Sunday 6th May 2012 Cornwall Bird Reports

Bude**GREEN-WINGED TEAL** at Maer Lake. Also Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit (3), Dunlin (24) and Gadwall (2) (Thanks A.Roberts)

The Lizard*BLACK KITE* briefly near Cadgwith (Thanks G.Willetts) .Turtle Dove at Church Cove between lane and lifeboat drive this morning (Thanks M&A Lord)

Black Kite, The Lizard (G.Willetts)

Rame *NIGHTINGALE* (male) singing at Penlee NR

Sennen – ICELAND GULL (juv) in Sennen Cove on beach this morning then flew north

DavidstowLittle Ringed Plover at Crowdy Reservoir this morning. Also Ringed Plover (4), Dunlin (3), Whimbrel (9), Common Sandpiper (3) and Wheatear (20+). (Thanks B.Craven)

The LizardTurtle Dove at Church Cove between lane and lifeboat drive this morning (Thanks M&A Lord)

TrewellardWhimbrel (70+) in field near Levant Mine. Also Cuckoo and Wheatear (10+) Cuckoo calling at Porth Meor and Grasshopper Warbler at Bosigran Engine House(Thanks M.Jones)

Bodmin MoorCuckoo calling at Roughtor today (Thanks K.Batory)

Newquay Merlin at Porth Joke today. Whinchat at East Pentire (Thanks S.Rowe and P.Harris)

PenzanceEider (drk) at Chyandour at 1745hrs (Thanks D.King)

Lands EndCuckoo (heard) on cliffs between Lands End and Sennen (Thanks J.Price). Cuckoo (heard) at from cycle path. Whimbrel (40+) and Ring Ouzel (fem) at Trinity pool. (Thanks R.Davey).

St AustellWhite Wagtail at Par beach pool this morning (Thanks R.Davey)

PorthgwarraCuckoo (heard) at Porthgrawra on moor near stone wall (Thanks R.Davey). GN Diver (3) past Gwennap Head

St IvesWhimbrel (22) in fields at Bussow Coarse Fishery. Cuckoo on wires at Towednack near B3311 junction (Thanks R.Davey). Black Redstart along cycle track

Nanquidno – Whimbrel (300+) in valley this morning

Wadebridge - Whimbrel (7) and Common Swift (40+) at Walmsley Sanctuary this evening (Thanks C.Selway)

Black Kite (heavily cropped) (G.Willetts)

18 thoughts on “Sunday 6th May 2012 Cornwall Bird Reports

  1. Admin

    We agree! Fantastic opportunist shot by one of the county’s up and coming photographers! Well done Graeme!

  2. Mike Douglas

    Is this honestly a wild black kite? It looks like a tame one… You should start doing birdwatching tours graeme if you are this lucky.

  3. Paul Freestone

    The photographer e-mailed in the first instance to say he had seen a kite on the Lizard which he thought was Black rather than Red. He then supplied the photo which clearly shows Black Kite.

  4. V Mills

    It looks in too pristine condition to be wild?Youre very close by the looks of it too. It is a stunning photo just can’t believe that it is a wild bird sorry. Viv.

  5. Graeme Willetts

    It is a wild bird, believe me or not. People have spotted kites down there on numerous occasions, so this isn’t the first time. I have a 500mm lens on a 1.6x crop camera which yields a focal length of 800mm, given that I have 18 megapixels to play with, I still had to crop it a fair bit. I was resting on my car, as the camera with lens weighs over a stone. If you had taken it and people were questioning the authenticity, how would you feel? If you knew me you wouldn’t say things like this, people know I’m a very genuine and honest person, I put in a lot of time and effort into both my wildlife photography and my birding.

    Take care and best wishes,


  6. Admin

    The bird was not wearing any rings or jesses and there have been no reports of an escaped Black Kite in the county, so unless anyone can prove differently, we are happy to accept that this is a genuine wild bird. Graeme continues to send us some of the best quality shots of birds (see the Hoopoe in the gallery!) and I do not doubt that this is a genuine photograph.

  7. Admin

    (Viv) I don’t think the bird looks pristine at all. The tail and primaries are very worn. I would expect a wild bird to be more pristine than one kept in a cage.

  8. P Harvey

    A great photo of a great bird. At the mo there is no evidence to say it is a captive bird but equally nothing to say it is a wild one so you can’t be surprised at others suspicion.

    Could we get a photo of the front of the bird please? Might be an idea to put up the photo showing the front and no jesses just to settle this one down completely mate, otherwise you bet there will be complaints (and probably declines) on the next birding report especially if this one is in it and we could all do without the hassle.

    Everyone here is passionate about birding thats why they feel they need more proof and most people will (especially for a rare bird and to get such a superbly detailed and close shot in a ‘brief’ encounster, you have got to be unbelievably lucky). Prove ‘em wrong mate! cheers!

  9. Admin

    As if my word was not good enough! I’ve added another one of Graemes shots showing the feet. No jesses. Odd that people are implying that this could not be a genuine wild bird and yet no-one commented on any of the Black Kite photos from 2011? I already had Graemes word that it did not have jesses. I don’t think Black Kite is widely kept in captivity anyway, not as a flying show bird anyway. The original photo of the kite features in the Rare Bird Alert Weekly round up this week too.

  10. JW

    It’s the first time i’ve visited this website and I’ve been reading the black kite doubters’ messages with incredulity. The accusation that someone might make a false claim here on this excellent site, on any birding site, is sad and probably says more about the way the doubters think than anything else. Why would anyone lie about seeing a bird? Why? I only hope that the doubters don’t put people off sending in reports and pictures. The non-birding world is full of mistrust and unpleasantness already let’s not let it spill over into ours…

  11. Admin

    Very well said JW. Unfortunately, there are still those who purposely set out to decieve in the birding world so I can understand a bit of caution on behalf of the doubters. This comes about a lot when only one (or two in this case)person sees the bird. It would probably have been easier to get this past the doubters if there had not been any photographs! No comments on the TWO Red-backed Shrikes on The Lizard on the 4th May for instance. No one else saw these birds apart from the one observer and no photos. Anyway, hopefully the lack of jesses etc in the second photo will now put this to rest and we can accept this photograph for what it is, EXCELLENT!

    ps. Hope you continue to use the website JW!


  12. Ironingman

    Like JW, I too have read these messages with incredulity. I am just in awe of Graeme for being able to take such a fantastic photo, and it never even occurred to me that he might have committed a bird-listing sin by photographing a possible captive-bred bird! And for those of us who have not seen a Black Kite close-up (I’ve seen them before but not in the UK), this picture gives us a great opportunity to see just what they look like in fantastic detail! Good on you, Graeme, keep it up please!

  13. Graeme Willetts

    Thank you Ironingman, JW, Paul, and those others that believed me. Everyone has proof now. I believe what makes the photographer is being able to respond to such situations and be able to have a great shot to show for it. It shows how beautiful the bird is, in all its glory, IN OUR COUNTY. The last part is the most important, how incredible for such a bird to be around here. I cannot wait to see it in the report and hopefully it will inspire more people to get into both birding and photography in our county, as it has a lot of wildlife to offer. I own a professional wildlife lens, and this is how I can capture such incredible images, combined with my own photographic skills. Thanks guys, and I won’t let it deter me, I’ll still bird and photograph what I see – I’ll still submit my reports, and images to here, regardless of what people may say/think. Paul and the team do a fantastic job. Best wishes & Take care.

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