Monday, 17 December 2012

A stroll today on the Roseland with staff and volunteers from the RSPB and the National Trust. Several sites were visited and 74 bird species seen plus one magnificent fox. Followed by a cup of tea and some tasty cake made by Emma from the National Trust.

The photographic highlight of the day was a first year female Long-tailed Duck at Portscatho which was first seen far out in the bay, but then it came really close in to the beach.


This magnificent rain cloud was seen from Towan Beach
A view of the Fal River from Ardevora Veor
And a better picture from yesterday of the Ring-necked Duck at Par Beach Pool


Saturday, 15 December 2012

Back on the ground on the home patch today at Par Beach Pool. Things are definitely looking up with a Ring-necked Duck, 7 Shovelers, 10 Tufted Ducks, 2 Little Grebes and the possibly now resident Black Swan.
The Ring-necked Duck was giving distant views but perhaps he will be more cooperative tomorrow. Is this the same long staying duck from earlier in the yeat? Certainly the books suggest that they often reappear at the same location from year to year.


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A quick aerial tour of some of the well known birding spots of west Cornwall. My thanks to John and Shaunne Shaw for supplying the aircraft and getting me back on the ground safely despite my best efforts at flying it,

A view of College Reservoir near Falmouth  with the Argal Resevoir dam in the lower left corner. Can you spot the Bittern on the island in the reservoir?

Stithians Reservoir looking north towards Camborne and St. Agnes Beacon. The southern cutoff is at the bottom of the picture  and there is one hide on this stretch of water and another just across the road on the main reservoir.

Windmill Farm on the Lizard is jointly owned by the Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Looking approximately north Predannack airfield can be seen on the western side. The windmill stump is just right and down from the centre of the picture.

And finally Lizard Village and Lizard Point where the Choughs live.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

A beautiful and surprisingly mild day so it was off to College Reservoir near Falmouth with our Saturday 'Last of the Summer Wine' birding group. All five of us!
We were rewarded with distant glimpses of a Bittern, and  a Buzzard warning children that playgrounds are a dangerous place to play.
Back to Par Beach Pool for this shot of a rather snooty Mute Swan.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

A fascinating morning with Mark Grantham and his bird ringing team at  a patch of farmland at St. Allen which is north of Truro. The meeting was organised as a field meeting for the Cornwal Bird Watching and Preservation Society.
It was an early start on a frosty morning but the opportunity to see birds close up and in the hand was irresistible.
A total of 43 birds were trapped in the 4 hours and the species caught were Robin, Greenfinch, Wren, Blackbird, Dunnock and Starling.
Ringing a Robin                                      Blowing on the breast
                                                                 to assess muscle and fat
Weighing                                                  Ready for release
Chaffinch                                                   and  Dunnock
 Song Thrush                                                 and Wren
Tending the mist net

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Panorama of the Percuiel River on the beautiful Roseland Peninsular.

There are several Waxwings around the County at the moment and I caught up with two in Gerrans, a small village on the Roseland peninsular, today. The birds were in trees and cotoneaster bushes on the main road through the village and seemed totally oblivious to the traffic and passing people. Sadly my main camera is in for repair and these pictures had to be taken with a compact, albeit one with a 20x zoom

I also found this Goldfinch snacking off a Teasel.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Brown Willy from Rough Tor

If you have never been Rough Tor on a winter's late afternoon to watch the Starlings flying in to roost then you have missed a treat.
A million or more birds fly in from all points of the compass,  occasionally displaying in that iconic way that masses of starlings do before settling down for the night in a conifer plantation. The whirr of thousands of wings passing over, the noise from them squabbling and the smell if you are close enough is unforgettable.
At present a  good place to watch is from the Rough Tor car park or the roads leading to it. To get even closer, walk onto the moor and turn left. On a clear night you should be in the car park by about 4pm, earlier if it is overcast.


On a more sombre note, below is a monument to Charlotte Dymond who was murdered close to Rough Tor in 1844 by Matthew Weekes. The monument was set up by public subscription.
It can be found  outside the car park just to the right in a marsh. It must have been a very lonely spot in 1844


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The gloom of the last few days has lifted so a stroll down to Spit Beach was in order.

The rock pile at the entrance to the harbour is always a good place in the autumn to look for Black Redstarts and so it proved today with a pair showing from time to time when they weren't being chased off by a pugnacious Robin.

To add to the excitement I found a veritable forest (well a small copse) of these fungi growing in my lawn. I believe they are Geoglossum cookeianum with the english name of Earth Tongue

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Two images from the Camel Trail today. A Spotted Redshank and a Common Gull.