Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 8-13 October 2010

Green Heron, The Lost Gardens of Heligan

W. Black-eared Wheatear female on the Garrison


American Golden Plover and Dotterel, St Mary’s Airfield
We were very pleased to see a Buff-breasted Sandpiper, a Dotterel, a European and  an American Golden Plover all feeding together on the turf along with large numbers of Wheatear, Meadow Pipit and Skylark. A Ring Ouzel and Red-throated Pipit also dropped in.


Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Golden Plover


European Golden Plover and Ring Ouzel


Red-throated Pipit (2nd with a Meadow Pipit in the foreground)


Little Buntings As many as three at Carn Friars



Wryneck Possibly three seen on the morning of 11th

Nightingale St Agnes

Pied Flycatcher St Agnes

Subalpine Warbler Bryher


Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 8-13 October 2010

8th We travelled down to Cornwall stopping at Exeter services and then Davidstowe airfield on the way. We were unable to locate the Buff-breasted Sandpiper, a species that has been present most of late September and early October here.  An hours drive saw us arriving at the Lost Gardens of Heligan where a Green Heron was present before checking out the Hayle Estuary and just missed the Rose-coloured Starling on St Mary’s Church in Penzance en route to St Just where we stayed for the night.
9th We spent the day searching the area starting with Cape Cornwall , St Levan, Newlyn bay, Marazion, Porthcurno, Porthgwarra and then to Penzance heliport for our helicopter flight to St Mary’s. We dropped our bags and went straight to the Garrison to see the Black-eared Wheatear.
10th The whole day was spent on St Mary’s catching up with the various birds. We visited the Airfield (windsock), Porthellick Bay-Carn Friars-Higher Moors to Holy Vale-Longstones Cafe-Old Town churchyard-Lowers Moors ,ISBC hide-Porthmellon beach.
11th Explored Peniniss Head and the south side trail, caught a boat to St Agnes for the afternoon.
12th Checked out Porthmellon beach and then caught a boat to St Martin’s until 1430, returned to St Mary’s for a couple of hours and then caught a birders special boat to Bryher and returned in the dark.
13th Birded our way around St Mary’s taking a taxi to Porthellick Pool and walking through the Tremelethen trail-Higher Moors-Longstones Cafe-Telegraph-Bant’s Carn-Innisidgen to Newford Duck Pond, took a taxi back with the afternoon free to explore/shop. Returned to airport for a 1730 flight back to Penzance and returned home.

