Friday, 27 February 2015

The usual (17th-21st February)

The final day of my brother's brief visit to Cornwall came around but we were still determined to make the most of the last few hours.  A fairly early start on the 17th allowed Dan Ephraim and I enough time to quickly nip past Maenporth (via Swanpool in order to grab the Ring-billed Gull for the day from the car window), the King Eider wasn't showing but we were notified of it's ongoing presence by other birders on site an hour or so after we left.  We did see 2 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Ravens and the female Common Eider whilst we scanned from Bream Cove.  However, our main target was to track down the putative Spotted Sandpiper at the Budock Vean in the Helford Passage.  Video footage led us to believe it was possibly the real deal but despite investing a good amount of effort we were unable to relocate it.  Ephraim picked out a Great Northern Diver in the Passage though.  It was about time we headed in the direction of Truro as we were on a time schedule for Ephraim's train back to London.  A fruitful high tide visit to Devoran allowed us to finally add the Spotted Redshank to my brothers trip list (it was even the first I'd seen in Cornwall)!  A couple Bar-tailed Godwits, a few Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew and numerous Redshank (including the "diluted" paler individual).

Spotted Redshank

"diluted" Redshank amongst regular Redshank

Carnon Downs sewage works was our final stop before Truro station, allowing us to connect with numerous Chiffchaffs and the odd putative Sibe.  A possible Yellow-browed Warbler was also heard briefly by my brother and I but we weren't able to confirm its presence.  Once dropping my brother off at the station, Dan and I made our way back towards Malpas to try our luck for the Avocet that had been there earlier in the year.  As expected there was no sign of them but Dan did well to catch a brief view of a Great White Egret flying downriver!  Unfortunately, despite being notified immediately I was only able to get a poor hind view before it headed out of view behind the conifers lining the river bank.  Perhaps the highlight of the day came when Dan and I encountered a dense flock of 22+ Blue Tits (with a solitary Great Tit tagging on with them).  Tits are renowned for congregating in winter feeding flocks but this is the first time I've seen an almost exclusive flock of them numbering so highly!

Other bits and pieces since then include:

20th Feb:

Stithians Reservoir:

1 Slavonian Grebe
1 Goldeneye (fem)
40 Wigeon
15 Lapwing
2+ Little Egret
with Water Rail and 4 Reed Buntings at the feeders providing a great opportunity to try out some digi-scoping!

male Reed Bunting


female Chaffinch


c.40 Curlew
26 Redshank
7 Greenshank
2 Turnstone
41 Teal
3 Mallard
3+ Mute Swan etc
5 Little Grebe (1 appearing to be sum plum)

21st Feb:


1 Kingfisher on the rocks (later seen in flight across the middle of the bay)
1 Guillemot distant
4+ Gannet
Mediterranean Gull

Castle Beach:

2 Stonechat (m/f)
2 Black Redstart mm (ad male and a "paradoxus" (rarer dark form of the 1st winter male))
Grey Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
1 Chiffchaff
4+ Rock Pipit
1 Meadow Pipit
House Sparrow
4 Oystercatchers

Swanpool offshore:

2 Slavonian Grebe

On Swanpool:

1 Ring-billed Gull
1 Med Gull
1 Firecrest in holly half way along the eastern side near the bench
1 Long-tailed Duck
1 Water Rail in flight
1 vocal Coal Tit
1 Great Crested Grebe
vocal Jays in vicinity

No comments:

Post a Comment