October weather started with a westerly airflow, mainly influenced by hurricane Fiona hitting the Northern Isles. The month ended mild and wet with south to south-west wind dominating.
The month kicked off with the Lizard Point Red-necked Phalarope, remaining from September 30th to October 1st. This local "mega" rarity delighted many of the newer resident birders. To put this species in perspective, the last "twitchable" record was 1993 when a juvenile settled on Perranporth boating lake.
|Red-necked Phalarope, Lizard, pic courtesy Steve Rowe.|
A reasonably strong westerly wind pushed some seabirds towards Pendeen on the 1st. Two Cory's, 30 Great, 270 Balearic and 43 Sooty Shearwaters, a Leach's Petrel and two Grey Phalaropes were the highlights.
Cornwall's 31st Long-billed Dowitcher was found at Hayle Estuary on the 2nd. 2011 was the last year when two were present in the county (at Stithians and Davidstow). Hayle estuary is the top site for Long-billed Dowitcher, hosting eight individuals. The last bird at Hayle was in July 2007 when a stunning adult was present for four days.
|Long-billed Dowitcher, juv, Hayle Est. Pic courtesy Pete Walsh.|
|Picture courtesy PeteWalsh|
|Long-billed Dowitcher, juv, Hayle, pic courtesy Michael Spicer.|
A Blackpoll Warbler was seen at Nanjizal on the 2nd and possibly heard on the 30th. Given that eight other Nearctic passerines were in Ireland and the Northern Isles, it was only time before one appeared in Cornwall. Regrettably it was found on a private site.
Yellow-browed Warblers were seen at several sites, including Truro, Levant, Church Cove, Kelynack, Penryn Uni campus and Kenidjack. All the pointers are suggesting a very good season for this delightful little Sibe. Another Pectoral Sandpiper was seen at the Camel Estuary on the 3rd.
The second Woodchat of the season was found at Pendeen, in the valley opposite the coastguard houses. This is the first record for Pendeen and joins a celebrity shrike line-up here. Pendeen easily matches Porthgwarra for rare shrikes. With the increased observer coverage, this trend looks promising.
|Woodchat, juv Pendeen, picture courtesy John St.Ledger|
|Lesser Yellowlegs, Copperhouse, picture courtesy Alex McKechnie|
The Woodchat Shrike at Pendeen moved from its original spot by the coastguard houses. From the 8th, it could be found a few hundred yards east towards Portherras beach. This additional feeding area is some way from the coastguard houses but a check of available photos shows the bird to be the same individual.
|Red-eyed Vireo, Tregeseal, picture courtesy Bob Bosisto.|
|www.worldseatemperature.com image showing warm sea extending to SW Approaches.|
|Siberian Stonechat, Bochum, Lizard, pics courtesy Michael Spicer.|