Sunday 2 December 2012

Bohemian Waxwing update

A summary of reports in Cornwall so far are listed below.

One was at Penzance on the 27th.  A flock of ten were at Cubert (29th Nov), two Wadebridge (29th), five Falmouth (29th), two Gerrans (29th). Three were seen at Roman Drive, Bodmin and two at Lanner on 29th Nov. Two more were seen on the 29th in Ludgvan Churchyard.  Seven were seen on the 30th at Marlborough Crescent, Falmouth decreasing to five throughout the rest of the day. However, this number had increased to eight on 1st Dec.   Presumably the same flock of eight were also seen at Lambs Lane, Falmouth on the 2nd Dec.  

Five had reached West Cornwall - two were at Seaview Caravan Park, Sennen on 1st Dec, another two were at B&Q Penzance the same day and another was on West Place, St Just.  The West Place site had increased to three birds on 2nd Dec. 

Sancreed: one at Grumbla 2nd Dec.
Mevagissey: 15 at Kiln Close 3rd Dec. (note: this is a Cornish record. The largest county flock was 11 at Gwallon in 1996. per D Julian).
Gulval: one near the Post Office 3rd Dec.
Lostwithiel: two at Higher Penpol 3rd Dec.
Devoran: two 3rd Dec.
Falmouth: five at Kimberley Park Road. 3rd Dec
St Just: two at Cape Cornwall Street, 3rd Dec. 

Bohemian Waxwings breed in the forests of northern Europe and Russia.  Their main diet is fruit and berries.  They are not true long-distance migrants, but wander erratically outside the breeding season and move south from their summer range in winter. In poor berry years, huge numbers can erupt well beyond their normal range, often in flocks that on occasion number in the thousands.  It's unlikely that Cornwall will witness thousands though the 20 or 30 recorded so far is well beyond normal numbers.

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