Monthly Bird Review – March 2011

The first week in March was a mirror image of the last week in February with all the long staying vagrants and scarcities still at their respective sites. The exceptions were a Waxwing at Indian Queens on the 4th and an early sign of spring movement in a Hoopoe at Trewince near Stithians. The Lapland Bunting flock at Port Isaac swelled again to a massive one hundred and fifty plus birds on the 6th, the biggest flock ever encountered in the County’s ornithological history.

Another Hoopoe was elusive and mobile in gardens at Phillack, Hayle on the 7th and the following day a probable American Herring Gull was on the Hayle Estuary and a Great-white Egret flew south over Sennen Cove. A Waxwing was at Kingfisher Drive, St Austell on the 10th and was still present on the 12th when a Hoopoe flew west over the A3803 on The Lizard. Another was at Porthgwarra on 13th and summer visitors began to arrive with Wheatears, Chiffchaffs and Sand Martins reported from across the county. Four Woodlarks were at Walmsley sanctuary during the morning. The Pacific Diver was seen distantly in Mounts Bay on the 14th after an absence of eight days. A Hoopoe was reported at St Leven on them15th having been present for three days and a Glaucous Gull was in Sennen Cove. The 1st winter Rose-coloured Starling remained faithful to the gardens at Weethe Cottages, Penzance and the ‘tundra’ Peregrine and ‘tundra’ Bean Goose kept company at Walmsley with three each of Spoonbill and Pink-footed Goose.

A Waxwing reappeared at Trennear, Penzance on 17th and remained until 25th. An adult Iceland Gull was at Walmsley and five Ruffs were on the Hayle Estuary. The Hoopoe was at St Leven again on the 18th and two Ospreys flew over Polmassick, Mevagissey. The Ring-necked Duck at Stithians put in its first appearance since the 5th and Glaucous Gulls were at Sennen and the Hayle Estuary. A redhead Smew was at Bake Manor Fishing Lakes, Saltash on 19th. The 20th saw the first report of a roaming Golden Eagle at Devoran. The sub-adult bird was subsequently seen at various locations in the west of the county throughout the remainder of the month and into April. Elsewhere, an Iceland Gull was on the Hayle Estuary and a Ring Ouzel was at Kit Hill, Callington. A Snow Bunting was at Constantine on 21st and a Great Grey Shrike, discovered the following day at Kit Hill, was reported as being seen initially three weeks previously! Elsewhere on the 22nd Hoopoes were at Ashton, Callington and at Drift Reservoir and a male Serin was reported in a private garden at Summercourt briefly. A probable Richard’s Pipit was at Porth Reservoir, Newquay.

A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming and calling at Treraven Meadows on 25th and another was calling at Lambesso, Truro the following day. Another Hoopoe was at Gulval, showing well on the cricket pitch and an adult Iceland Gull was at Walmsley. Two Red Kites flew over Sennen and were probably the same two that flew over Trewellard, St Just later the same morning. A Red-throated Diver performed at close range at Par Beach Pool and a Ring Ouzel was at Porthgwarra. Hoopoes were at Polgigga and Morvah on the 27th and the drake Ring-necked Duck was reported from Gwithian for the first time this month. An Iceland Gull was at Dinham Flats on the 30th and the Rose-coloured Starling at Penzance and the Ring-necked Duck at Stithians were both present on the 30th.

P.Freestone (c) Cornwall Birding Rare and Scarce Bird Report 2011

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