Ruan Pool, Windmill Farm reserve. Elsewhere, Treraven Meadows, Wadebridge held seven Water Pipits. The male Snow Bunting was relocated at St Gothian Sands NR on the 5th and the three Scaup remained on the main pool there.
Four Cattle Egrets flew over Brew Farm, Sennen on the morning of the 6th and The Carrick Roads held eight Black-necked Grebes and forty-two Red-breasted Merganser on the 7th. Elsewhere, eight Cattle Egrets roosted on the Estuary at Hayle and a probable white morph Gyr was reported flying over Porthmeor, St Ives. A white morph Gyr was then reported on the 10th having been present for the previous two days in a field near the coastal path at Pentire Steps, SW of Porthcothan. Two Cattle Egrets were on the Hayle Estuary early morning. A Glaucous Gull was in the harbour at Mevagissey on the 11th.
Cattle Egrets were at Penpol Creek, Newquay and Morwenstow on the 12th and a male Ring Ouzel was again at St Gothian Sands (last seen on 14th). Sand Martins were reported daily from the 13th and two Manx Shearwater and a Yellow-legged Gull flew past Gorran Haven. On 14th four Short-eared Owls were at Sperris Quoit and a Ring-billed Gull was on the Camel Estuary at Dinham Flats. Elsewhere, two Spoonbills and three Spotted Redshanks were of note during the WEBs count at Kingsmill Lake and a Hawfinch was still in the Upper Fowey valley. A Brambling and Firecrest were seen at Penlee NR.
A White Stork, which may have been the bird currently touring Yorkshire, flew east over Plain-an-Gwarry, Marazion on the 15th and eighteen Purple Sandpipers were on rocks at Godrevy Point, Gwithian. A possible Kumlien’s Gull was reported on the Hayle Estuary on the 16th and four Cattle Egrets remained in the Lands End area. Twenty-five Black-tailed Godwits were on the river at St Clement on the 17th and Stithians hosted a Bittern at the southern cut off on the 18th. The next day a possible Red Kite flew over Antony House, Torpoint.
The highlight of the month was seen by just a handful of birders on the 22nd when Fred Currie found a GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO at Chapel Carn Brea, St Just. The bird was later located at the top of Nanquidno Valley but could not be relocated the next day to the disappointment of many. On the morning of the 27th, one-hundred and eighty-four Puffins flew past Porthgwarra in two hours. AWoodlark was at Porth Joke, Newquay on 28th and a Ring Ouzel shared the moor with the Snowy Owl at Sperris Quoit. A Purple Heron flew over St Johns Lake, Millbrook on the 29th. The month ended on a high note with an Alpine Swift over St Just on the 31st.
Paul Freestone (c) Cornwall Birding 2009