Monthly Bird Review – March 2010

March began where February ended with the Black Duck, Lesser Scaup and Little Bunting lingering at their respective sites. The Black-necked Grebe and Whooper Swan were still at Drift Reservoir and Marazion held numerous Bitterns and Water Pipit. The long-tailed ducks were still at Sennen and Loe Pool, Helston. Iceland Gulls were at Sennen and Polgigga on the 2nd and the Cattle Egrets were reported again at Brew farm on the 3rd. Three Yellow-legged Gulls were on the Cowloe, Sennen and three Spoonbills were at Wacker Quay, Anthony. The Ring-billed Gull was still at Torpoint and was joined by a Spotted Redshank, Whimbrel and two Green Sandpipers at Millbrook Lake. A Cattle Egret was on the Fowey estuary on the 4th and Wheatears at Gwithian and Lands End gave birders early hope of rarer spring migrants to come. Cattle Egrets were at Polgigga and the Hayle Estuary (2) on the 6th.

A juvenile Pallid Harrier was found at Mulfra Hill, Zennor on the 9th and was highly likely the bird that roamed the western moors during January. A Red Kite flew north over Helstone, Camelford on the 12th and three Spoonbills were at Clapper Marshes. An Osprey flew over Wadebridge on 13th and two Cattle Egrets were in fields near St Clement. Two others remained at Sennen on the 14th and the first sand martins of the year were reported from Gwithian. Hoopoes were found at Lamorna Pottery and the lizard on the 17th. These superb spring overshoots were followed on the 20th by Alpine swifts at Mousehole and Falmouth and a Red-rumped Swallow which showed well at Marazion after eluding the masses earlier at St Gothian Sands, Gwithian where it was initially found. The following day Alpine swifts were reported over St Ives, Hayle and Marazion and a probable Black Kite flew west over Stithians Lake. A Cattle Egret was on the Hayle Estuary and a Hoopoe was near Constantine.

The Alpine swift showed well again over Marazion on the 22nd and birds were also seen at Cape Cornwall and Penzance on the 24th. Hoopoes were at Lands end and in a private garden on The Lizard. Alpine Swift sightings continued on the 25th with reports from Lands end and Marazion. A Red-rumped Swallow was in Sennen Cove and a Dotterel was at Porthgwarra. Another Hoopoe was reported from Porthleven on the 26th. The next day the juvenile Pallid Harrier was located again at the top of Foage Valley, Zennor and Hoopoes were at Lamorna and Windmill Farm, The Lizard. An Alpine Swift flew west past The Rumps Polzeath on the 30th and the first Little –ringed Plover of the spring was at Walmsley on the 31st. The Black Duck was not seen again after the 6th and the Lesser Scaup was last reported on the 22nd. The Little Bunting was at Sconner Lake until the 19th.

P.Freestone (c) Cornwall Birding 2010

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