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Old Sunday 4th April 2010, 20:50   #26
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No sign of the two Garganey at College res. late afternoon. They were probably there but i wasn't looking hard enough good numbers of Swallow + Sand Martin. All the normal residents. Also 2 LT Tits with nesting material.
Woodchat Shrike showing well at Church cove.
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Old Sunday 4th April 2010, 22:49   #27
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Couldn't find the Garganey on Friday at College Reservoir. Do they come and go or am I just not looking in the right place? They've been reported Saturday and today. Are evenings better?
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Old Sunday 4th April 2010, 23:29   #28
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Couldn't find the Garganey on Friday at College Reservoir. Do they come and go or am I just not looking in the right place? They've been reported Saturday and today. Are evenings better?

Seems like they could be elusive (there isn't really anywhere else they'd be going, I'd have thought? ... and surely unlikley that a procession of pairs coming in to replace earlier ones lol) ... I last had a brief look on Friday morning too, with no success - no sign to the west of the island at the south side where I had seen them previously in the week (over the little bridge and taking the better boardwalk to the left side of the lake, and then taking a loop near the island, after a hundred yards or more, taking care not to spook anything). Spoke to someone today who'd apparently gone down earlier on today (sunday), given the place a good grilling, but not connected.

Evenings the light was better at any rate. The vegetation isn't too bad - but they could easily be hidden I guess, and not everywhere is quite visible (eg the very southern end of the lake). Don't know the specifics of the later sightings meself. Good luck if you try again.
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Old Sunday 4th April 2010, 23:42   #29
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Incidently, wellies probably advisable (but you'd get away without them with care - definitely useful if taking the path to the right to view the main waterbody), back on friday there were singing Willow Warbler, Blackcap and plenty of Chiffchaff, in addition to the 'regular' 50+ Sand Martin and handful of Swallows.

There has been a sign at the start of the path saying that it is closed due to health and safety reasons (mud/collapsing boardwalks I guess?), so of course no-one should be actively encouraged to go there . I have also heard that there is talk of opening the lake up for better public amenity use - whether that just means repairing the boardwalks so more people can walk around, starting up of fishing like on Argal, or something else, I don't know. My natural suspicion is that anything would be to the detriment of the wildlife present, but I don't know for sure ...
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Old Monday 5th April 2010, 11:06   #30
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Thanks Dantheman,

I did walk both sides, well halfway up the eastern edge (I know what you mean about wellies), all the way down the western edge, getting off the boardwalk to get a closer look at the lake every now and then. There are a lot of hiding places though so I probably just missed them.

Off to try for the Woodchat Shrike now, may try College after.

Thanks again!
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Old Monday 5th April 2010, 17:15   #31
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Hi All,
I was under the impression that College Res. was closed to visitors due to the bad state of the footpaths, is this not the case anymore?
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Old Monday 5th April 2010, 19:24   #32
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The official line from SWLT (South West Lakes Trust) is that College Res. is closed to the public and protected as a nature reserve for now. There are plans to open it up and possibly put in a hide which would be a good move to avoid disturbance at the marsh end. That marshy end has had Lesser Scaup, 3+ Ring-necked Ducks and Purple Heron in the last few years alone.
A couple of year back the BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers or should that be Vandals?!) removed a large section of boardwalk on the southern stretch and never got round to putting in a new one leaving a 100m section of seriously boggy narrow path, so wellies definitely advised for a full lap of the lake.
This lack of accessibility probably helps to make the lake good for birds however, so definitely worth a visit. Good for passage white-wingers and scarce migrants at this time of year although usually a bit quiet for waders unless the water level drops. The last time the water level seriously dropped (back in the 80's), Long-billed Dowitcher and Least Sandpiper were found!
Thanks. Henry.
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Old Monday 5th April 2010, 20:16   #33
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College Reservoir;

Despite the poor state of the paths, I still encounter 'the general walking public', often with a dog or two (sometimes even on a lead ) maybe every 3rd visit or so. During last friday's brief 20 minute visit I encountered 3 other members of the public on the path. The gateway from the road between the two reservoirs is not physically blocked at all, although it is a little inconspicuous.

Garganey pair still present this evening at 6pm at the same place I'd seen them early last week; starting from the southern end from the road, taking an obvious left before reaching the water and going over the bridge. 250 yards or so further on and just after the 2nd section of boardwalk there is an obvious turn to the right leading to the waters edge. Continuing parallel to the water for maybe 40 yards (?) and before the path loops back to main boardwalk you have a fairly obscured view of the main reservoir. The Garganey were out in the floating vegetation behind the island, at maybe 12:30 - o- clock as you look to the north end of the reservoir from this point, visible between the branches of a mossy dead tree in the water ... about halfway or further up the side of the 'island' of mature trees.

