Saturday, 10 December 2016

Comprehensive Fulmar survey (Cornwall)

Haven't posted for a while as there's been very little to write about. The most interesting thing was probably the fact that BTO are using my garden wildlife post made in September in the magazine for the Garden Birdwatch survey - Bird Table

My garden has been very quiet lately although it is slowly picking up. 5 Blue Tits today equalled a garden record, the first and only winter Starling appeared  a few days ago with just a couple of examples from the expected species.

I monitor a local Fulmar colony as part of my Nest Record Scheme contribution however I have now decided to study the colony all year round taking particular note of winter numbers, breeding activity, weather conditions etc. I'm hoping the data collected will form the most comprehensive survey of a colony of Fulmar in Cornwall and will be an ongoing survey. After returning from mid ocean after the breeding season the peak count had been 32 recorded 3 days ago with numbers then dropping to 9 and subsequently 2 yesterday. With the bad weather today I was expecting the last two to have flown back out to sea so was pleasantly surprised to count 63. As time goes on maybe weather patterns could be used to predict numbers. We'll see.......

Fulmar with chick -

and two adults


Sunday, 9 October 2016


Today was the wife's birthday so no Ornithology today. After spending £50 on pollinating plants at the local garden centre then buying lunch we went for a walk at Gunwalloe

This is the reason for the blog post really after Tracey had taken these excellent images -

and below is Church cove where the weather was unseasonably warm, very warm actually as I fell asleep on the beach

Two from three Turnstone

And a quick few minutes at the local patch on the way home for the Cormorant, not a ring amongst them

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Poor end to a poor week

Normally I would blog on a Sunday about the previous week but it's been so bad Saturday night will do to get it out of the way.

The week started off badly with recording nothing in the garden, strong winds later in the week just added to the misery. The only birds noted have been Collared Dove, House Sparrow and Goldfinch. Conditions have not been good to watch hawking Bats over the garden either.

The camera trap was out all week overnight, picking up the fox, an escaped domestic rabbit but no Badger.

On the ring reading front I previously blogged about a missed colour ringed cormorant, the one night I didn't visit the local hide someone left a logbook note of a "Manx" ringed gull. The observer was unable to identify the juvenile whether it was Herring Gull or Lesser Black-backed Gull, if it was the latter it might be on it's first ever migration down to Spain or further. After 90 minutes on the Hayle estuary this afternoon I had turned up nothing so a quick drive back to Stithians only to turn up regular Cormorant orange TBY and a local Herring Gull blue W:121 although the gull is a new one for me.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring a good start to the week

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Cormorant frustration

recent information had come to light that a colour ringed Cormorant had been seen at College Reservoir a mere 4 or 5 miles from my local reservoir of Stithians. The observer was unable to get the number and the image taken was very washed out, apparently red/orange. I was asked to check out Stithians to see if Orange TBY was still around and visiting nearly every day for weeks.

This evening was my first opportunity with 21 Cormorant roosting, some standing, some sitting, some obscured by others. A patient wait of 15 minutes and it looked as though none of them were ringed, when, one of them started to make it's way back into the water. This then kick started the rest to move and bingo - orange TBY (or so I thought). Just as it entered the water I thought I saw a T at the end of the sequence - TBT but it was too late for a positive ID

Scanning left another orange ring, this one definitely TBY. What does all this mean? Well, for starters it means the bird at College can no longer be deduced by a process of elimination which is risky anyway and Stithians now has two colour ringed birds, one unidentified and possibly a four day wait before I can get back there unless all goes well on Saturday.

These things are sent to try us......

Monday, 3 October 2016

Ring details back

I have had two life histories sent through to me today.

First up, yesterday's Black-headed Gull black 2ATC was ringed as a chick on 7th June this year at Marsh Lane nature reserve, West Midlands, a distance of 224 miles. This is the first sighting of the bird since ringing. The ringing group were Brewood ringers and their website can be found here -

Another that has come through today is one of the three Med Gull's I had last week, this one being Hungarian. The bird was ringed red HJN1 in Szeged, Hungary as a chick on 5th June 2011. The table below shows other sightings, mainly in Hayle with a visit to Belgium last year -

2011.06.05.;8;20;Szeged (Fehér-tó XI. - Korom-sziget);Hungary;HG43;46.3347;20.0825;Domján András;
2011.10.29.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Stanley Christophers;
2011.11.03.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Philip A. Rutter;
2012.02.29.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Stanley Christophers;
2012.08.04.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;John Phillips;
2012.08.08.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Dave Parker;
2013.01.30.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Bob Bosisto;
2013.02.19.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Philip A. Rutter;
2013.02.20.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Philip A. Rutter;
2013.09.12.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Steve Lister;
2013.10.04.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Michael Johnson;
2013.10.07.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1667;-5.4333;Philip A. Rutter;
2013.10.13.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Dave Thomas;
2014.07.27.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary, ;Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1785;-5.4385;Dave Parker;
2014.09.17.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1667;-5.4333;Philip A. Rutter;
2014.11.28.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;John St Ledger;
2014.12.10.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1833;-5.4333;Pete Roseveare;
2015.01.11.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary,Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1785;-5.4385;Pete Roseveare;
2015.06.21.;7;81;Antwerpen (Total-colony);Belgium;BL20;51.2569;4.325;Jos Jacobs;
2015.08.07.;7;81;Hayle ;Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1764;-5.4389;Mark Easterbrook;
2015.10.05.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1667;-5.4333;David Fisher;
2015.10.05.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1667;-5.4333;Alan Harris;
2015.10.16.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary);Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1667;-5.4333;Stanley Christophers;
2016.09.24.;7;81;Hayle (Estuary, ;Great Britain (UK);GBCO;50.1785;-5.4385;Simon Taylor;

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Public enemy No's 1 and 2 -

Whilst the minority wish to obliterate them, they are always welcome in my garden along with any other form of "wildlife". Here's a still taken from video in poor weather this week of potential new friends :-)

It's the first time they have been captured in the garden at the same time

Goldfinch numbers continue to rise in the garden with a new record of 44. Insects are now becoming rare with only Aster and Sedum in flower and with the weather turning to typical Autumn standards it was surprising to see a rose that finished flowering a few weeks ago has started to bloom again.

so, demonstrating the typical drop in number of species recorded at this time of year as birds return and insects leave here's this week's weekly submission

A ring reading session on the Hayle estuary today produced a Black-headed Gull black 2ATC that looks like it was ringed as a chick this year at Marsh Lane in Staffs - I await confirmation

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Weekly report (GBW and ring reading)

Garden Birdwatch - 5 Long-tailed Tit visited the feeders on Thursday, this was the first record since the first week in January and becomes only the second record in the last 13 months. Goldfinch numbers have also increased this week with a number of juveniles attending the garden feeders. The table below shows the results for this week and for Goldfinch for this time of year since 2010. Week 39 finished on Saturday.

a couple of garden video's this week before moving onto ring reading

I had planned to go to the Hayle estuary Saturday and Sunday afternoon but a bout of food poisoning Saturday evening saw me laid up for two days. Thankfully I did manage Saturday afternoon. An influx of Med Gull's had arrived with there being none on the previous three weekends to 35 this weekend of which 3 were colour ringed, Green RR00, Red HJN1 and Red PJR4. Green RR00 is a French bird ringed in Vendee and seen numerous occasions in Vendee for the breeding season and wintering on the Hayle with a spell in Las Palmas in March 2014. I have yet to hear back from the other two with one being Hungarian, the other Polish (I believe).