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Camel Estuary, Cornwall

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Old Friday 16th May 2008, 19:39   #1
camelbirder
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Talking Camel Estuary, Cornwall

While birding today, a friend said that it would be a good idea to start a thread, on Bird Forum, about the bird sightings and birding in general around the Camel Estuary, so lets get started.

An early morning visit to, the CBWPS Reserve, Walmsley Sanctuary produced some very good birding with a male Garganey, Wood Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover all on show, a supporting cast of Wigeon, Gadwall, two Shoveler, Greenshank, Yellow Wagtail and lots of Mallards made the visit worth it.

The water level is fairly high at the moment after the large showers we have had over the last few days.

At lunchtime I visited Clapper Marshes, which by contrast, (to Walmsley), was almost devoid of life with only the Canada Geese in attendance and a family party of Mute Swans, a brood of 6.

Well thats a start, lets see if we can keep this thread going, and enlighten the birding public about this special part of Cornwall.

Good Birding,

Derek

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Old Friday 16th May 2008, 22:03   #2
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I spent last Saturday and this Tuesday afternoons in the hide at Walmsley. After I had been in the hide a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon a Cattle Egret suddenly appeared and was actually getting its feet wet feeding by the flag stones. I didn't see it on Tuesday though.
On Tuesday there were 17 Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper in front of the hide at Burniere Point.
Hope this thread is kept going as I will be down again next month. Roger
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Old Saturday 17th May 2008, 18:18   #3
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17th May 2008

This afternoon at Walmsley Sanc. the male Garganey was still present as well as the Little Ringed Plover. A few more waders had arrived today with 31 Dunlin, 1 Ringed plover, 2 Greenshank, a Ruff, a single Common Sandpiper and a Lapwing present.
Wildfowl numbers were the same as yesterday with the exception of two new Gadwall, a pair, which had joined the first year, "resident", male.
A Spotted Flycatcher was on the wire fence near the old hide.

A total of 50 species were seen in very enjoyable couple of hours.

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Old Sunday 18th May 2008, 13:21   #4
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A visit this morning to Clapper Marshes and the adjoining bit of the river Camel produced the amazing total of eight Canada Goose broods, containing 43 goslings, a single Mallard brood plus one Mute Swan brood of six, at one point 11 Common Buzzards circled overhead possibly attracted by the goslings, or the odd wild Rabbit flock that appears to contain white,black and fawn indaviduals in addition to the wild type.The only other birds noted being a Green Woodpecker and a singing male Blackcap.
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Old Sunday 18th May 2008, 15:40   #5
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Hi Colin,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qingcol View Post
Amazing total of eight Canada Goose broods, containing 43 goslings,
This total added to the Walmsley sanc. birds makes a total of 12 broods totaling a minimum of 60 goslings, no wonder they are doing so well.

I also visited Clapper Marshes this morning, the only interesting sighting was of a single Curlew.
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Old Sunday 18th May 2008, 20:24   #6
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WeBs Count 18th May 2008

A walk along the Camel Trail today, while doing the WeBs count, produced a few surprises, a singing Lesser Whitethroat at Dennis Hill, a flyover Yellow Wagtail at Old Town Cove, a Cuckoo at Cant Hill, (although one was reported there in the week), and the biggest shock a GREY PARTRIDGE at Tregonce.

Grey Partridge are few and far between now with only a handful of records in the whole county, although the Camel Estuary is probably the stronghold, this is my first of the year.

The rest of the count was probably of what was expected for the time of year with, 28 Little Egret, 14 Grey Heron, 35 Mute Swan, (plus a brood of eight cygnets), 52 Shelduck, (most of the estuary's birds are inland breeding), 24 Mallard, 51 Oystercatcher, 32 Dunlin, 16 Whimbrel, 30 Curlew, one Common sandpiper, eight Lesser Black-back's, 392 Herring Gull and 39 Great Black-back's.

Chiffchaff and Blackcap were numerous along the Trail, but only one Willow Warbler was heard and no Whitethroat.
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Old Monday 19th May 2008, 09:30   #7
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A quick look at Clapper Marsh this morning produced nothing of any great interest with single Little Egret, two Grey Heron, two Moorhen, 14 Mallard, (and three broods), eight Canada Geese, (and two broods), and a single Sedge Warbler.

Up to seven Buzzard were counted circling over the marsh, are these birds really drawn here because of the goslings, (like Colin suggests), or is there another reason.
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Old Monday 19th May 2008, 13:13   #8
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A morning walk from Pentire Farm to the Rumps produced 2 Common Buzzard, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Northern Wheatear, 6 Common Whitethroat a singing Grasshopper Warbler, Blackcap and Corn Bunting. The Corn Bunting was colour ringed, and probably a dispersing bird from Trevose Head.
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Old Monday 19th May 2008, 18:39   #9
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I called in to Walmsley Tower hide mid morning and found not a single wader! but still Garganey, Wigeon, Gadwall and Shoveler plus one Coot chick, the first for me this year. Sand Martin, Swift, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher all showing.
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2008, 04:24   #10
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Hi Colin,
On your visit to The Rumps, did you see any Puffins? All reports are that they have arrived back in greatly reduced numbers.

Great photo's by the way.

Derek.
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2008, 08:28   #11
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Hi Derek,

No Puffin on view! just small groups of Razorbill, Guillemot, Shag, Cormorant and Kittiwake. Up to ten Common Swift over cliffs and a Grey Heron flying out to sea, a pair of Northern Wheatear look set to breed plus Rock & Meadow Pipit. ( This shot of a male Wheatear just missed the grade)
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2008, 09:07   #12
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[quote=The Corn Bunting was colour ringed, and probably a dispersing bird from Trevose Head.[/QUOTE]

It would be interesting to know if this bird has indeed come from Trevose Head or if it was caught on Pentire, have you emailed Clare?