A couple of Teal present too, and Swallow (60+), Sand Martin (30+) and House Martin 1 as viewed from the east side of the res. Willow Warbler etc.

Pic below; spot the Garganey ... somewhere in that spit of floating vegetation in the middle of the pic! Not the best viewing position possibly, there might be better access further up the side of the reservoir, but it's a balance with minimising disturbance of course.
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Old Monday 5th April 2010, 21:26   #34
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College Reservoir;

Despite the poor state of the paths, I still encounter 'the general walking public', often with a dog or two (sometimes even on a lead ) maybe every 3rd visit or so. During last friday's brief 20 minute visit I encountered 3 other members of the public on the path. The gateway from the road between the two reservoirs is not physically blocked at all, although it is a little inconspicuous.

Garganey pair still present this evening at 6pm at the same place I'd seen them early last week; starting from the southern end from the road, taking an obvious left before reaching the water and going over the bridge. 250 yards or so further on and just after the 2nd section of boardwalk there is an obvious turn to the right leading to the waters edge. Continuing parallel to the water for maybe 40 yards (?) and before the path loops back to main boardwalk you have a fairly obscured view of the main reservoir. The Garganey were out in the floating vegetation behind the island, at maybe 12:30 - o- clock as you look to the north end of the reservoir from this point, visible between the branches of a mossy dead tree in the water ... about halfway or further up the side of the 'island' of mature trees.

A couple of Teal present too, and Swallow (60+), Sand Martin (30+) and House Martin 1 as viewed from the east side of the res. Willow Warbler etc.

Pic below; spot the Garganey ... somewhere in that spit of floating vegetation in the middle of the pic! Not the best viewing position possibly, there might be better access further up the side of the reservoir, but it's a balance with minimising disturbance of course.
Well dagnam it that's where we walked last Wednesday, and looked we thought quite carefully at all the vegetation......

But the viewing doesn't improve further on.

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Old Monday 5th April 2010, 21:38   #35
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Well dagnam it that's where we walked last Wednesday, and looked we thought quite carefully at all the vegetation......

But the viewing doesn't improve further on.
Commiserations/apologies ...

That blinding white head stripe of the male is actually quite good camouflage in the vegetation, and earlier in the day maybe they are resting up more ... at least you've got Sarnie (not Pasty?) Tern on Pendennis point ...

Apparently Otters have been seen on College too (last year I think), haven't seen anything myself yet ...
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Old Saturday 10th April 2010, 23:10   #36
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Not had much chance to do that much birding myself the last week or so ... but anyway ...

Sat 10th April - today, went on a family orientated ferry trip across to St Mawes from Falmouth. Pleasant day, lots of Chiffchaff singing and a few Swallows. Avian highlight was four Whimbrel on the rocks just around the corner from St Mawes Castle with 20 Oystercatchers and 2 Little Egret at high tide. The main highlight was a pod of maybe 10+ Bottlenose Dolphins on the way back, just off Falmouth. The boat slowed and stopped even as everyone crowded to the front to get views which included a bit of jumping action etc. Something (presumably) put all the gulls and pigeons into the air as we disembarked back at Falmouth, couldn't pick anything out though unfortunately ...

Wednesday 7th April - male House Sparrow inside Falmouth Asda!

Female Goshawk reported in the area during the week - quite possibly flew over me whilst I was tree planting as it was seen over the neighbouring farm to me between Treverva and Constantine, circling high before heading SW. In fact, bit disappointed as I might even have got onto it if I'd been alerted at the time!! Oh well ...

Interesting to see an influx of Red Kites to the region today (including 1 over Asda at 7.30am - I was up at the field not so far away at the time checking the moth trap at the time!), and mega news a little further afield of a Balearic Shrike on the Lizard! Might have to pay a visit that way ...
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Old Saturday 10th April 2010, 23:30   #37
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and mega news a little further afield of a Balearic Shrike on the Lizard! Might have to pay a visit that way ...
I'm down in Falmouth on Monday for the night - please keep both Shrikes on hold!!

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Old Sunday 11th April 2010, 12:31   #38
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I'm down in Falmouth on Monday for the night - please keep both Shrikes on hold!!
A case of two shrikes, and you're out? ...

Balearic reported this morning, not sure about t'other. College res. this am - couldn't see the Garganey, and no hirundines whatsoever either.
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Old Monday 12th April 2010, 18:43   #39
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Made it down to the Lizard today, unfortunately no Shrikes to be seen

Windmill Farm - almost the first bird I set eyes on was a distant Red Kite. It eventually came closer - nice. Lots of Willow Warblers singing, must have been dozens in total, lesser numbers of Chiffchaff. A Dartford Warbler started singing about ten feet away from before popping up onto the top of a Gorse bush. Half a dozen Wheatear on the edge of Predannack Airfield. A smart male Ring Ouzel and 3 Tree Pipits in the small fields were very nice, with a few more Meadow Pipits, Skyark and a couple more Wheatear. Small numbers of Swallow and Sand Martin.

