County List

447 species of birds have been recorded in the county. A full list (revised February 2023) is below.

County List

447 species of birds have been recorded in the county. A full list (revised February 2023) is below.

All birds that are BOU Category A, B or C that have been recorded (and accepted by the relevant committee) are listed below. The county list (as at February 2023) stands at 447. The contact for this page is [email protected]The last year of occurrence is given for some of the rarer species. The various letters and symbols accompanying the species names refer to their status on a county and national level as outlined below:

National Rarities as defined by BBRC are indicated by †

Cornwall description species:

  • (F) FULL DESCRIPTION – Cornwall rarity, all records required, with full supporting notes and photographs
  • (P) PARTIAL DESCRIPTION – All records required with brief supporting notes and photographs, or the names of two other known observers
  • (N) NO DESCRIPTION – All records required but descriptions not normally necessary unless for a record outside the expected location, date or count for that species

BOU species categories (see their website for full details):

  • A  – Recorded in an apparently natural state at least once since 1950
  • B  – Species recorded in an apparently natural state at least once between 1 January 1800 and 31 December 1949, but have not been recorded subsequently
  • C  – Species that, although introduced, now derive from the resulting self-sustaining populations.
  • C1 – Naturalised introduced species: species that have occurred only as a result of introduction (e.g. Egyptian Goose)
  • C2 – Naturalised established species: species with established populations resulting from introduction by man, but which also occur in an apparently natural state (e.g. Greylag Goose)
  • C3 – Naturalised re-established species: species with populations successfully re-established by man in areas of former occurrence (e.g. Red Kite)
  • C4 – Naturalised feral species: domesticated species with populations established in the wild (e.g. Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon)
  • C5 – Vagrant naturalised species: species from established naturalised populations abroad (e.g. possibly some Ruddy Shelduck occurring in Britain). There are currently no species in category C5.
  • C6 – Former naturalised species: species formerly placed in C1 whose naturalised populations are either no longer self-sustaining or are considered extinct (e.g. Lady Amherst’s Pheasant)
  • D – Species that would otherwise appear in Category A except that there is reasonable doubt that they have ever occurred in a natural state
  • E – Species recorded as introductions, human-assisted transportees or escapees from captivity and whose breeding populations (if any) are thought not to be self-sustaining. Species in Category E that have bred in the wild in Britain are designated as E*.

