Thursday 29th August 2019

Thursday 29th August 2019

Late news, 28/9, Scillonian III: 1 Sooty Shearwater (+ 1 distant probable), 1 Phalarope species flushed off the sea, 2 possible Balearic Shearwater (distant towards Porthgwarra area), 1 Minke Whale, 2 small pods Common Dolphin with Tuna, 1 small group of Kittiwakes and 1 Sennen Lifeboat! (R Creek)

St Ives (seawatch 06:40-08:40): Brown Booby (08:05-08:40), 2 Balearic Shearwater, 4 Teal, 2 Common Scoter, 1 Whimbrel, 12 Dunlin, 4 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Skua, 10 Common Dolphin. (D Flumm, Lee Evans et al) Also 1 pale Pomarine Skua. (G Wyatt)
After several ‘false starts’ with 2nd Calendar-year Gannets the last 3 days, it was great to catch up with this bird and although distant at 5 km range from us, the identification was straightforward in the end. We were watching the bird from the Coastguard lookout at St Ives Island as it fed along the surf-line off Hayle beach at Gwithian. There were adult Gannets and a 2nd-cal bird in the vicinity but not feeding together and the Booby was constantly plunge-diving at a shallow (30 degree?) angle then resurfacing, flying for a few metres and repeating the exercise. The Gannets yesterday were also feeding thus but today also adopted their typical 90 degree dives into the sea – I never saw the Booby do this today. Having looked closely at some of the 2nd-cal year Gannets of late, it is clear why observers, myself included, might be initially mistaken with those individuals at a distance showing brown ‘hoods’ – the latter often forming a sharply demarcated breast contrast with otherwise white underparts and white underwing stripes.  But given sufficient views the diagnostic white uppertail crescent of these immature Gannets is usually obvious with a scope even at 5 km if light conditions (as today) allow. Structurally the bird looks smaller than a Gannet, the wings maybe shorter and rounder and the tail shorter. When flying away, the upperparts always looked uniform dark brown with no white uppertail covert crescent. After watching the bird for 20 minutes under overcast conditions the sun came out making viewing (to the SE) difficult and many observers left to escape the glare for Hayle beach. Unfortunately the bird disappeared towards Godrevy Head as I left at 08:40. Perhaps it spends the day resting on the island there.” (D Flumm)

St Ives Island Seawatch (06:40-07:58): Brown Booby observed distantly from island 08:05-08:40, 82 Northern Gannet, 460 Manx Shearwater, 3 Balearic Shearwater, 27 Shag, 4 Common Teal, 2 Common Scoter, 33 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Great Skua, 6 Pomarine Skua (pale morph moulting adult-type), 6 Arctic Skua (all dark morph), 1 Whimbrel, 1 Common Guillemot and 10 Common Dolphin (in the harbour). (LGR Evans)

Brown Booby – Mike Mckee

Brown Booby – Mike Mckee

St Ives Bay: Brown Booby close inshore off Gwithian Towans car park 8:06, then off Hayle Towans 8:28, then between the Towans and Hayle river mouth 8:40 before flying east and passing Godrevy Point at c9:00. (Many observers) Also 2 Whinchat at Hayle Towans.

Godrevy Head: Great Shearwater west at 10:15 also c10000 Manx Shearwater, 2 Chough and 4 Raven. (B Hibbert, LGR Evans) Brown Booby reported west at c10:05,

Porthgwarra: Melodious Warbler reported showing well in bushes by track near coastguard cottages. No sign later, but 2 juvenile Willow Warblers, 1 Chiffchaff and 9 Chough. (LGR Evans)

Helston: Possible White Stork flew towards Culdrose 10:20. (N Hallam)

Jolly Town (Lower Predannack Downs): 1 Wryneck, 3 Whinchat, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Sparrowhawk (with kill – Wheatear), 1 Kestrel, numbers of Stonechat and Linnet (J St Ledger)

Wryneck – John St Ledger

Whinchat & Stonechat – John St Ledger

Dozmary Pool: 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 5 Meadow Pipit, 60+ Goldfinch, 20 Linnet, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Common Sandpiper, 6 Teal, 2 Mallard, 1 Little Grebe, 7 Swallow, 6 Lapwing, 2 Curlew. (C Buckland)

Hayle Estuary RSPB: Osprey at 16:00. (S Rowe)  c25 Teal, 1 juv. Knot, 3 Wigeon. (R Veal) Osprey also seen over Harvey’s Towans. (M Jones) Also 1 juvenile Common Shelduck, 40 Common Teal, 14 Little Egret, 5 Common Greenshank, 35 Common Redshank and 1 Whimbrel on main estuary, 8 Greylag Geese, 106 Eurasian Curlew, 3 Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit (2 juveniles), 10 Mediterranean Gulls, 1 Kingfisher and 1 Chiffchaff on Ryan’s Field, 8 Greylag Geese, 106 Eurasian Curlew, 3 Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit (2 juveniles), 10 Mediterranean Gulls, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Chiffchaff on Copperhouse Creek. (LGR Evans)

Godrevy: 1 Black Tern early pm. (S Rowe)

Porthkidney: 2cy Yellow-legged Gull, 1 juv. Knot. (M Halliday)

Knot, Mark Halliday

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Yellow-legged Gull, Mark Halliday

Porthleven: 3 Choughs between Porthleven and Loe Bar, close to the coast path. (D Birch)

Land’s End: 18+ Yellow Wagtails (mainly juveniles) feeding with cattle opposite Trinity loop, 8 Whitethroats (juveniles). (J Hawkey & K Dalziel)

Drift Reservoir (members only): 3 Swift, Osprey present at 08:30. (J Hawkey & K Dalziel) Osprey still present – alighted in trees NE arm of reservoir 18:10 plus 3 Little Egrets, 2 Great Crested Grebe. (D Flumm, LGR Evans)

Poldhu Cove: 7 Turnstone, 5 Dunlin, 1 Ringed Plover, 2 White Wagtails. (B Nicholls)

Stithians Reservoir: 1815hrs 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 4 Lapwing, 10 Snipe, 1 Curlew, 10 Teal, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Little Egret, 10 Teal, 2 Swallow, 15 Cormorant, 1 Blackcap (S Van Hear)

Gribbin Head: 1 juv. Sanderling. (R Kirkwood)

Sanderling, Rupert Kirkwood

Gannel Estuary: 2 Tawny Owl heard, 1 Common Sandpiper heard, 1 Kingfisher heard, also Curlew, Oystercatcher heard this eve. (S Grose)

Pendeen Watchpoint (seawatch 1600-1700): 30 Eurasian Shag, 202 Manx Shearwater, 1 Whimbrel, Common Raven pair and a single Northern Wheatear. (LGR Evans)