Its sad about the Puffins, I wonder what the problem is, they appeared to be ok last year. I was told last week that the breeding gull population has increased, if this is so, I wonder if this is the reason.

Good Birding,

Derek
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2008, 21:27   #13
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The R.S.P.B has informed me that the colour ringed Corn Bunting was ringed at Porthcothan on the 14th of June, and was the heaviest chick of a brood of 4.
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Old Wednesday 21st May 2008, 03:16   #14
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20th May 2008

Unforunately I did not do any birding on or around the Camel today, (the lure of Red-footed Falcon at Boscastle used up all the available time), but Birdguides have reported the male Garganey is again at Walmsley this afternoon.
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Old Wednesday 21st May 2008, 19:24   #15
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Walmsley at 18:00. A few waders showing 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Ringed Plover and 8 Dunlin, male Wigeon still with 2 pairs of Gadwall, Spotted Flycatcher at the gate.

Derek, I think it worth a mention, that the female Red-footed Falcon was seen today right over the Source of the Camel!
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2008, 04:45   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qingcol View Post

Derek, I think it worth a mention, that the female Red-footed Falcon was seen today right over the Source of the Camel!
Yes its worth a mention, its a pity its not closer to the estuary and a lot easier to see,

Did not manage any birding on the patch yesterday due to work, (its a hard life), but did drive past Clappr Marsh at 5 o'clock. Here the field opposite was being ploughed and over 200 Herring Gulls were feeding behind it.

A Barn owl was just outside the area at St Jidgey, yesterday morning.
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2008, 09:40   #17
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An early morning visit to Clapper Marshes yielded very little with a flyover Ringed Plover being the best bird. There are now a few horses on the marsh, so they may start churning up the mud and make it more appetising for waders.

At Dinham Flats this morning a few waders were on show with single Greenshank, Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit. Four Dunlin, six Whimbrel, 11 Curlew and seven Oystercatcher were also present.
Six Little Egret, a Grey Heron, 28 Mute Swan, 29 Shelduck,136 Herring Gull and two Black-headed Gull made up the bulk of the rest.

A Fox was watched walk around the base of Tregenna Hill.
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2008, 09:43   #18
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[quote=Qingcol;1203565] male Wigeon still with 2 pairs of Gadwall, QUOTE]

Does the count of two pairs of Gadwall include the first summer male that was present at the weekend.
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2008, 16:02   #19
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Yes!and I'm sure the female has been around all the time, and hopefully sitting on eggs, the fact that the 1st summer male has been displaying constantly to a female Mallard means very little (look at some human behaviour) but this time it looks like a failed attempt.The 2nd pair are new arrivals.
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Old Friday 23rd May 2008, 09:14   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qingcol View Post
displaying constantly to a female Mallard means very little (look at some human behaviour)
Chance would be a good thing. But we can all dream.

This morning a Yellowhammer was singing outside my house, (this is very unusual), and 25 House Martins were overhead.
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Old Friday 23rd May 2008, 11:07   #21
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This morning at high tide, Dinham Flats.Birds included 35+ Curlew, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 summer plumage Knot and 3 Whimbrel including one very dark indavidual showing a darkish rump and under-wing + very bold head markings, sadly I could only manage one poor shot as the birds flew off down the estuary and will have a good look for it later today. It could possibly be Hudsonian Whimbrel or a bird showing some melanism. (Shot below)
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Old Friday 23rd May 2008, 21:19   #22
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Walmsley this morning; Garganey male, Gadwall, Wigeon and Shoveler.
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Old Saturday 24th May 2008, 09:24   #23
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While watching the high tide last night for any signs of the dark-rumped Whimbrel, Derek and I were struck by the fact that we were the only birders watching that part of the estuary at that time! if in Norfolk there would be fifty plus birders out looking on just a whisper, it's no wonder there are so few records from this large and difficult to watch estuary. There were five Whimbrel on the high tide roost, all crouched low in the scurvy grass and stubbornly refusing to show, with forty plus Curlew ( A good count at this time of year) plus two Bar-tailed Godwit. While we both enjoyed the song of a mixed singing Willow Warbler ( The song starting as a Chiff-chaff and finishing as a Willow Warbler) in the same area as one reported last year, we were treated to a fly-past and calling, Wood Sandpiper, closely followed by a 1st Summer male Wigeon and Gadwall.
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Old Sunday 25th May 2008, 10:13   #24
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Yesterday afternoon walking The Camel, near the Allen confluence i found yet another oddly singing Phylloscopus Warbler! this time a Chiffchaff, the version rendered as ' charrue-charrue-charrue-charrue-chaff-chaff-chaff-chaff'; The first section being very thrush like in it's richness, this being the second time i have heard this version, at the same time of day (mid afternoon) and at the same location, singing at this time of day it could well be an unmated male.
Not much to report from Clapper marshes just 3 Mallard broods, 5 Mute Swan cygnets and a singing Blackcap.
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Old Monday 26th May 2008, 10:08   #25
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It's chucking it down outside this morning! time perhaps to reflect on a common bird that for some unknown reason ( to me at least ) appears to shun the estuary and surrounding area, despite suitable habitats i have only recorded one, for a single day, 'Cetti's Warbler' in five years. The pic's below were taken on the Somerset Levels.
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