OrderSpeciesDescriptionCategoryLast year
1Black Grouse (F)BE*1904
2Red-legged Partridge (N)C1E*
3Grey Partridge (P)AC2E*
4Quail (P)AE*
5Pheasant (N)C1E*
6Brent Goose (N)AE
7Canada Goose (N)AC2E*
8Barnacle Goose (N)AC2E*
9Greylag Goose (N)AC2C4E*
10Taiga Bean Goose (F)AE*2006
11Pink-footed Goose (P)AE*
12Tundra Bean Goose (F)AE2021
13White-fronted Goose(N)AE*
14Mute Swan (N)AC2
15Bewick’s Swan (P)AE2016
16Whooper Swan (N)AE*
17Egyptian Goose (P)C1C5E*
18Shelduck (N)A
19Mandarin Duck (N)C1E*
20Garganey (N)A
21Blue-winged TealAE*2021
22Shoveler (N)A
23Gadwall (N)AC2E*
24Wigeon (N)AE*
25American Wigeon(P)AE2020
26Mallard (N)AC2C4E*
27Black Duck A2010
28Pintail (N)AE
29Teal (N)A
30Green-winged Teal(P)A
31Red-crested Pochard (P)AC2E*2016
33Pochard (N)AE*
34Ferruginous Duck AE
35Ring-necked Duck (P)AE
36Tufted Duck (N)A
37Scaup (N)A
38Lesser Scaup (F)A
39King Eider A2015
40Eider (N)A
41Surf Scoter (F)A
42Velvet Scoter (N)A
43Common Scoter (N)A
44Long-tailed Duck (N)A
45Bufflehead AE2020
47Smew (P)A2016
48Goosander (N)A
49Red-breasted Merganser (N)A
50Ruddy Duck (P)C1E*2010
51Common Nighthawk A2008
52Nightjar (N)A
53Chimney Swift A1999
54Alpine Swift(P)A
55Swift (N)A
56Pallid Swift A2018
57Little Swift A2004
58Great BustardBE*1879
59Little Bustard A1996
60Great Spotted CuckooA2014
61Yellow-billed CuckooA2020
62Black-billed Cuckoo A1965
63Cuckoo (N)A
64Pallas’s Sandgrouse B1889
65Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon(N)AC4E*
66Stock Dove (N)A
67Woodpigeon (N)A
68Turtle Dove (N)A
69Collared Dove (N)A
70Water Rail (N)A
72Spotted Crake (P)A
73Moorhen (N)A
74Coot (N)A
75Baillon’s Crake A2017
76Little Crake A2004
78Little Grebe (N)A
79Pied-billed GrebeA2001
80Red-necked Grebe (N)A
81Great Crested Grebe (N)A
82Slavonian Grebe (N)A
83Black-necked Grebe (N)A
84Stone-curlew (P)A
85Oystercatcher (N)A
86Black-winged Stilt(F)A2021
87Avocet (N)AE
88Lapwing (N)A
89Sociable PloverA2021
90Golden Plover (N)A
91Pacific Golden PloverA2022
92American Golden Plover (F)A
93Grey Plover (N)A
94Ringed Plover (N)A
95Little Ringed Plover (N)A
96Killdeer A2002
97Kentish Plover A2021
98Dotterel (P)A
99Upland SandpiperA2005
100Whimbrel (N)A
101Hudsonian WhimbrelA2016
102Curlew (N)A
103Bar-tailed Godwit (N)A
104Black-tailed Godwit (N)A
105Turnstone (N)A
106Knot (N)A
107Ruff (N)A
108Broad-billed SandpiperA1980
109Sharp-tailed SandpiperA2004
110Curlew Sandpiper (N)A
111Temminck’s Stint(P)A
112Long-toed Stint A1970
113Sanderling (N)A
114Dunlin (N)A
115Purple Sandpiper (N)A
116Baird’s SandpiperA2018
117Little Stint (N)A
118Least SandpiperA2022
119White-rumped Sandpiper(F)A
120Buff-breasted Sandpiper(P)A
121Pectoral Sandpiper (P)A
122Semipalmated SandpiperA2021
123Long-billed DowitcherA2022
124Woodcock (N)A
125Jack Snipe (N)A
126Great Snipe B1868
127Snipe (N)A
128Terek SandpiperA2014
129Wilson’s PhalaropeA2015
130Red-necked Phalarope(F)A2022
131Grey Phalarope (N)A
132Common Sandpiper (N)A
133Spotted SandpiperA2020
134Green Sandpiper (N)A
135Solitary Sandpiper A1980
136Lesser Yellowlegs A
137Redshank (N)A
138Marsh SandpiperA2018
139Wood Sandpiper (N)A
140Spotted Redshank (N)A
141Greenshank (N)A
142Greater YellowlegsA2011
143Cream-coloured Courser A1980
144Collared Pratincole A1986
145Black-winged Pratincole A1993
146Kittiwake (N)A
147Ivory Gull B1907
148Sabine’s Gull (P)A
149Bonaparte’s GullA2021
