Thursday 19 April 2012

Adult Greenshank at Point, Devoran

A single Greenshank was roosting on the high tide line tonight at Point.  Up to forty birds can be seen in this area in the Autumn but for now, this is the last remaining individual before it makes its way north to breed.  Its not often that you see this species in full breeding plumage - very impressive!

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Summer plumage Black-tailed Godwit at St Clement

This summer plumage Black-tailed Godwit has been showing well on the estuary opposite Tresemple Pool for several evenings recently.  I took these shots last night with a demonstrator D800.  The mammoth 36 megapixel camera allows the incredulous, beyond belief, ability to crop as tight as you want.  This bird was at least 70 yards away and has been cropped just 33%.  Furthermore, the light was poor and overcast.

Mute Swan close-up

These close-up portraits of Mute Swan were taken last night at Tresemple Pool.  They were taken with a D800 and 600mm F4.  Each file started life at 40 megs! If you are lucky enough to own a 27inch Mac, the first two images should fill the screen!

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Little Egret at St Clement

A maximum count of 14 Little Egrets were in the Tresillian/St Clement area whilst the three Greenshanks and summer pluamge Black-tailed Godwit still linger.  Last night there were also two Whimbrel though these seemed to have moved on today.

Sunday 15 April 2012

Pied Flycatcher at Sennen

The cold northerly winds have effectively nulled any decent migration this weekend.  Apart from a Reed Warbler singing at Marazion Marsh, a small influx of Willow Warblers at Porthgwarra, five Northern Wheatears at Land's End, the only highlight for me was this nice male Pied Flycatcher. 

Friday 13 April 2012

A few more Greenshanks

A few more shots of Greenshanks taken earlier this week at St Clement, Truro. A quick visit this morning revealed that two have departed, leaving just two today.  The Black-tailed Godwit and one Curlew also remain.  Strangely quiet.

All shots taken with 600mm F4. 1.4xTC. Nikon D3x.

Walmsley is the only place to be

Cornwall is strangely quiet at the moment, except that is at Walmsley Sanctuary.  Today I saw the long staying female Blue-winged Teal along with a Cattle Egret, Iceland Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, 40 Black-tailed Godwits, paired-up Shovelers, Pintail, Gadwall, Teal, Tufted Duck and a single drake Wigeon.  Not bad.

Fem Blue-winged Teal at Walmsley

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Greenshanks at St Clement, Truro

I took these shots this evening in stunning late sunshine. There were four adult Greenshanks plus a summer plumage Black-tailed Godwit, though this bird was too far for photography. The River Fal complex is particularly good for wintering and migrant Greenshanks, both in Spring and Autumn. These four won't be around for much longer as they will make their way north to Scandinavia to breed.

St Clement village at high tide. Coincidentally, this was the same spot where I photo'd Lesser Yellowlegs last Autumn.

Sunday 8 April 2012

Ring Ouzel at Buttermilk Hill, St. Ives

Higher than average numbers of Ring Ouzels have been seen passing through west Cornwall during the last couple weeks.  Buttermilk Hill and Rosewall Hill area has recorded the lion's share with a maximum of seven on 31st March, four on Sunday 1st April and four on Good Friday.  Other records include one at Nanquidno 21st March, three at Buttermilk 24th, one at Windmill Farm 25th March, one at Godrevy 26th March and Land's End.  The images below were taken today of a female at Buttermilk.

Ring Ouzel is a scarce passage migrant through Cornwall.  The species does not regularly breed in Cornwall though has done so in 1970 and 1996.

Further information: source Ring Ouzel info

The Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) is a summer migrant to Europe and Fennoscandia, where it is characteristically associated with upland areas. The British population has declined steadily since early in the 20th century, and the species' range contracted by 27% between 1970 and 1990.  A national survey in 1999 suggested that this decline was continuing and estimated that fewer than 7,600 pairs remained.

As a result, the species is now of high conservation concern in Britain. British and continental ouzels winter in similar areas of Spain and north-west Africa, and whereas the species has declined in Britain, its numbers are thought to be relatively stable on the continent. Therefore, it is thought that the decline in British breeding ouzels is due to factors in Britain, rather than elsewhere.  

Buttermilk Hill, looking eastwards towards Roswall Hill and St Ives (far left corner).

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Migrant Black-tailed Godwit

This adult Black-tailed Godwit has been present at Marazion Marsh for the last few days.  The species is not normally seen at this site.  This individual is presumably tracking north towards Iceland, where the majority of Cornish wintering birds breed.  This bird is not quite in full summer plumage but nonetheless, a smart looker.  The best places to see good numbers of wintering Black-tailed Godwits in Cornwall are the Camel Estuary, Tresillian and Truro Rivers.

Monday 2 April 2012

Drake Ring-necked Duck shows his ring

Its not often that you see a Ring-necked Duck's ring...but yesterday this adult male in full summer plumage at Penhalvern was displaying to a female Tufted Duck and showed us everything it had!  This is most likely the same drake that was displaying to Tufted Ducks at Stithians Reservoir last year.  There are currently two wintering males in the county with another also seen yesterday at Par.

Drake showing the purplish-brown ring at the base of its neck

Sunday 1 April 2012

Hoopoe influx in Cornwall

This Hoopoe was seen today near Kea Church, Truro.  It arrived last Thursday and has been quite content to feed solely in a secluded, private garden.  Approximately 12 birds have been found in Cornwall during the last week, mostly from sites west of Truro.  The weather last week had been extremely warm with south or south-easterly winds and no doubt played a major part in this influx.

Many thanks to Brian Toms and R G Martin for allowing access.