Celebrities’ drawings for Cornish wildlife

From Wildlife Extra:

Celebrities doodle for Cornish wildlife
The walrus, by Kate Adie

Doodle auction in aid of Cornwall Wildlife Trust

November 2012. Unique celebrity doodles by the likes of Joanna Lumley and Frank Skinner, are set to raise vital funds for Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust has been protecting Cornwall‘s wildlife both on land and in the seas since 1962 and is the county’s leading wildlife conservation charity. As part of its 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Trust has invited well-known celebrities from stage, screen, sport, art, illustration, books, and science to draw marine themed doodles and donate them to Cornwall Wildlife Trust. 28 celebrities have so far sent in their doodles, including Kurt Jackson, Jo Brand, Emma Thompson, Bill Oddie, Richard E Grant, Sir Ben Kingsley, Joanna Lumley, Michael Murpurgo, Michael Winner, Frank Skinner, Antony Cotton, Daniel O’Donnell and Sharron Davies to name but a few!


Bill Oddie, national treasure, conservationist and star of the Goodies, was the first to create a doodle. Although it might have been expected that his doodle would feature birds, he decided to present a full page doodle entitled ‘Never Mind the Pollacks, What About the Whales? Whoever told them they could sing?’ His whales are doodled singing amongst other numbers, that old time favourite ‘Whale Meat Again’ and ‘Salmon-chanted Evening’. For the lucky bidder, as with all the doodles, comes an autograph endorsing that this was all his own work.

Least original - Bottlenose dolphin by Jo Brand

Amongst the celebrities the work of local artists has not been forgotten. Rebecca Cobb is an up and coming illustrator gaining a national reputation working with authors such as Julia Donaldson and Helen Dunmore, and Michael Foreman is an internationally recognized illustrator who also works with local authors on children’s’ books about Cornwall. Artist Kurt Jackson is renowned for his Cornish landscapes and needs no introduction to the local community.


Gardener Alan Titchmarsh has doodled a dolphin – jumping out of the water over a penguin, with the catch phrase ‘Nothing in life is black and white – except us – and zebras’, while Coronation Street stars Angela Griffin and Antony Cotton have doodled crabs and dolphins.

Michael Morpurgo, author of Warhorse, has written a doodle explaining that just as an orchestra tunes up, an athlete warms up, as an author he writes. Incorporated in his writing he has included a drawing of an oystercatcher with the comment ‘now you see why I only doodle writing’.

Keith Hambly-Staite, Cornwall Wildlife Trustee says “Our Celebrity Doodle auction offers a great way to get a piece of original art work from celebrities and nationally recognised book illustrators as well as supporting the work of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. The fun, and in some cases the fantasy, of the doodles reflects the marine work of the Trust and the fun that can be enjoyed on wildlife adventures.”

Dania Shaw, Marketing and Fundraising Co-ordinator for Cornwall Wildlife Trust comments, “We are thrilled to have received such a large number of doodles from such a diverse group of celebrities, and following the launch of the auction on eBay in the autumn bidding is expected to be intense. Through this exciting auction of wonderful wildlife doodles, we hope to raise over £5000 for Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places”

For your chance to own an original, signed piece of art work from your favourite celebrity, whilst at the same time donating funds for future of the wildlife of Cornwall, please visit www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/doodle from Thursday 22nd November.

Good Cornish cirl bunting news

This is a cirl bunting video from Spain.

From the BBC:

22 July 2012 Last updated at 08:39 GMT

Cirl bunting reintroduction in Cornwall ‘sustainable’

The RSPB said there were about 860 pairs breeding in the UK

The reintroduction of a rare songbird to Cornwall has reached a sustainable population, the RSPB has said.

The cirl bunting, which is a close cousin of the yellowhammer, used to be found on farmland across the county, but disappeared in the early 1990s.

The reintroduction started in 2006 and the charity hopes the population has reached a level where no further birds need to be released.

The RSPB said there are 43 pairs living in Cornwall.

The bird was seen across southern England but is now only found on coastlines in Devon and Cornwall.

Stuart Croft, from the RSPB, said at the start of the project that a population of up to 40 pairs was seen as sustainable.

Mr Croft said the chicks used for the reintroduction came from the Devon population.

The last release happened in 2011.

He said: “Because the population has reached the target we’ll now be purely monitoring the birds to see how they’re doing.”

The RSPB said there were about 860 pairs breeding in the UK.

November 2013: A formal letter of complaint has been sent by the RSPB to Devon NHS bosses concerning the wilful damage of the land near Exminster. The site, Hillcrest, is home to a nationally important population of cirl buntings and the charity believes the destruction is a deliberate move to reduce the nature conservation value of the land in order to gain planning permission for development: here.

Kittiwakes nesting on North Sea oil rigs

Translated from Ecomare museum in the Netherlands:

Kittiwakes go south – 1/12/20

Kittiwakes usually breed on rocky northern shores

Kittiwakes in the summer of 2010 have colonized an oil rig in the North Sea. That in itself is not so special: since 2000, the nests of this northern rock nesting species have been found on North Sea oil rigs. But the new platform is much further south than these platforms and the water is a lot less transparent. It is the first breeding colony discovered so far to the south and in such circumstances. The new place for the settlers was a success as was demonstrated by the photographs, which showed at least 27 young birds.