150Black-headed Gull (N)A
151Little Gull (N)A
152Ross’s Gull A2020
153Laughing Gull A2006
154Franklin’s Gull A2016
155Mediterranean Gull (N)A
156Common Gull (N)A
157Ring-billed Gull (P)A
158Great Black-backed Gull (N)A
159Glaucous Gull (N)A
160Iceland Gull (N)A
161Herring Gull (N)A
162American Herring Gull A2007
163Caspian Gull (F)A
164Yellow-legged Gull (N)A
165Lesser Black-backed Gull (N)A
166Gull-billed TernA2021
167Caspian Tern A1997
168Royal TernA
169Sandwich Tern (N)A
170Elegant TernA2002
171Little Tern (N)A
172Bridled TernA2014
173Roseate Tern (F)A
174Common Tern (N)A
175Arctic Tern (N)A
176Forster’s Tern A2002
177Whiskered Tern A2016
178White-winged Black Tern (F)A1999
179Black Tern (N)A
180Great Skua (N)A
181Pomarine Skua (N)A
182Arctic Skua (N)A
183Long-tailed Skua (F)A
184Little Auk (N)A
185Common Guillemot (N)A
186Razorbill (N)A
187Black Guillemot (P)A
188Puffin (N)A
189Red-billed TropicbirdAE2015
190Red-throated Diver (N)A
191Black-throated Diver (N)A
192Pacific Diver A
193Great Northern Diver(N)A
194White-billed Diver (F)A
195Wilson’s Petrel(F)A
196Black-browed Albatross A
197Storm Petrel (N)A
198Leach’s Petrel (P)A
199Fulmar (N)A
200Cory’s Shearwater (N)A
201Sooty Shearwater (N)A
202Great Shearwater (N)A
203Manx Shearwater (N)A
204Balearic Shearwater (N)A
205Barolo ShearwaterA
206Black Stork AE2021
207White Stork (F)AE
208Brown BoobyA
209Gannet (N)A
210Cormorant (N)A
211Shag (N)A
212Glossy Ibis (P)AE
213Spoonbill (N)AE
214Bittern (N)A
215American Bittern A2010
216Little Bittern A2012
218Green Heron A2010
219Squacco HeronA2015
220Cattle Egret(P)AE
221Grey Heron (N)A
222Purple Heron (P)A
223Great White Egret (P)A
224Little Egret (N)A
225Dalmatian PelicanA2016
226Osprey (N)AE*
227Honey-buzzard (F)A
228Spotted Eagle B1861
229Golden Eagle (F)BE1810
230Sparrowhawk (N)A
232Marsh Harrier (N)A
233Hen Harrier (N)A
234Northern HarrierA2013
235Pallid Harrier A2022
236Montagu’s Harrier(F)A2022
237Red Kite (N)AC3E*
238Black Kite (F)AE
239White-tailed Eagle(F)AC3E*1973
240Rough-legged Buzzard (F)AE
241Buzzard (N)AE*
242Barn Owl (N)AE*
243Scops Owl A2020
244Snowy Owl AE2017
245Tawny Owl (N)A
246Hawk Owl B1830
247Little Owl(P)C1E*
248Long-eared Owl (P)A
249Short-eared Owl (N)A
250Hoopoe (N)AE
251Roller A2022
252Kingfisher (N)A
253Belted Kingfisher A1980
254Blue-cheeked Bee-eater A1989
255Bee-eater (P)A
256Wryneck (N)A
257Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (P)A
258Great Spotted Woodpecker (N)A
259Green Woodpecker (N)A
260Lesser Kestrel A1968
261Kestrel (N)A
262American Kestrel AE1976
263Red-footed Falcon(F)A
264Amur FalconAE2017
265Eleonora’s FalconA2012
266Merlin (N)A
267Hobby (N)A
268Gyr Falcon AE2016
269Peregrine (N)AE
270Alder FlycatcherA2008
271Brown Shrike A2021
272Red-backed Shrike (N)A
273Daurian ShrikeA2013
274Turkestan ShrikeA2002
275Lesser Grey Shrike A1983
276Great Grey Shrike(P)A2022
277Woodchat Shrike(P)A
278Yellow-throated Vireo A1989
279Red-eyed VireoA
280Golden Oriole (P)A
281Jay (N)A
282Magpie (N)A
283Nutcracker A1968
284Chough (N)AE*
285Jackdaw (N)A
286Rook (N)A
287Carrion Crow (N)A
288Hooded Crow(P)A
289Raven (N)A
291Coal Tit (N)A
292Marsh Tit (N)A
293Willow Tit (N)A
294Blue Tit (N)A
295Great Tit (N)A
296Penduline Tit (F)A2004
297Bearded Tit(P)A2017
298Woodlark (N)A
299Skylark (N)A
300Crested Lark AE1965
301Shore Lark(P)A2014
302Short-toed Lark(P)A2022
