March 2020 News

Save Our Swifts Update: Please note that there is a degree of uncertainty on what we will be able to achieve with the project this year. It is possible that since Swifts are late nesters we may have an opportunity to carry out surveying this year. In any case please still look at what you can do with nestboxes (link page Here) and bear in mind that this project will likely now be a two year project.

Garden Listing League: To help with those self-isolating at home, and as many of us are able to spend more time in the garden this spring, we have set up a Garden Lockdown Listing League here on the website. To take part just email your tally and updates to us. Should be a help in keeping motivation going, spending time birding and improving your garden list (you may just get hooked) in these strange times.

Birding Ideas in Lockdown: With little prospect of getting out and about in the County over the coming weeks, the arrival of nicer weather (finally) with the onset of Spring, and more free time for many, it’s important to keep our spirits up and find innovative ways to do our ‘birding’ as we face these difficult times. The bird news team have started putting together a page of ideas to help keep your motivation going and we will be looking at further ways we can engage the birding community here in Cornwall. Please follow the link >Here< for garden birding ideas, things to do and more. If you have any other suggestions for ideas or have come across any links that we can share with our members please send them to the usual email address. Keep birding, keep safe and well!

COVID -19 Update 26/03/20: In view of the current Coronavirus situation and following Government guidance and recommendations, the Society walks program has been suspended and all CBWPS Hides are now closed until further notice. We will continue to publish Daily Bird News, but please note that this will be restricted to sightings from members gardens, local area outdoor exercise or incidental to other necessary travel purposes only, and selected reports may be published with restricted data or remain unpublished. Please continue to send in all your records, stay safe, and bird responsibly. 

COVID-19 update 25/3/2020: The Board and wider Bird News Team have corresponded at length about whether, and to what extent, the daily sightings page should continue in the light of the recent Government announcement. This has been a very difficult decision and the consensus we reached yesterday was that:

  • Publication of the daily sightings page will continue, but we will only publish news of garden birds or birds seen on local dog or exercise walks. We won’t publish any news from excursions which are likely outside of these very tight but very necessary restrictions.
  • The Bird News Team will continue to accept your sightings (and we really do encourage you to send them in), but some records may not be published on the website as outlined above. The record of daily sightings is a fundamental part of the Society’s recording process, and even if your records do not immediately see the light of day on the website they will form part of this very valuable resource.
  • Note also that the selected reports in Palores are compiled from this and particularly notable sightings will continue to be reported at a later date.

We hope that you’ll understand and agree with these measures and we’ll have some better news in the near future and promote ways that we can all contribute and share our garden birds with each other.

BTO Rookery Survey: For more details please see CornwallRookerySurvey Please note that this survey will only now be available for those who are already signed up and able to complete the survey from home or on essential travel routes.

COVID-19 update, 22/03: In view of the current Coronavirus situation and following Government guidance and recommendations, please note that the Society walks program has been suspended and all CBWPS Hides are now closed until further notice. 

Hide Closures and Coronavirus: Please note that as of yesterday, 21st March, the Society Reserve hides will be closed to members and the public alike. This is in line with Government recommendations and general guidance with regard to ‘social distancing’ and to minimise the spread of this highly contagious disease. This concerns the hides at Drift, Stithians, Walmsley, Burniere and Windmill Farm. General access to the areas concerned is not currently affected, although the walks program has been suspended until further notice. We will also be reviewing dissemination of rare bird news in the County in line with coronavirus guidelines and the safety of our members in mind.

Coronavirus update, 20/03: The board have considered the constantly updated directions and recommendations to counter the spread of Covid 19/Coronavirus. They have decided that at this time (20th March 2020) the only proper decision is to close the Society’s hides, with immediate effect and until further notice. At this time open land comprised in the Society’s reserves remains open to members who are not (by reason of age, vulnerability, contact with the disease or any other circumstance) recommended not to travel. However, that situation may change at any time, for example by reason of new advice or if members prove unwilling to respect the guidance being issued from day to day. In particular, when looking for birds (whether on the Society’s reserves or elsewhere) please respect the current recommendation to maintain 2 metres of personal space – or any future amendments or additions to it. Please check the current advice on the Society’s website and nationally before visiting any reserves,.CBWPS 20th March 2020.

Coronavirus update, 18/03: With key ‘social distancing’ measures being adopted across the country, this will impact on our own organised walks programme and until further notice all planned walks and meetings will be cancelled. The measures may also impact our upcoming surveys and we will be looking at ways in which members and birdwatchers can still participate whilst remaining safe. If you do venture out birding we advise not to share transport and suggest that you keep a safe (2m) distance from others and avoid sharing optics. But in many situations it will be possible to enjoy your birding locally and perhaps this is a good time to start a garden list or join the BTO’s Garden Bird Watch survey. We will post updates as necessary, and you can contact us here if you have any suggestions or specific queries.

Sensitive Breeding Birds: Now tha

Sensitive Breeding Birds: Now that the breeding season is close upon us again, we will shortly be resuming our policy of withholding reports of sensitive breeding (and potential breeding) birds in the County. Our first duty is to protect the birds themselves. Please keep sending in your reports, even though they will not appear on the website, as they will still go into the county database and thus be available for the annual report, research and conservation. Remember, the welfare of the birds comes first! Thanks for your understanding. The full list of species concerned, including RBBP and Schedule 1 species can be found on the website here. Please do bear this in mind when sharing information on social media too.

Coronavirus, COVID-19 and birding: This will likely impact on the walks programme and various bird surveys and even general birding in the county in the near future. We will be looking at ways in which to encourage our members and birdwatchers in the county to stay in touch with nature and birdlife closer to home as travel restrictions likely increase. Stay safe, sane and well. If out birding take sensible precautions when interacting with others, and see eg the website.The situation and advice is changing quickly in the UK, we will post updates as necessary, and you can contact us here if you have any suggestions or specific queries.

Mermaid II wildlife trip: 11:00-14:00 on Monday 16th March. Report to Mermaid ticket office no later than 10:45, £25 per head, contact Martin Elliott on 07875 295457or mermaid booking office-07901731201, pay at shop or on boarding but please note trip may be cancelled if weather changes or too few book.

BTO Rookery Survey: The BTO in Cornwall are again running a Rookery survey this year. The survey runs from April 1st- April 30th and uses an online tetrad system that can be found here – CornwallRookerySurvey The survey methodology is simple. Double click on the square(s) that you want and then search all suitable habitat within the square for Rookeries to gain a nest count. A Recording form will be sent out in April to those that have requested squares.

Mermaid II trip planned, weather permitting from 13:00 to 16:00 on Thursday 5th March, cost £25. Meet outside the ticket office on the Ross Bridge, no later than 15 minutes before sailing.

Save Our Swifts: A Conservation Project for Cornwall. Down by 57% over the last 25 years and the iconic sound of Swifts on a balmy summers evening to be a thing of the past? Help us to redress the balance and support our Swifts by taking part in our Cornwall Swift Survey later this spring, making and installing nestboxes, attending events and spreading the word. Have a look HERE to see what we are doing and let us know how you can help. In the next few weeks we will providing more details on the survey, other events and mini-projects. Watch this space!