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. Results are in for the ‘Big Garden Sit’ on Saturday morning, with a healthy combined total of 59 species recorded in the hour.
Mount’s Bay: 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Storm Petrel, 4 Tufted Duck, 1 Great Skua, 1 dark Arctic Skua, 10+ Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-throated Diver, many feeding Manx Shearwater, Gannet and auk sp., all ‘scoped from various positions around the bay. (L Proctor, S Rogers, M Ahmad, D Parker)
Marazion: 1 Yellow Wagtail over 16:35, large flock of c150 hirundine sp., 60 Swift. (S Rogers)
Drift Reservoir: 1 Greenshank, 7 Whimbrel, 6 Swift, 10 House Martin. (D Flumm)
Crowlas: c70 House Martin, c10 Sand Martin, c20 Swallow, 6 Swift this evening (majority same as Marazion). (R Veal)
Truro: 2 Swift, 1 Willow Warbler (D Eva)
Tresillian River: 3 Reed Warbler (M Jones)
Falmouth Bay: 4 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Sandwich Tern, 30 Manx Shearwaters, 40 Gannet, 2 Whimbrel. Also c8 Risso’s Dolphin offshore this evening. (T Phelps, M Doyle)
Falmouth, off Gyllyngvase Beach: 1 Great Northern Diver (in summer plumage), 1 pair of Eider on rocks at 09.00 (J St Ledger)
Rosewall/Buttermilk Hill: 1 Cuckoo, 3f Wheatear, 1 Ring Ouzel (heard), 1 Buzzard, 8 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush, 26 Meadow Pipit, 13 Linnet, 3 Whitethroat (P Nason)
River Tamar, Horsebridge: c.20 Sand Martins,1 House Martin,1 Swallow, 4 Swift. (A Parker)
Newquay, Boating Lake: 1 Reed Warbler, 4 Sand Martin. Golf Course: 41 Whimbrel, 2 Wheatear, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Skylark Harbour: 7 Greenfinch, 1 m Blackcap. (S Grose)
Talskiddy: 1 Swift, 14 House Martin, 5 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff. Also, 1 Grasshopper Warbler sound recorded during the night. (P Roseveare)
Dobwalls: 1m Blackcap, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Swift, 4 Swallow over the garden (C&J Duffy)
Charlestown: 2 Buzzard, 3 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Wood Pigeon, 4 Dunnock, 2 Great Tit, 4 Blue Tit, 4 Jackdaw, 3 Robin, 4 Blackbird, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Chaffinch, 8 House Sparrow, 2 Swallow. (D Hastilow)
Boscoppa: 2 Siskin. (M Heacock)
Carharrack: 1 male Siskin (R Hooper)
Cornwall Lockdown Diary, Day 41
It is almost six weeks since the lockdown began, and time is behaving oddly. In our house we agree that the days can drag but the weeks fly by. We clap the NHS about every five minutes, but it seems an age till supper time.
Nature knows nothing of our parallel existence. The moon, with Venus shining just to the right, was back more or less where it was 28 days before, but now the sun lingers longer in the evening sky, the leaves on all but the ash have sprung into life, the hawthorn is smothered in Cornish cream and the birds are frenetically going about their annual family-raising business. I’ve witnessed the mating of Pheasants, Blue Tits and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. How did I not see this before? With time on our hands, there’s time to notice things. Really notice. What colour is the horse chestnut flower? White, I would have said. Wrong. They are spires of cream, spotted with raspberry pink and lemon yellow, with orange stamens. A riot of pastel frill and froth. Since lockdown we’ve had ten different butterflies, moths, bees, bats, slow worms, frog spawn and newts in the garden. There are rabbits and squirrels, the occasional roe deer, definite fox (though I haven’t actually seen one since the winter), glimpses of mice, voles and shrews. And, of course the birds.
Some days, I feel as if I don’t see much on my patch. But the truth is, it’s all there – thank goodness – whether I can see it or not.
Simon Marquis ([email protected])