Counts by RSPB Scotland and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) of Orkney‘s “seabird cities” revealed an 82% decline in breeding pairs of kittiwakes in just over a decade: here.

The RSPB and other wildlife organisations are asking for help for one of Cornwall‘s most rapidly declining seabirds, the kittiwake: here.

Rare sea snail in Cornwall

Violet sea snail

From Wildlife Extra:

Rare sea creature and slimy surprise found in Cornwall

Violet sea snail spotted near Polzeath

July 201. A rare and beautiful sea snail has been found by a Cornwall Wildlife Trust volunteer in Polzeath, North Cornwall. This is the first sighting of such an unusual creature in over 3 years, according to the Environmental Records Centre of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Violet sea snail

A violet sea snail, which gets its name from its vivid colour, is an oceanic drifter with a mucus bubble raft which supports them on the ocean surface. They travel with their prey in tropical and semi tropical ocean drifts therefore arriving in Cornish waters must be quite a shock! Once in a while they wash up in this part of the world, often with other exciting drifters such as goose barnacles and the infamous Portuguese Man-of -War jellyfish.

Marine scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, have witnessed a remarkable feeding frenzy of seabirds and dolphins off the Land’s End peninsula in southwest Cornwall: here.

Good Cornish chough news

This is a chough video from Spain.

From Wildlife Extra:

Iconic bird spreads it wings ten years after return

June 2011: Cornwall‘s chough have had their best season to date, ten years after their natural return in 2001, it has been announced.

In all 15 chicks have hatched from four nests around the coast of West Cornwall. The project to support the chough‘s return has been overseen by a coalition of RSPB, Natural England and National Trust with huge support from local communities and volunteers.

UPDATE 2012: Cornwall’s choughs have a fantastic year: here.

June 2011. RSPB Northern Ireland is celebrating a year of rare returns with the fledging of two choughs on Rathlin Island just a week after announcing the return of the golden plover to Co Fermanagh: here.

This Valentine’s Day saw the return of a special couple to the cliff tops of Rathlin Island. Special because they are Northern Ireland’s only remaining pair of chough, back again for another breeding season: here.

Rare fish in Cornwall sea

Streaked gurnard

From Practical Fishkeeping:

Colourful visitor is the first seen this century<

A group of divers exploring off the coast of The Lizard peninsula in Cornwall have photographed a rare species of gurnard.

Des Glover and business partner David Roberts of Kennack Diving photographed and videoed the fish in September, but were not certain just what they’d seen until after returning to shore.

Having checked through their books they made a tentative identification that the fish was a Streaked gurnard, Trigloporus lastoviza but having never seen anything similar in many years diving they sought confirmation elsewhere.

The ID was eventually confirmed by Cornish marine life expert Dr Paul Gainey and the British Marine Life Study Society, making the fish only the fifth positive sighting in British waters in the last 40 years – and the first this century.

The Streaked gurnard is generally considered an occasional late summer migrant to UK waters from the warmer, more southerly waters of the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, but is sometimes found as far north as the coast of Norway.

They grow to around 40cm/16″ and feed on crustaceans. They find this food with the aid of specially adapted pectoral fin rays with which they appear to ‘walk’ across the seabed./blockquote>

Mexican cavefish develop resistance to toxin: here.

Rare green heron in Cornwall

According to Rare Bird Alert in Britain, yesterday a rare green heron from North America was seen in Heligan gardens, Cornwall.

See also here.

Marine animals stranded in Cornwall

This video from England says about itself:

The comprehensive investigation into the mass stranding of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) that occurred in Cornwall on 9th June 2008 was co-ordinated by the collaborative UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) ( http://www.ukstrandings.org ) which is currently managed by Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

From Wildlife Extra:

143 marine mammals stranded in Cornwall in 2009

24/09/2010 13:16:42

Seals, sharks and turtles also stranded

September 2010: Cornwall Wildlife Trust‘s Marine Strandings Network (MSN) has published its report for 2009. The report shows that, despite huge pressures, Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly still have a wealth of fascinating marine wildlife, from whales to sea potato urchins. The MSN examined and recorded 74 cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises), 61 grey seals, 5 basking sharks and 3 turtles in the year. Numerous other marine species were added to the MSN’s expansive database which holds a vast amount of information going back many years. …

Two loggerhead turtles stranded alive in 2009 at Porthleven and Trebarwith Strand and were rehabilitated at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay. These turtles were later released when fully fit in the warm waters of Gran Canaria. Regrettably, the remains of a 1.6 metre long leatherback turtle were found on Wanson Mouth beach. Among other things, these marine turtles feed on Portuguese Man-o-War and in 2009 these jellyfish-like animals were plentiful around Cornwall. More than 200 were reported to the MSN, which worked with the Cornwall County Council beach teams to safely remove them from our beaches.

Sea urchins tolerate acid water: here.

Porpoise beached alive on Texel: here.

Hoopoe and rooks

This video from Britain is called Hoopoe at Gulval Cricket Club near Penzance – Wildlife in Cornwall.

Tonight in the orchard.

Lots of rooks flying to their sleeping trees.

Young blue tits in a bush.

A nuthatch.

Green woodpeckers.

A hoopoe sitting on a leafless branch of a big tree; sometimes with a blackbird sitting close to it.