With constant sunshine and unseasonably warm weather we’ve had a fabulous week birding here in the Cornish valleys. Although migrant passerines have been very few and far between, with the help of an occasional sea-watch and spending time studying the comings and goings on the Hayle estuary, we’ve managed to accumulate a reasonable list. Personally I’ve seen 109 species since we arrived, missing only a couple of things seen by other members of our party. The undoubted highlight has been daily views of the Semipalmated Sandpiper, but raptors have also been a real feature including: Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine, Merlin, Buzzard, Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl. A second Siberian Chiffchaff – yesterday at Porthgwarra – with a late Yellow Wagtail, a couple of Black Redstart and that obliging Snow Bunting making for a reasonable supporting cast of ‘bush birds’. All three egrets at Drift, providing a backdrop for the Black-necked Grebe, also deserve a mention. There are few better places to spend an autumn week birding – we’ll be back.
We’ve been down in Cornwall for the Global Bird Weekend. Our team of seven managed to rack up a total of 92 species – in the process of which, raising £140 for international conservation. The highlights included: Ring-necked Duck, Rosy Starling, Cattle Egret, Yellow-browed Warbler, Chough and Black-necked Grebe.
Further additions to our trip list so far have included: Siberian Chiffchaff, seen in Kenidjack yesterday afternoon and, just on our way back to our accommodation in Hayle, a superb juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper (Carnsew Basin).
Today has produced a most interesting ‘autumn double’. At Drift Reservoir we stumbled across a lovely and most obliging Snow Bunting. Then, in the afternoon, in Degibna Wood east of Loe Pool, we came across a couple of very late Spotted Flycatcher. Our Trip List has increased to 100.