• Clouds of terns

    The 29th August won’t be forgotten in a hurry! Local birders were treated to an unprecedented arrival of terns involving all 6 of the regular British species! Quite how many there were is open to question but the estuary “had clouds of them” according to one observer with up to 500 roosting in Ryan’s Field at one time. Figures of 2400 Common, 30 Arctic, 3 Roseate, 65 Sandwich, 3 Little and 16 Black Terns have been quoted…

    • 3 Oct 2014
  • Public notice - Ryan's Field car park re-opened

    I am happy to anounce that after a couple of weeks of closure the car park is now open.  The car park had become very rutted with potholes over the years and the drain was blocked causing large puddles to form at the base of the bank.  We hired a local contractor to dig out the drain and level the surface of the car park at a cost of £1600.00. 

    • 12 May 2014
  • Public notice - Ryan's Field car park closed

    Ryan's Field car park closed for maintenance.  Contractors are leveling the surface of the footpath and clearing the drainage ditch.  The surface will be rolled and must be left to dry out before vehicles can drive over it again.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and we will open the car park as soon as possible.

    • 1 May 2014
  • Spring clean

    The volunteers and I will be working at Ryan's Field for the next couple of weeks to give the hide and other furniture a fresh lick of paint and to fill in the major potholes in the car park.  We are always looking for extra volunteers to help out so please get in touch if you have some spare time this month to help out.  You may have also noticed the shiney new fence along the legnth of the track to the hide.  This was…

    • 16 Apr 2014
  • March 2014

    We are already half way through March but with the departure of most of our wintering wildfowl and waders, it has been a slow start to the spring migration. Good numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls are always a feature at this time of year and amongst the several hundred there have been occasional sightings of Glaucous and Iceland. A count of 24 Med Gulls on 8th March was a good number. Most of the Wigeon and Teal have…
    • 17 Mar 2014
  • Birds galore!

    The end of September has seen a real influx of birds to the reserve, doubtless due to the damp, foggy weather conditions coupled with a strong easterly wind. Star of the show has undoubtedly been a Black-winged Stilt. This is our first in 25 years and only our second ever after a spring bird, 3rd May 1988. Fortunately, for the dozens of admirers with this autumn individual, the bird is still there today, 30th September…
    • 30 Sep 2013
  • Spoonbill on Lelant Water

    Although quite a rarity in the far west, Spoonbills are almost annual at Hayle Estuary so it wasn't a total surprise when one turned up on Bank Holiday Monday, 26th August. A supporting cast included 24 Wigeon, 46 Teal, 5 Ringed Plover, 150 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Dunlin and 4 Med Gulls. Advance warning: On 30th September, Network Rail will be undertaking bridge repairs at the entrance to our car park at…
    • 27 Aug 2013
  • Summer update

    After a quiet June, the only notable occurrence being an unseasonal Scaup 18th-21st, July has started better. Thus 9th July produced 90 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank, 11 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and a first-summer Grey Plover. The latter caused quite a stir when news of its arrival was telephoned through to my office.  Described as "very white underneath with very long, pale legs (yellow was mentioned)", thoughts…

    • 11 Jul 2013
  • May sightings

    In spite of the very cold weather, our wintering wildfowl and waders have long gone. We've had the usual spring passage of waders: Common Sandpipers, Redshank, Dunlin, Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwits but no big numbers to shout about.  A Curlew Sandpiper passed through on 21st with a flock of Dunlin but otherwise the main avian highlight was made on 1st of the month when 2 Red Kites flew over Porth Kidney sand dunes…

    • 28 May 2013
  • Spring update

    April has been a relatively quiet month at Hayle.  In common with all British estuaries, this is not the most productive month of the year as most of our over-wintering waders and wildfowl are leaving for their breeding grounds in the arctic.  However, with migration in full swing, you never know what can turn up so although our "resident" birds have now departed north, others are arriving from the south and, particularly…

    • 26 Apr 2013
  • No more helicopter disturbances

    Following a productive meeting with RNAS Culdrose on 3rd April, I am happy to report they are to instruct their squadrons not to use our Hayle and Marazion reserves in future for their low flying training exercises.  Although there are still other organisations that occasionally overfly the area and flush all the birds off the reserves, these are sporadic by comparison.  I am therefore very grateful to the local Air Station…

    • 5 Apr 2013
  • Helicopter disturbance on the increase

    We are currently having a real problem with low-flying helicopters which appear to be deliberately targeting the reserve at the main estuary, Lelant Water and Carnsew Pool. Last Sunday for example, I was at Carnsew with 11 volunteers for our monthly litter-pick and at 11:30am an Air Sea Rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose approached from the south west on a flight line that would have taken it to the south of the reserve…

    • 14 Mar 2013
  • On our recent guided walk...

    On Saturday, 2nd Feb a dozen hardy souls joined Jen and I for a morning stroll around the reserve, commencing at the hide at Ryan's Field where a Kingfisher put in a fast fly-by for some. A cold northerly wind accompanied us as we took in Lelant Water and Carnsew Pool but with so many birds on show at this time of year, I would like to say we hardly noticed it - and at least it stayed dry.

    With the tide receeding…

    • 6 Feb 2013
  • No more Long-tailed Duck but...

