It’s that time already! February was another great month for the Cornwall Gardening listing league, with 6 new gardens and 11 new species. Dave Parker continues to lead the way, now with 61 species. After a strong month, Reuben Veal at Crowlas has shot up from joint 6th to second, with Tim Pinfield and Andy Blonden now sharing the third step of the podium. Surprisingly, half of the top 6 are inland gardens, showing that decent birds can definitely be found throughout much of Cornwall.
Arguably two of the better birds of the month were for Dave Parker at Marazion early in the month, with Water Pipit on 1st Feb and Glaucous Gull on 4th. Other highlights came from Christopher Moncaster’s new entry, with Jack Snipe, Corn Bunting, Reed Bunting and Short-eared Owl all added from Porthcothan. Matt Southam was lucky enough to add Chough to his list, and Merlins were sighted at Porthcothan, Crowlas and Creegbrawse. Three more gardens added Black Redstart (Matt Southam at Praa Sands, Steve Ford at Helston, and Rob Nicholls at Grampound Road) and the predicted Brambling arrived for Rob Nicholls. The other species new to the combined list were Razorbill, at Praa Sands and Marazion, and Greenshank for Stu Bearhop at Devoran. An inland Shelduck was a good sighting for Tim Pinfield at Constantine and two more gardens have added Peregrine: Tim Pinfield and Christopher Moncaster at Porthcothan. Special mention must also go to Tony Wilson for his Large Tortoiseshell – records of this butterfly are few and far between.
Other gardens held interesting sightings of less rare birds: Reuben Veal’s Nuthatch at Crowlas was his first there for 6 years, and Nigel Bastin’s Launceston garden was the second this year to have Marsh Tit. Three gardens added Firecrest and four added Skylark, the latter perhaps a sign of some movement. Canada Goose was a popular addition in the last few days of the month, perhaps as wintering flocks begin to disperse into breeding pairs. We now have 30 lists on our spreadsheet, 29 of which feature Blue Tit, Dunnock, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch and Great Tit. A couple more weeks are left to collect any final wintering records until it will be onto spring migrants. Swallow, House Martin and Willow Warbler amongst the early targets.
February Final Tally Table to follow.
Garden Listing Team March 2021 – Dan Beadle, Dan Chaney, Reuben Veal.