Wednesday 2 November 2011
North American birds in Cornwall - Autumn 2011
White-rumped Sandpiper. Devoran 17th - 18th Adult. Davidstow Airfield 18th-19th Adult. Polgigga, Lower Bosistow 23rd one, age unknown. Devoran images by Ilya Maclean here.
Pectoral Sandpiper. A conservative count suggests as many as 18 birds were involved. The first was at Hayle on the 4th Sep and last at Drift on 25th Oct. Highlights were the four birds photographed together at Drift Res in front of the hide and three together at Davidstow on 1st Oct.
Long-billed Dowitcher. Two birds appeared, both first winters. Stithians Res 14th - 28th Sep and Davidstow Airfield 7th-8th Oct. Both were photographed well.
Lesser Yellowlegs. Drift Res. 14th - 27th Sep and St Clement, Truro 21st Sep - 20th Oct. The latter afforded unbelievable views as it fed in the shallows at high tide, beside the village car park.
Greater Yellowlegs. Treraven Meadows 12th - 13th Adult. The second record for Cornwall though arguably now the first. The 1955 record of one at Upper Tamar Lakes was most likely seen on the north lake which politically sits inside Devon. Either way, this is a long-overdue vagrant and one that was on many "prediction lists".
Ring-billed Gull. St Johns Lake. 12th Sep 2nd year bird.
Bonaparte's Gull. Sennen Cove. 28th Oct - 1st Nov Adult resting on the beach and feeding during the day on the fields near the school.
Scarlet Tanager. St Levan. 20th-21st Oct. First year, probably female. This is the second record for mainland Cornwall and just the fifth for the UK. The previous record was 30 years ago at Nanquidno. Found by Dave Lewis on the 20th, him and Matt Southam observed it four times at close range as it fed on pear fruit in Grey Gables garden. Incredibly, just 25 or so birders saw it next day at 9.45am for just three minutes. That was the last good view of this stunning bird. (Of interest, another Scarlet Tanager appeared on St Mary's on the 22nd. It was initially thought to be the same bird. However, this was a first year male and comparison of photo's by Jane Turner strongly suggests that two birds were indeed involved. The St Levan bird was most likely a first year female).
(Though not part of this report, the Scillies also recorded some truly superb vagrants, including Black and White Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Baltimore Oriole, Solitary Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Wilson's Snipe, Red-eyed Vireo and Blue-winged Teal plus several Buff-breasted Sandpipers and Pectoral Sandpipers!)
I like the name Katia.