    Recent sightings at the estuary have included 11 Whooper Swans on 25th Nov with seven remaining the following day, four Pale-bellied Brent Geese on 29th Nov and the usual several hundred Wigeon and Teal. The Spoonbill mentioned below was last seen 18th Nov with the Long-tailed Duck at Carnsew Pool disappearing two days later. However, three Goosander have just arrived at the latter site and coinciding with the cold weather…

    • 3 Dec 2012
  • Recent wildfowl

    The adult male Long-tailed Duck continues to delight visitors at Carnsew Pool and there are still very good numbers of both Teal and Wigeon at Lelant Water, the main estuary.  They were joined briefly by a herd of 7 adult Whooper Swans on 18th along with two Dark-bellied and 1 Pale-bellied Brent. The Spoonbill is also still here - so to reiterate, there is a lot to see at Hayle at the moment.

    • 21 Nov 2012
  • Long-tailed Duck at Carnsew Pool

    I've just returned from the estuary and can confirm that the adult drake Long-tailed Duck is still present at Carnsew, having arrived a few days ago.  This may not be particularly unusual 'up country' but it must be ten years since we hosted one here and adult drakes are even rarer in Cornwall.  Also today on the main estuary at Lelant Water were 22 Shelduck, over a thousand Wigeon and the two Brent Geese which…

    • 9 Nov 2012
  • Recent sightings

    During the third week of October we've seen a build up in numbers of wildfowl and waders but the real highlight has been the presence of three Spoonbills on 22nd.  These are now almost annual visitors to the reserve although they seldom stay for long.  We had a single bird here on 14th October too but I think that moved to Scilly where one was seen at Sampson just after. The 22nd was a productive day for some - with…

    • 24 Oct 2012
  • Camberwell Beauty butterfly - a 'first' for the reserve

    On Sunday, 2nd September a few lucky observers at the Hayle Causeway spotted a Camberwell Beauty feeding on bramble near the road before flying off over the estuary towards the Old Quay House Inn.  This is a rare migrant at the best of times and an estuary wouldn't have been an obvious choice for one to spend any time - hence it's speedy departure I imagine!  Nevertheless we are pleased to add this to our butterfly…

    • 3 Sep 2012
  • Wader update

    As I mentioned in my last blog, the poor weather is always good for a visit to the estuary as it usually brings to a halt bird migration - heavy rain in particular usually pays dividends as the birds drop in for a rest and a feed until better weather prevails!  Thus the prolonged wet spell on 27th sent birders to the estuary the following morning and a wealth of species were discovered of which 3 North American Pectoral…

    • 29 Aug 2012
  • A good week for waders and terns

    The southerly gales and driving rain always pay dividends at the estuary at this time of year!  In between showers on 15th August, the sunny afternoon at Carnsew Pool allowed a few lucky observers to witness a quite remarkable passage of waders, many of which used the improving weather to stop by only briefly before continuing on their way.  One such group included a flock of 23 Curlew Sandpipers with150 Dunlin and 233…

    • 17 Aug 2012
  • Autumn birds are on their way

    A number of waders have started to arrive on the estuary in mid- July and by 19th these included 218 Curlew, 7 Whimbrel, 18 Oystercatchers, 5 Common Sandpipers and single Dunlin, Redshank and Bar-tailed Godwit. There are also up to 16 Little Egrets and a dozen Shelduck, the latter having bred successfully in at least two areas around the reserve.  A few Med Gulls and Sandwich terns have also been seen on occasion, all…

    • 20 Jul 2012
  • May & June 2012

    Our Oystercatcher pair on one of the shingle islands at Ryan's Field have fledged two young.  As far as we know these are the only nesting Oystercatchers in west Cornwall. At present we have one pair of Shelduck with 5 ducklings on Lelant Water - although we are hoping for more!  The late spring migration has been rather quiet but a Great White Egret flew over on 4th May and a Spoonbill took up residence over 13th-15th…

    • 20 Jun 2012
  • February update

    On the bird-front, gulls appear to be stealing the show this month with Iceland, Yellow-legged and a number of Med Gulls at Lelant Water and Carnsew Pool.  The recent cold snap hasn't brought the anticipated influx of wildfowl and waders - yet.

    Our hide at Ryan's Field continues to receive attacks from vandals and although we have painted over the graffiti shown on our recent photos - three times now - it appears…

    • 9 Feb 2012
  • Eric Grace Memorial Hide, Hayle Estuary Nature Reserve Vandalised

     

    Vandals strike the RSPB bird hide

    The Eric Grace Memorial hide has stood the test of time, it was opened in 1996 by Andrew George at since has seen persistent acts of vandalism.  Before it was even built the roof was stolen, later the door was smashed in on no less than five occasions until staff decided it was too much of a hazard to leave on, the benches demolished several times, the notice boards smashed, the leaflets…

    • 20 Dec 2011
  • Bird news June/July

    As I write this in mid-July the first of the autumn waders are returning with Green Sandpipers at Marazion and Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Ruff on the Hayle Estuary already. Presumably these are failed or non-breeders as it is still only July after all.  The highlight this spring/summer has again been the influx of Red Kites during 3rd-5th June.  On the first day 19 appeared over…

    • 19 Jul 2011