303Sand Martin (N)A
304Swallow (N)AE
305Crag Martin A1988
306House Martin (N)A
307Red-rumped Swallow (P)A
308Cetti’s Warbler (N)A
309Long-tailed Tit (N)A
310Wood Warbler(P)A
311Western Bonelli’s WarblerA2021
312Hume’s Warbler A2008
313Yellow-browed Warbler (N)A
314Pallas’s Warbler(F)A
315Radde’s Warbler(F)A2022
316Dusky Warbler (F)A
317Willow Warbler (N)A
318Chiffchaff (N)A
319Iberian ChiffchaffA2018
320Green WarblerA
321Greenish Warbler (F)A
322Arctic WarblerA2014
323Great Reed Warbler A2020
324Aquatic Warbler A
325Sedge Warbler (N)A
326Paddyfield WarblerA2022
327Blyth’s Reed Warbler(F)A
328Reed Warbler (N)A
329Marsh Warbler (F)A
330Booted WarblerA
331Sykes’s WarblerA2018
332Melodious Warbler(P)A
333Icterine Warbler (F)A2022
334Savi’s Warbler A2015
335Grasshopper Warbler (N)A
336Blackcap (N)A
337Garden Warbler (N)A
338Barred Warbler(P)A
339Lesser Whitethroat (N)A
340Sardinian WarblerA2020
341Eastern Subalpine WarblerA2021
342Western Subalpine WarblerA
343Whitethroat (N)A
344Dartford Warbler (N)A
345Firecrest (N)A
346Goldcrest (N)A
347Wren (N)A
348Nuthatch (N)A
349Treecreeper (N)A
350Grey CatbirdA2018
351Rose-coloured Starling (P)AE
352Starling (N)A
353White’s Thrush A2021
354Varied Thrush A1982
355Veery A1999
356Grey-cheeked Thrush A1998
357Swainson’s Thrush A1987
358Hermit ThrushA2013
359Ring Ouzel (N)A
360Blackbird (N)A
361Black-throated Thrush A2002
362Dusky Thrush A1983
363Fieldfare (N)A
364Redwing (N)A
365Song Thrush (N)A
366Mistle Thrush (N)A
367American Robin AE2003
368Rufous Scrub-tailed RobinA2021
369Spotted Flycatcher (N)A
370Robin (N)A
371Bluethroat (F)A2021
373Red-flanked Bluetail (F)AE2007
374Red-breasted Flycatcher (P)A
375Pied Flycatcher (N)A
376Black Redstart (N)A
377Redstart (N)A
378Rock Thrush A1963
379Blue Rock Thrush A2000
380Whinchat (N)A
381Stonechat (N)A
382Siberian StonechatA2022
383Wheatear (N)A
384Isabelline Wheatear A2023
385Desert WheatearA2022
386Black-eared Wheatear A2002
387Pied Wheatear A2018
388Dipper (N)A
389House Sparrow (N)A
390Spanish Sparrow A2000
391Tree Sparrow(P)A
392Alpine Accentor A1990
393Dunnock (N)A
394Yellow Wagtail (N)A
395Eastern Yellow WagtailA2016
396Citrine Wagtail(F)A2022
397Grey Wagtail (N)A
398Pied Wagtail (N)A
399Richard’s Pipit (N)A
400Blyth’s Pipit A2007
401Tawny Pipit A
402Meadow Pipit (N)A
403Tree Pipit (N)A
404Olive-backed Pipit(F)A
405Pechora Pipit A1996
406Red-throated PipitA2017
407Buff-bellied Pipit A
408Water Pipit (N)A
409Rock Pipit (N)A
410Chaffinch (N)AE
411Brambling (N)A
412Hawfinch (P)A2022
413Bullfinch (N)A
414Common Rosefinch(P)A2018
415Greenfinch (N)AE
416Twite (F)A1988
417Linnet (N)A
418Common Redpoll (F)A2008
419Lesser Redpoll (N)A
420Arctic RedpollA2020
421Crossbill (N)A
422Goldfinch (N)A
423Serin (P)A
424Siskin (N)A
425Lapland Bunting (N)A
426Snow Bunting (N)A
427Corn Bunting (N)A
428Yellowhammer (N)A
429Pine Bunting A2009
430Ortolan Bunting(P)AE2022
431Cirl Bunting (N)A
432Little Bunting(P)A
433Rustic Bunting A2009
434Black-headed BuntingAE2000
435Reed Bunting (N)A
436White-throated Sparrow AE2010
437Dark-eyed Junco AE2008
438Bobolink A2008
439Baltimore Oriole A1968
440Black-and-white Warbler A1983
441Common Yellowthroat A2006
442American Redstart A1983
443Northern Parula A1988
444Bay-breasted Warbler A1995
445Blackpoll Warbler A1995
446Wilson’s Warbler A1985
447Scarlet TanagerA2011