Lizard Point - after a brief stop at the shrike stake-out, and there having been so sign so far, I took on the walk around the headland from Church Cove. Very little on offer - lots of the public enjoying the sunshine. Usual birds like Stonechat, Rock Pipits, Gannet and the pair of Chough and a Raven. Highlight was 13 Wheatear in a field on the west side of the point. Returned back to Church Cove for another go at the Shrike, but still no sign.
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Old Wednesday 28th April 2010, 21:37   #40
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Haven't really done any proper birding for weeks now - too busy, and it's main migration time. Crazy.

I see there was a Purple Heron reported at Stithians yesterday (16:00). Wondering if anyone has heard anything on this? (Thinking ****, had a heron fly low over me against the sun yesterday afternoon up near Treverva (a couple of miles away). Couldn't really get enough on it, but I was thinking possible Purp at the time .... aaghhh! )

Erm ... not much else that I've seen, Whitethroats back, visited College Res this morning but it was even quieter than a few weeks back...
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Old Monday 3rd May 2010, 17:47   #41
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Female Marsh Harrier this morning from my field (c.1 mile west of Treverva), being mobbed by the local Jackdaws. Flew low through fom the west before circling and gaining height over the valley to the south west, eventually I lost it high in the sky over towards the Lizard.

4 Common Swifts high overhead too, with at least 1 lower down and 3 House Martins. Peregrines distantly, Common Whitethroat singing etc.

Yesterday evening 4 Shelduck flying low east over the cattle market, Truro as we drove back into the area, 20+ Whimbrel, 3 Greenshank and a Dunlin at Devoran as we stopped for a brief scan.

Waiting at Penmere Station, Falmouth for the train on Saturday morning, Sparrowhawk, female Whitethroat and 15+ Common Swift.
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Old Monday 3rd May 2010, 22:57   #42
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Carrick Roads just below the Ferry - looks like a Great White Egret ??
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Old Monday 3rd May 2010, 23:35   #43
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Carrick Roads just below the Ferry - looks like a Great White Egret ??
Looks like a 'leucistic' Grey Heron to me - structure, including bill length, plus that dark line on the head.

Certainly interesting, and really that pale in real life?
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2010, 00:30   #44
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Looks like a 'leucistic' Grey Heron to me - structure, including bill length, plus that dark line on the head.

Certainly interesting, and really that pale in real life?
I was on the ferry down from Malpas - saw a bright white 'thing' and just managed to get a poor pic at 560mm.
There were plenty of Herons around for comparison.
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Old Tuesday 4th May 2010, 00:53   #45
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Looks like a 'leucistic' Grey Heron to me - structure, including bill length, plus that dark line on the head.
Agree. (Sorry Chris!)
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Old Sunday 16th May 2010, 10:16   #46
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several Sandwich Terns were fishing off Gyllyngvase Beach yesterday afternoon
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Old Tuesday 8th June 2010, 21:25   #47
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1 Hobby flew over whilst I was driving past Argal Reservoir earlier on this afternoon.
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Old Wednesday 30th June 2010, 22:04   #48
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Report of 10 Balearics off Gyllyngvase this evening.
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Old Wednesday 25th August 2010, 14:33   #49
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Keeping the thread alive ...

... Water levels have dropped at Argal Reservoir by a good metre or two, so lots of exposed shoreline (some mud, mostly granite 'gravel', with the odd 'cornish hedge' exposed), with the result that some waders were on display. A walk around the perimeter this morning 7:20 am onwards, and the following were recorded;

Greenshank 2+ (mobile)
Common Sandpiper 1
Ringed Plover 1 juv
Grey Heron 3
Mallard 15
BH Gull 23
Cormorant 1
Swallow c.500
Sand Martin 1 (that I noticed!)

(Not quite competition for Stithians at the moment ...)

College Reservoir (now in the rain, so a half hearted and misted optics scenario):-

Mute Swan family of 6
Canada Goose 2
Coot 27
Moorhen 4
Mallard 11
Little Grebe 1
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Old Monday 30th August 2010, 20:47   #50
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Had quite a good haul this morning

Greenshank calling as I left the house in Falmouth at 5:30am.

Argal Reservoir - Greenshank 3, Common Sandpiper 3, Curlew 2 (heard only), Teal 1, plus the commoner water birds. Lots of Chiffchaff (2 dozen plus), Willow Warbler (6+).

College Reservoir - Osprey 1 juv from 8 -8:45 before flying off to the south.
Also Kingfisher, Cormorant (20 roosting in island trees), and as equally impressive as the Osprey, for me at least, brief views of an Otter with a large and strongly struggling fish (Carp presumably?) in the southern section near the island.

(All before 9am. For a fuller account, see my blog, link in signature below)
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