On the extreme rarity front, the regular, returning Pacific Diver has been pretty tricky to see in Mount's Bay, often seen to the east of the Mount. The drake Lesser Scaup is presumably also a returning bird, popping up regularly at Colliford and more recently at Siblyback Res. I saw the drake Ring-necked Duck last Sunday at Par beach pool, neck-stretching regularly and showing its purple namesake. Continuing with the waterbird theme, drake Goosanders have been very photogenic at St Andrew's Pool and also last week one at Hayle. Black-throated Divers are now approaching summer plumage and can be seen in numbers in Gerrans Bay, sometimes quite close. A decent raft of 50 or so Common Scoter could be seen at Porthpean and if lucky, a Velvet Scoter as well.
On the wader front, several Little Ringed Plovers were seen at the end of the month, with an obliging pair frequenting the scrape pool at St Gothians. Others have been seen at Treraven Meadows. A Black-tailed Godwit at Marazion was showing characteristics of the limosa race and mirrors the record of one at the same place and same date last year.
The normal early passerines battled the extreme wind and cold only to find little food here. A large fall of Chiffchaffs were resorting to feeding on grass verges and gardens - but how many perished? A Hoopoe was found moribund at St Agnes. There were good numbers of Sand Martins at the normal venues and Northern Wheatears tried to make it feel something like Spring.
So all in all, despite the bitter conditions, there were a few good birds to be seen. Some images I took are shown below:
|Drake Common Scoter at Swanpool was very confiding|
|Common Scoter - image taken pointing into the sun's glare EV +1.0|
|Red-necked Grebe at Siblyback Reservoir|
|Drake Goosander at St Andrew's, a popular site for this species|
|Little Ringed Plover at St Gothian Sands NR - greater numbers than normal arrived in the South West in March|
|Pair of Little Ringed Plovers at St Gothian Sands|
|Black-tailed Godwit at Marazion Marsh|
|Drake Northern Pintail at St Gothian Sands NR at the end of March|
|Male Lapland Bunting approaching summer plumage - up to 100 birds were counted at Rosenannon Downs near Wadebridge.|
|Male Northern Wheatear at Marazion Marsh.|