Tuesday 21st April 2020

Tuesday 21st 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.

Late news, 19/4, Treen Common: 1 Cuckoo, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Snipe.

Late news, 20/4, St Ives Island: 1 Great Skua, 18 Gannet, 2 Shag, 4 Kittiwake, 2 Great-black backed Gull, 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Rock Pipit, 1m Wheatear (P Nason)

Late news, 20/04, Bosworgy, Relubbus: 1 Garden Warbler (S Ellis)

Newlyn: pale Arctic Skua, 2cy Glaucous Gull still. (L Proctor)

Marazion Beach: 5 Great Northern Diver, 1 Knot, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper,  3 Swift, f Wheatear, 1 Hobby (over). (S Rogers)

Sennen: male Black Redstart. (P Walsh)

Gannel Estuary: 5 Common Sandpiper, 1 Lesser Whitethroat. Also 60 Swallow over NE this evening. (S Rowe)

Bartinney Downs: 3 Cuckoo, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff. (P Taylor, H Mitchell)

Heamoor: 2 Swift, 5 House Martin. (P St Pierre)

Constantine: 1 Red Kite over. (J & D Chapman)

Kingsmill Lake: 7 Whimbrel & 1 Swallow. Also 4-5 Blackcap singing (P Kemp) Also 8 Shelduck , 4 Whimbrel , 1 sp Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Swallow flying north up River. (K Pellow)

Tamar Estuary: 1 Grey Heron , 1 Little Egret , 3 Whimbrel , 1 Greenshank at Moditonham Creek. 2 Canada Geese, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Little Egret, 2 Shelduck, 9 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 6+ Swallow at Landulph Marsh. 11 Oystercatcher, 2 Little Egret at Cargreen. (K Pellow)

St Just: 1 Swift, 30 Swallow, 10 House Martin, 4 Wheatear. (D Flumm)

Wheatear, Dave Flumm

Crackington Haven: 2 Swift this morning and 3 Swallow around all day group of 30+ and 40+ Swallow flying north this evening. (J&B Teague)

Newquay, Trebarber Farm: 2 Yellowhammer, 11 Skylark, 4 Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 3 Greenfinch, 3 Red legged Partridge, 4 Ringed Plover overhead. (S Grose)

Tresillian River: 6 Whimbrel and 3 Greenshank at high tide on Tresemple Pool. (A Nicholson)

Cape Cornwall: 10 Whitethroat and many Swallow moving through. (S Turner)

Kit Hill: 1 Chiffchaff (singing), 1 Blackcap (singing), 6 Willow Warbler (singing), 6 Linnet, 4 Meadow Pipit, 1 Skylark (singing), 4 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 4 Robin, 4 Wren, 2 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Crow, 3 Magpie, 1 Woodpigeon, 6 Buzzards, 1 Swallow. (A Parker)

Goonzian Downs: pr Yellowhammer. (A Newsham)

Falmouth, Gyllyngvase Beach: 1 Great Northern Diver (in near summer plumage), 2 Sandwich Tern, 1 pair Eider, 1 Guillemot, 1 Kestrel (over). (J St Ledger)

Helston: 1 Cuckoo heard near St John’s area and Whitethroat at Gwavas. (D Wright)

Falmouth: 1 Swift over garden this afternoon (G Wills).

Sancreed: 1 Cuckoo, 3 Sedge Warbler, 4 Common Whitethroat. (D Flumm)

Cuckoo, Dave Flumm

Sedge Warbler, Dave Flumm

Whitethroat, Dave Flumm

Cornwall Lockdown Diary, Day 29:

I’m keeping my fingers tightly crossed for the arrival of one of the last of our summer visitors. We have had a pair here most years, and a couple of seasons ago, they built their nest in a creeper only five feet from the front door. Two young were raised but whether they made it safely I’m not at all sure.

Spotted Flycatchers. About as non-descript a small bird as it’s possible to find. Grey: that about sums it up. But I love them. They appear without fanfare all the way from sub-Saharan Africa, in the very spot where they nested last year or perhaps were born. It is really moving, the loyalty of the long-distance migrant.

Alas, they are in perilous decline. Numbers are down (BTO figures) by almost 90% over the last 50 years. The causes are (as with most bird population falls) a mix of factors, but it is nevertheless a great sadness that these watchful little birds are becoming scarcer each year. They swoop into the nest almost unseen and having fed the young dart away like tiny ghosts, back to a lookout perch, from where insect hunts are deftly executed. The bird spies its insect prey, grabs it mid-air with an audible snap of the beak, and flits back to its post, sitting upright to attention. What interesting little characters to spend the long days with.

It won’t be before the beginning of May, but I’m keeping an eye out for them even now. The welcome mat is laid out.

Simon Marquis (palores@cbwps.org.uk)