After giving me the run around for a week I finally caught up with the SNOWY OWL (175) at Bartinney Downs on the 17th. After a mad dash from work I decided the quickest way was by bike, so packing just my bins I shot down to Bartinney where I could actually view the bird from the car park! On the 19th I spent a quick hour at Rosewall Hill on the moors to the west of St Ives, picking up three Ring Ouzels (176), Willow Warbler (177) and Cuckoo (178) for my efforts. Rosewall and Buttermilk Hills are without doubt the best place in west Cornwall to see Ring Ouzel, despite numbers being comparatively low this year.
A trip to London on the 20th whilst not for birding, was always going to be an opportunity to nick a few odd year ticks. Red Kites (179) along the M4 corridor were the first of the expected targets! The following day a touristy walk around St James Park added Ring-necked Parakeet (180), Egyptian Goose (181) and Red-crested Pochard (182)!
A phone call from Brad on the evening of the 22nd alerted me to a pair of KENTISH PLOVERS (183) on the beach at Marazion. The light and weather were closing in so I was more than relieved that the birds were still showing on our arrival. On nearby Marazion Marsh I also managed Sedge (184) and Reed Warbler (185), House Martin (186) and Yellow Wagtail (187). A singing Whitethroat (188) from my garden in Connor Downs was my first for the year and I finally caught up with three Swifts (189) on 29th whilst setting up the new ringing station at Lelant!
The last day of the month was spent on the east side of Dartmoor with Brad and Jake. An early start at Yarner Wood produced good numbers of Pied Flycatchers (190) and at least six singing Wood Warblers (191). A singing male Redstart (192) was only two seen during he day and a Tree Pipit (193) and Redpoll (194) were up on the moor. Other birds seen included Mandarin (6), plenty of Willow Warbler, Marsh Tit, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Yellowhammer, Treecreeeper and a fly over Red Kite. We then moved on to Soussons Farm and Plantation, which by previous years standards, was pretty poor, with no Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher, Redpoll or Crossbill seen. The only target bird we managed to catch up with was a singing Grasshopper Warbler (195).