Sunday 19th April 2020

Sunday 19th April 2020

Birding in Lockdown: Links to Garden Lockdown Listing League and our Birding Ideas Page, helping to make the most of extra time as a result of the lockdown.

Marazion: 1 Little Tern, 14 Sandwich Tern, 2 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, dark phase Arctic Skua. (S Rogers, P St Pierre)

Penzance: 65 Sandwich Tern, 1 Great Skua. (M Ahmad)

Newlyn: 2cy Glaucous Gull still in harbour; 60+ Sandwich Tern, dark phase Arctic Skua, 10 Manx Shearwater, 1 Puffin, 2 Great Northern Diver from Sandy Cove. (L Proctor)

Sancreed: 8 Swallow north, 1 Kestrel east, c25 Common Buzzard, 2 Sedge Warbler, 4 Common Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap. Also Silver Y and Speckled Yellow Moths (former a migrant, latter an early resident normally on wing mid-May onwards). (D Flumm)

Drift Reservoir: 7 Whimbrel, 2 Sedge & 3 Reed Warbler, 4 Swallow. (D Flumm)

​Morvah: 1 Common Swift (S Pearman)

Porth Ledden: 3cy Iceland Gull. (N Wheatley)

Buttermilk Hill: 3 Ring Ouzels (2m+1f). (J Hawkey)

Stithians: 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 30 Sand Martin, 10+ Willow Warbler, 3+ Chiffchaff, 2 prs Great Crested Grebe, 1+ Meadow Pipit. (S Turner) Also, 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Common Whitethroat. (P Oldcorn)

Par Beach: 1 Whitethroat on gorse bush at eastern end of beach. (R Barlow)

Liskeard, Looe Mills: 2 Swallow, 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Skylark, 1 Buzzard mobbed by Crows, singing Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in coppice. (D Sharp)

Gannel Estuary: 2 Red Kite, 7 Common Sandpiper together, 4 Whimbrel, 2m Blackcap, 3 Little Egret, 2 Canada Goose. (S Grose)

Towan Head: 1 Kestrel, 2 Skylark, 1 Wheatear. (E Henderson)

Tresillian River: 2 Dipper, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff and Sparrowhawk circling over playing field being mobbed by 2 House Martins. Also 2 Raven over. (A Nicholson)

Downderry: 16 Common Scoter, 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Gull and a Wheatear. (A Payne)

Tregonce: 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker in garden. (L Davies)

Hayle to Trencrom via St. Erth walk: Several Swallow, singing Garden Warbler, 2 Green Woodpecker, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker (Hayle), numerous singing Blackcap, Orange Tip Butterfly, 15+ Raven in courtship flight, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 singing Willow Warbler (Trencrom). (J Evans)

Lelant Saltings via Ryan’s Field and St Erth: 4 Mute Swan, 6 Canada Goose, 16 Shelduck, 5 Common Buzzard, 3 Raven, 18 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 5 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warbler, 6 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff. (P Nason)

Carnsew Pool: 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 25 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Knot. (J Evans)

Crantock: 1 m Kestrel, 23 Meadow Pipit at sand dunes, 5 Whitethroat, 5 Blackcap, 3 Wheatear, 12 Skylark, 3 Wheatear, 9 Chiffchaff, 3 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk. (S Grose)

Trevemper: 3 Sedge Warbler. (S Grose)

Foxhole: 1 Swallow and 1 Cuckoo. (P Wilkins)

Mawgan: 1 Cuckoo heard at 8pm (P. Bedford)

Trengwainton Carn: 1 singing Yellowhammer (S Witts)

Crackington Haven: 3 Swallow this morning over sheep fields. 10-12 Swallow this evening flying north and 2 Wheatear on neighbouring roof.  (J&B Teague)

Morvah: 1 Swift. (SJ Pearman)

Cornwall Lockdown Diary, Day 27:

What a childlike thrill it is to find a bird’s nest. In days gone by boys would not only seek them out but plunder the eggs, ‘blow’ them (a pinhole in either end, then blow out the contents and with them another life) and build up collections. Thank goodness that practice has died out – apart from for a few moronic men (yes, I’m afraid so) who risk a criminal record – and nests are now recorded rather than robbed.

But it is a delight to discover that lovingly fashioned, one-season bird home. Its intimacy and snugness appeal to our own instinct to create a safe space for ourselves and our families. I found a nest at eye height near the garden shed. It was a grass construct, the foundations interwoven with a honeysuckle, a stone wall for support. There was no bird sitting. No glint of a dark eye. For several days I peeped but there was no sign of occupancy. Yet three blue eggs, smudged with brown, lay in the bottom of the grassy bowl. A Blackbird. But why deserted? What had made her abandon ship just at the crucial time? If it was a weasel or Magpie the eggs would have been eaten. Perhaps a Sparrowhawk got her. Fortunately, there are quite a few other Blackbirds around the garden, beaks crammed with food, so there are at least some thriving families here.

Simon Marquis (