Well done to all who took part in what was a successful month for the Cornwall Garden Listing League, with 94 species seen across 27 gardens. Plenty of good birds were to be had with ‘rarity of the month’ being Dave Parker’s White Stork on the 10th. There always remains some uncertainty around wandering White Storks in the UK and it could be from the White Stork Project in Sussex (more information on that HERE) but a grand bird to see nonetheless. Otherwise a Black Redstart that briefly visited Dan Chaney at Mabe Burnthouse on the 17th the only other really notable species perhaps, along with Black-throated Diver for Dave again.
Whilst most of us are inland, a handful of gardens are on or near the coast or estuarine habitats, boosting the overall species diversity – many of us could only hope for goodies like Gannet, Fulmar or Turnstone! Highlights include Eider, Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Shelduck and the three diver species, with Stu Bearhop enjoying Dipper and Andy Blonden Common Sandpiper. Moving inland, 8 gardens were treated to Firecrest, Siskins were seen in 9 and Treecreeper visited two, with Yellowhammer in two of the more Easterly gardens. With the species currently experiencing a drastic decline nationwide, Geoff White’s Willow Tit was a great garden bird. Other inland one-garden wonders include Phil McVey’s Marsh Tit, Tim Pinfield’s evening Woodcock flights and Simon Marquis’ Red-legged Partridge. Tony Wilson’s Mediterranean Gull and Ian Toogood-Johnson’s Grey Herons were respective garden ticks. Eight gardens recorded Little Egret and 6 saw Mediterranean Gull – both would have been fairly unthinkable only twenty or thirty years ago! Perhaps overlooked or under-recorded, only 6 gardens recorded Feral Pigeon. Moving on to the last week of the month and a new addition to the list saw 4 gardens witness Common Gulls – some evidence of a movement perhaps.
Tawny Owl was recorded from an impressive 20 gardens – as an early breeder the beginning of the year is a good time to listen out for them vocalising – how many people specifically targeted them we wonder?! Only 6 species were seen across all the gardens we have full lists for: Blue Tit, Dunnock, Wood Pigeon, Blackbird, Robin and Chaffinch. That will probably change as people continue to pick up new species – it’s about the commoner species and enjoying them as much as it is about the occasional scarcer visitors. Brighter visitors included Great Spotted Woodpecker, with no less than 21 gardens records and Jay from 18 gardens. Looking forwards to February, no garden has recorded Brambling and only Andrew le Masurier at Tresillian has had a Peregrine, so those are amongst the species to look out for in the coming weeks perhaps.
In the spreadsheet below you can see your list with the birds recorded against the master list of all lists. Apart from seeing who else has seen the same as you, it does make it a lot easier to spot any gaps you have on your own list.
(To scroll around the spreadsheet use the pale grey horizontal and vertical bars. To help find ‘your garden’ in the columns we assigned a number to each person in rough order that they signed up to the league. The first tab ‘sheet’ near the bottom left hand corner is the targets list, the second is the actual list for January as per the main spreadsheet.)
|Last Year's Total
|2022 Garden List
|Overlooking small creek
|Andrew le Masurier
|Scrub, farmland and hamlet. Sea distant.
|Fringe of woodland, view down a valley.
|Geoff and Jacky White
|Large garden in rural village
|Rural village mid-sized garden
|Inland with large garden
|Medium garden, wooded valley in farmland.
|Carbis Moor, St Austell
|Quite isolated and surrounded by lots of old established trees and Cornish hedges.
|Borders small nature reserve, near pool and beach
|Small garden (untidy but lots of cats in vicinity) on edge of village/housing estate.
|Rural mature garden enclosed by farmland
|Housing Estate, distant views to farmland
|Moderate sized mature garden
|Average size, overlooks park, surrounded by tall trees.
Cornwall Garden Listing League 2021: January highlights summary now on the website, with an impressive 94 species recorded overall:https://t.co/0Ag5GWMKwc
(Still 11 months of the year left, whatever your garden or birding level you can still join in!) pic.twitter.com/SU60QbOLTA
— Cornwall Birds (@CBWPS1) February 3, 2021
D Beadle, D Chaney – Garden Listing Team Feb 2021