Species noted
1 Mute Swan
2 Greylag
3 Canada Goose
4 Shelduck
5 Mallard
6 Wigeon
7 Teal
8 Pheasant
9 Great Northern Diver– 2 adults in breeding plumage seen between Innisidgen and St Martin’s on 13th.
10 Little Grebe-one at Porthellick pool.
11 Gannet
12 Cormorant
13 Shag
14 Green Heron-a first winter at the Lost Gardens of Heligan on 8th.
15 Little Egret
16 Grey Heron
17 Marsh Harrier– a female was watched hunting over Annet on 11th.
18 Buzzard
19 Sparrowhawk- seen hunting around St Mary’s and St Agnes.
I did note an accipiter sp that may be a Sparrowhawk but was small and very well marked on St Mary’s, it was gingery brown and appeared to be very fresh, like it was very recently fledged.
20 Kestrel
21 Peregrine-seen on Annet on 11th
22 Water Rail-heard on St Mary’s and Bryher where one was seen close to by Bob.
23 Moorhen
24 Coot
25 Oystercatcher
26 Ringed Plover
27 Grey Plover-two on Ryan’s field, Hayle and two on rocks between Tresco and Bryher on 12th.
28 Dotterel-a first winter joined the Buff-breasted Sandpiper, European and American Golden Plover on 10th to make a delightful quartet for the airfield.
29 European Golden Plover-one on the airfield on 10th.
30 American Golden Plover-one on the airfield on the 10th.
31 Lapwing
32 Sanderling-150 on St Martin’s
33 Turnstone
34 Dunlin
35 Curlew Sandpiper-one seen on Ryan’s field on the Hayle Estuary.
36 Little Stint-two seen at the same site
37 Common Sandpiper-one at Porthmellon beach on 11th.
38 Redshank
39 Greenshank-see on the Hayle, at Porthellick pool and a close juv at Lower Moors.
40 Black-tailed Godwit- seen on the Hayle
41 Bar-tailed Godwit- seen with the above for comparison and two on rocks off Samson
42 Curlew
43 Whimbrel- one flying around Old Town bay on 10th and Porthcressa on 11th.
44 Snipe
45 Jack Snipe-one at Lower Moors and one at Porthellick pool
46 Ruff-two at the Hayle Est.
47 Buff-breasted Sandpiper-one on the airfield on 10th in ‘good company’.
48 Arctic Skua-two harassing Kittiwake off Porthgwarra, sadly only seen b MJM.
49 Black-headed Gull
50 Mediterranean Gull-a few first winters at the Hayle Estuary.
51 Herring Gull
52 Lesser-black backed Gull
53 Great black backed Gull
54 Kittiwake
55 Sandwich Tern-three at the Hayle and four off St Mary’s
56 auk sp off Porthgwarra
57 Woodpigeon
58 Collared Dove
59 Kingfisher-Hayle estuary
60 Skylark
61 Swallow
62 House Martin
63 Rock Pipit
64 Meadow Pipit
65 Red-throated Pipit-one among Meadow Pipits at the airport on 10th was seen a few well a few times. On approaching the airfield I heard a close bird with a Tree Pipit type call that was probably it.
66 Pied and White Wagtail both seen on the beaches.
67 Yellow Wagtail-two on the airfield on the 10th and one on Porthmellon beach.
68 Grey Wagtail-singles were seen and heard flying about the islands.
69 Dunnock
70 Robin
71 Nightingale-one showed well at times on St Agnes on 11th.
72 Common Redstart-one feeding in Old Town bay on 10th.
73 Black Redstart-a few seen around the islands but no males.
74 Northern Wheatear-seen on Davidstowe airfield and around St Mary’s with 15+ on the 10th.
74 Black-eared Wheatear– a female watched on the Garrison on 9th and myself and Bob had another look on 13th.
75 Whinchat-two at Cape Cornwall on 9th and one on Peniniss Head coast path on 11th.
76 Stonechat
77 Song Thrush
78 Fieldfare- a few noted on 13th.
79 Blackbird
80 Ring Ouzel– a male flew in and around us at the airfield eventually landing on the turf and feeding among Starlings on the 10th and one flew over us on St Agnes on 11th.
81 Blackcap
82 Subalpine Warbler-one seen in the sunshine on Byher was well and truly ‘twitched’.
83 Sedge Warbler-two seen at Porthellick Pool.
84 Reed Warbler-seen and heard on St Mary’s (singles) St Martin’s (one) and St Agnes (three).
85 Willow Warbler-one on St Martin’s.
86 Chiffchaff-many were noted
87 Goldcrest-many heard, one or two seen
88 Firecrest-one seen briefly on St Agnes by MJM
89 Wren
90 Red-breasted Flycatcher-we gave up on an elusive bird at Old Town on 10th and saw two well at the fruit cage on St Agnes on 11th, another was seen well
91 Pied Flycathcer-two on St Agnes on 11th.
92 Great Tit
93 Blue Tit
94 Long-tailed Tit-seen in Cornwall
95 Magpie-as above
96 Jay-seen in Cornwall
97 Jackdaw
98 Rook-seen in Cornwall
99 Carrion Crow
100 Raven
101 Starling
102 House Sparrow
103 Chaffinch
104 Linnet
105 Goldfinch
106 Greenfinch
107 Siskin
108 Little Bunting-up to three seen at Carn Friars on 10th.
109 Snow Bunting-two distantly in flight over the sea between the airfield and Peniniss on 10th (MJM only).
110 Lapland Bunting-one over calling at Bant’s Carn on 13th

Other species present but not seen due to going for other birds include Dark (two on Tresco)and Pale Bellied Brent Goose (five were seen in Mount’s Bay), Spoonbill (2-3 around Tresco of islands), Hen Harrier-a ringtail over Annet. Pectoral Sandpiper on St Martin’s and St Mary’s, Tawny Pipit on St Martin’s, Pied Wheatear on St Mary’s, Common Rosefinch on St Martins and St Mary’s,  Melodius Warbler on St Martin’s, Icterine Warbler on Bryher, Dartford Warblers on Mary’s and Martin’s, Short-toed Lark, Yellow Browed Warbler. Late on the day we were leaving a Olive-backed Pipit and Pallas’s Warbler was found and a day or three after Red-eyed Vireo and Red-flanked Bluetail also made a guest appearance.

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