31st. A strong seabird passage off St Ives, with hundreds of kittiwakes moving west. We also saw a great northern diver, 2 Arctic and an interesting juvenile Pomarine skua (identified by the 2 white underwing flashes) , and a handsome male black redstart landed under the lookout. A tatty painted lady butterfly was still flying.
30th. Drift Reservoir, where a party of 10 lesser scaup arrived yesterday, the largest flock to arrive in Europe. Five remained today, with the two greater scaup they were with also remained. I saw a ringtail hen harrier mobbed by crows.
Sennen was dead (again)! There is a roost of at least 50 pied wagtails in the centre of Truro.
29th. There is a very confiding juvenile red-throated diver in Hayle Harbour.
Three greenshank at Copperhouse Creek.
From the road bridge I saw a knot, little stint, bar- and black-tailed godwits, and the drake green-winged teal.
A male Eurasian teal for comparison.
There were about 5 siskin feeding on alder seeds close to the hide at Ryan's Field.
A spoonbill has been frequenting Ryan's field, and it was catching lots of fish. Its ring - V463 - tells us it is a juvenile ringed in Denmark, which made its way to Cornwall via Doncaster.
28th. I saw the Gaia exhibition by Luke Jerram at Truro cathedral. Gaia is 7 metres in diameter and features high-resolution imagery of the Earth from NASA. An exhibition of Cornish wildlife photos was impressive too.
From Lelant Saltings I saw the male green-winged teal, 2 pintail, a goosander and this weird gull, which i guess is a third-winter yellow-legged gull - its mantle was darker than that of a herring gull, lighter than the nearby lesser black-backs.
Several Portuguese men o'war still being washed ashore at Marazion, and a glossy ibis flew in before sundown.
Adult Mediterranean gull in front of a herring gull.
The moon is full, and the Spring tides are impressive.
On 27th I visited Sennen to see the upland sandpiper occasionally sticking its head out of log grass in the distance. Highlight was a female/juvenile merlin plucking a skylark.
At Marazion I saw a great white egret, 29 little egrets, and there were 7 brent geese offshore.
From Lelant saltings I saw a first-winter yellow-legged gull.
14th: An unringed lesser white-fronted goose on the Dumbles at Slimbridge that may not be a wild bird. The feral Ross's goose and a hybrid greater white-fronted x greylag goose were there too. There has been an influx of short-eared owls recently, and this bird was very tired and landed and rested beyond the fence next to the summer walkway. It's great how they dilate their pupils independently!
9th. Marazion - Portuguese man o'war on the beach.
Then back to The Lizard. I saw the northern harrier again from Windmill Farm. On Lizard Down there were 5 clouded yellow butterflies, and a monarch butterfly flew past us. A merlin flew over the road N of Lizard.
Cornish heath is still in flower.
8th. Harrier hunting again around Lizard Downs. The bird moved to Goonhilly Downs in the afternoon, then appeared close by at Windmill Farm. We failed to see it, but saw a firecrest in Dry Tree car park, and I identified an osprey overhead from photographs.
7th. St Just to see the great 'From source to sea' exhibition by Kurt Jackson. featuring the Fowey. Here's his painting of Dozmary pool.
There were two dead polecat/ferrets in Penwith - one at Newbridge, one near Penzance.
We then went to The Lizard, where I eventually had distant views of the juvenile NORTHERN HARRIER.
6th: Bird of the year for me so far - a first-winter LESSER GREY SHRIKE at Caradon Hill on the edge of Bodmin Moor. The shrike hunted hornets, and landed to eat them close to where I was stationed.
The hornet's shape is visible in the shrike's throat.
1st. Pale tussock larva, Ashton Court.