Monday, 23 February 2009


Thursday 19th February - Walked from Harlyn Bay along the coastal path to Trevose Head and on to Treyarnon Bay. A couple of Corn Buntings were in a hedgerow with Chaffinches at Harlyn Bay and a pair of Ravens at Cataclews Point. At Trevose Head the previously reported Lapland Bunting was seen and heard calling in flight with some Sky Larks while a rough field nearby held a flock of about 20 Corn Buntings suggesting that the RSPB's attempts to conserve this bird in North Cornwall are succeeding.

Wednesday 18th February - No sign again of the Cattle Egret in the Pentireglaze Farm area though looking for it saved me from going body boarding (in February!) with Bridget and Gareth. Given the state of them after half an hour in the water I think I had a lucky escape. An afternoon stroll along the Camel Trail from Padstow turned up 22 Shelduck, 7 Little Egrets, a big flock of Dunlin and 3 Grey Plovers but not the rare overwintering Nearctic vagrant I was hoping for!

Tuesday 17th February - A long circular walk today from Rock along the coastal path via Polzeath, Pentire Point and Rumps Point. Probably 4 different pairs of Ravens were seen, one of which showed exceptionally well between Daymer Bay and Polzeath, where there was also a pair of Stonechats. A shrieking Peregrine flew overhead at Corn Point and the Great Northern Diver was again in the channel by the Rock Ferry. Two Grey Seals were under the cliffs at Rumps Point. Failed to find the Cattle Egret at Pentireglaze Farm.

Monday 16th February - A couple of text messages saw us heading for West Cornwall and the Snowy Owl which had been seen the previous afternoon. We arrived to find the area devoid of birders though eventually someone pointed us in the general direction of where the bird had been seen. On reaching the top of Trendrine Hill we met a small group of birders who'd seen the bird and were moving position to get a better view. We followed on behind them to the top of a granite tor from where the Snowy Owl could be seen about 200 metres away perched on a raised bank constantly moving its head around and sometimes staring directly at us. What a bird! Having had our fill of 'Hegwig' we headed for Newlyn where both the 1st winter Glaucous and Iceland Gulls were on the beach by the outfall. Also an adult Med Gull there. Given the choice of the Ring-billed Gull at Helston or another look at the owl, there was no contest so we headed back to the moors at Amalveor Downs. The bird hadn't moved in the time we'd been away and, although it was a little more distant, we were able to see all of it from our new vantage point. Three Ravens and a flock of 50 Golden Plover flew over. To see a video clip of the Snowy Owl, click here

Sunday 15th February - A circular walk along the coastal path from Padstow via Trevone Bay, Gunver Head and Stepper Point. No repeat of the 2007 white Gyr unfortunately, just a couple of Ravens and a Great Northern Diver in the channel near Padstow.

Saturday 14th February - A hastily arranged week in Cornwall and a chance to stop at Radipole to see the long-staying drake Hooded Merganser which was in the channel by the Visitor Centre. A very smart bird but its habit of consorting with the local Mallard just feet away did nothing to make me believe that I was looking at a wild bird. Also a female Marsh Harrier seen several times and a couple of Cetti's Warblers heard calling. Later, at Padstow, a Raven (a bird I've missed in Sussex in 2009 so far) and 3 Shags.

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