In addition to these full species, there are a number of subspecies that have been recorded in Cornwall. A list summarising some of these records is below, but this remains a work in progress and is far from an exhaustive list due to taxonomic complexities with races and subspecies.

SubspeciesLast yearLatin subspecies name
Dark-bellied Brent Goosebernicla
Pale-bellied Brent Goosehrota
Black Brant1981nigricans
European White-fronted Goosealbifrons
Greenland White-fronted Gooseflavirostris
Kumlien’s Gull2023kumlieni
Azorean Yellow-legged Gull2008atlantis
Continental Cormorantsinensis
Steppe Grey Shrike1992pallidirostris
Balearic Woodchat Shrike2010badius
Siberian Chiffchafftristis
Eastern Lesser Whitethroatblythi
Eastern Black Redstart2017phoenicuroides / rufiventris / xerophilus
Blue-headed Wagtailflava
Ashy-headed Wagtail1990cinereocapilla
Grey-headed Wagtail2016thunbergi
Black-headed Wagtail2019feldegg
White Wagtailalba
Scandanavian Rock Pipitlittoralis

Finally, there are a number of species close to entering the county list, but do not appear in the list. Such reasons include: (i) awaiting BBRC acceptance, (ii) not being accepted to species level or (iii) being accepted to have occurred but there is doubt if the origins were wild. These records are summarised below.

Records Pending BBRC AcceptanceYear Last RecordedComments
Taiga Flycatcher2009Re-submitted in 2022
Trindade Petrel2018
Black-faced Bunting2022
Records Pending Status Review
Ruddy ShelduckBBRC conducting a review of species status in Britain
Ring-necked ParakeetRecords believed to have most likely orignated from the Plymouth population being considered as valid entries onto the County List
Snow GooseReview of records of possible wild origin being carried out by County Recorder
Red-breasted GooseReview of records of possible wild origin being carried out by County Recorder, possibly to send to BBRC
Records in BOURC Category D
Booted Eagle1999
Paddyfield Pipit2019
Records Accepted to Family Group Only
Fea’s-type PetrelFea’s Petrel or Zino’s Petrel or Deserta’s Petrel
Frigatebird sp.1995Ascension Frigatebird or Magnificent Frigatebird
Orphean Warbler sp.Western Orphean Warbler or Eastern Orphean Warbler
Band-rumped Petrel sp.Madeiran Storm Petrel or Monteiro’s Storm Petrel or Cape Verde Storm Petrel