Thursday 22 May 2014

Red-breasted Flycatcher at Housel Bay, Lizard

This evening I saw my first Spring Red-breasted Flycatcher for Cornwall.  A female was feeding well tonight at the pond at Housel Bay, Lizard (same site as the Bufflehead).  From 8pm it started feeding feverishly and was continually calling (tacking like a Wren).  The species is regular in the Autumn in Cornwall but rare in Spring with just a handful of records only.

Thursday 15 May 2014

Duke of Burgundy at Noar Hill, east Hampshire

I visited Noar Hill this week to see the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly.  The weather was perfect and I managed to see about ten individuals.  Most of them looked fairly worn but this one was perfect in back light.  The site is a gem of a place and given a bit more time, no doubt would have thrown up a few more species.  As it was, I also saw Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper, Brimstone, Small Heath, Small Blue, but missed the Grizzled Skipper.  Later in the season, the site is also good for Brown Hairstreak.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Summer plumage Purple Sandpipers at Battery Rocks, Penzance

On bank holiday Monday I counted 16 Purple Sands on the Battery Rocks.  This date is getting quite late for this species.  These last remaining wintering birds will surely be moving north back to their breeding grounds in the next week.  Now is the only window to see this species approaching full summer plumage (unless of course you visit Norway or Greenland).

Below are some images from Monday.  They were taken around midday in poor light.  I used flash (Nikon SB-600) to give the image a bit of lift.

Monday 5 May 2014

Great Spotted Cuckoo at Kynance, Lizard.

A Great Spotted Cuckoo was found at Kynance on the 24th April.  It was refound by Dan Eva on Saturday 3rd May just a few hundred metres away from the original spot.  After a good hour searching on Saturday evening, we eventually saw this elusive bird fly low across the heath.  By all accounts, it was just as elusive the next day.
I managed one fly-by record shot, but just to show what they should look like, I have posted a library image of one I took in Cyprus a few years ago.
This is the ninth record for Cornwall, the last being one at Chapel Carn Brea in late March and early April 2009.

Northern Wheatear images from St Gothians this weekend

This stunning male Northern Wheatear posed just nicely in the early morning light yesterday.  The species breeds in the area but this bird was with several others so is most likely a migrant moving north.

Leucistic Bar-tailed Godwit on Marazion beach

I found this odd looking Bar-tailed Godwit today feeding on the beach with six other Barwits.  If anyone else has seen this distinctive bird (other than on Marazion beach) it would be interesting to know.

Friday 2 May 2014

Whimbrel and Stonechat at Marazion Marsh

Two Whimbrel were showing well yesterday feeding on the grass bank at Marazion.  A pair of Stonechats at the east end of the marsh are on territory as well.  The female below was very obliging in late evening sunshine.

Thursday 1 May 2014

Adult Black-tailed Godwit at Marazion today

I found this adult Black-tailed Godwit in full summer plumage today feeding on the grass bank and very close to the road.  Normally this species stays close to the water but for some reason was happy to feed with the Whimbrels today.