My decent(ish) finds in Feb 2012: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler Carnon Downs 04/02, 1 Water Pipit Carnon Downs 04/02, 1 Smew Loe Pool 01/02

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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Five more foot its


After the weekend’s efforts and as the month nears its end, I realised I’m in with a pretty good chance of being very near the top in terms of total numbers of species seen. Weekday birding and a full-time job aren't that compatible, but I've managed to squeeze in a few hours birding here and there. A post-storm trip to Pendennis Point got me two totally unexpected species:

109. Balearic Shearwater
110. Bonxie

Even winter sea-watching in the most unlikely of places can occasionally turn up some goodies. Reviewing my list, I realised there were a couple of quite easy ones available near to Tremough Campus, so decided to do the walk to work and do a spot of birding in the day. Managed both the species I wanted and a bonus Brambling, so:

111. Dipper
112. Stock Dove
113. Brambling.

I’m currently three species behind Simon Chidwick’s phenomenal effort at the top the total tally leader board.  Can’t see myself getting any more, as there’s no easy ones left, and I've only got a couple of hours spare in the morning to go birding. However, I do intend to put in one last-gasp effort, so who knows....

Sunday, 27 January 2013

More foot it - nearing the end


As the end of month approaches, I’ve had to go further afield to get new species in my Foot it attempt, but at least on occasion, my efforts have paid dividends, as I’ve now surpassed by target and have seen 108 species. 




 Top; Argal Reservoir at dusk. Goosander in the distance. Bottom: the long-haul walks often mean that the return birding is in the dark.
Another Med Gull. This time at Swanpool

Here’s another update on my efforts: 

17th Jan
Walked into work today in the hope of getting one or two, and on my way home managed this:

79. Tawny Owl -

21st Jan
Long-haul effort today via Mylor Harbour, Carnon Downs and Deveron (c. 18 miles) got me a few additions:

80. Red-breasted Merganser
81. Pheasant
82. Nuthatch
83. Shelduck
84. Peregrine
85. Dunlin
86. Black-tailed Godwit
87. Reed Bunting

22nd Jan
A sunny day  tour of the coast down to Rosemullion Head got me a few seabirds and one or two other extras, but surprisingly – no Stonechat!

88. Purple Sandpiper
89. Greylag Goose
90. Fulmar
91. Gannet
92. Kittiwake
93. Guillemot
94. Razorbill

25th Jan
Crazy busy week at work with no birding until Fri, when I managed a trip down to College Reservoir and caught up with one or two I missed on my last visit.

95. Gadwall
96. Pochard
97. Goosander
98. Common Gull
99. Skylark

26th Jan
A short wonder down to Swanpool in the Spring weather. Target reached!

100. Stonechat
101. Red-throated Diver

26th Jan
Longest walk of the month today – c. 25 miles to Gwennap Sewerage Farm and then Deveron!!! Definitely paid off:

102. Yellow-browed Warbler
103. Green Sandpiper
104. Shoveler
105. Ringed Plover
106. Bar-tailed Godwit
107. Sandwich Tern
108. Marsh Tit

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Foot it


Perhaps foolishly, given my lack of free time I’ve decided to take part in the Foot it challenge. The aim: to see as many bird species as possible leaving and returning to the house entirely on foot. The real aim: to loose the beer gut. Another aim: to get in the top 5 of total species seen and get a few birds that nobody else manages. I’ve set myself a target of a 100 species, and have managed to get out a few times. 


Some of the routes I've covered so far

Here’s  a summary of my efforts so far:

First major effort of the year was last Sunday, when I meant for a stroll round Pendennis Point and on to Swanpool. Missed a few possibilities, such as Purple Sandpiper, but caught up with a the Red-necked Grebe at Castle Beach and found a Slavonian Grebe there as well, which was an unexpected bonus. They’re really hard to get down this way – actually the first I’ve seen in Cornwall. Total haul for the day: 50. Half way to the target.


Chiffchaff - a fairly common bird around Falmouth in winter. Managed to catch up with about 10 of them in Swanvale


Great spotted Woodpecker. No particular reason for showing this one other than the fact I failed to get any decent shots of scarcities


The next notable effort was a quick scoot round the Penryn River mid-week, before work. A wintering Common Sandpiper was an unexpected bonus. Total up to 61.

This weekend I decided to embark on my first lengthy walks. A 12 miler round past Flushing to Mylor on the Saturday, followed by a slightly shorter walk to College Reservoir on the Sunday. Highlights on the Saturday was a overwintering Whimbrel (there can’t be many foot it challengers who’ll manage this one), a Black Redstart and splendid views of Great Northern Divers and Black-necked Grebes. Sunday was a bit more disappointing, as I failed to see the Bittern and a few targets such s Marsh Tit. I did add a few though. Total now on 78. Here’s the complete breakdown

 Great Northern Diver. One of five giving their eerie calls.

 Bonus prize for guessing the species

Mylor Harbour - sailing home to Ben Ainslie. Always a pleasant place to go birding as well as Sailing. 

6th January 2013
Falmouth:
1
Black-headed Gull
2
Lesser Black-backed Gull
3
Herring Gull
4
Great Black-backed Gull
5
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon
6
Woodpigeon
7
Collared Dove
8
Pied Wagtail
9
Wren
10
Robin
11
Blackbird
12
Blue Tit
13
Jackdaw
14
Starling
15
House Sparrow

Pendennis Point:
16
Goldfinch
17
Cormorant
18
Shag
19
Buzzard
20
Med Gull
21
Meadow Pipit
22
Rock Pipit
23
Dunnock
24
Song Thrush
25
Long-tailed Tit
26
Great Tit
27
Magpie
28
Carrion Crow
29
Raven
30
Chaffinch

Castle Beach:
31
Red-necked Grebe
32
Slavonian Grebe

Swanpool:
33
Mute Swan
34
Canada Goose
35
Mallard
36
Tufted Duck
37
Little Grebe
38
Grey Heron
39
Moorhen
40
Coot
41
Kingfisher
42
Greenfinch

Swanvale:
43
Water Rail
44
Great Spotted Woodpecker
45
Grey Wagtail
46
Blackcap
47
Chiffchaff
48
Goldcrest
49
Jay
50
Siskin

8th January 2013
Penryn River:
51
Teal
52
Little Egret
53
Sparrowhawk
54
Curlew
55
Common Sandpiper
56
Greenshank
57
Redshank
58
Green Woodpecker
59
Redwing
60
Firecrest
61
Coal Tit

Tremough:
62
Lapwing


10th January 2013
63
Kestrel

12th January 2013
Penryn River:
64
Fieldfare

Trefuses Point:
65
Oystercatcher
66
Whimbrel
67
Black Redstart
68
Linnet

Mylor Harbour:
69
Black-throated Diver
70
Great Northern Diver
71
Great Crested Grebe
72
Black-necked Grebe
73
Turnstone
74
Mistle Thrush

13th January 2013
College Reservoir:

75
Wigeon
76
Goldeneye
77
Snipe
78
Bullfinch


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