We had friends down to stay last weekend for the Joyce's birthday, and they wanted to go down to West Cornwall to see where Poldark had been set, well I don't need any excuse to to visit that area, especially in mid October, peak rare bird season, and I thought I may be able to include one of the valleys into our itinery,and I took my 500mm lens along 'just in case' .We didn't arrive at St Just until mid morning ,so bought some pastys and headed to Botallack to see the mining area .After a while we settled down at Wheal Owles,where I took a few photos of a Kestrel ,so I had my camera ready, when I noticed a small flock of Meadow Pipits and with them a Wheatear, I knew straight away this may not be the usual Northern Wheatear as the throat was blackish and the upperside was very dark,it came very close and I got a few nice shots before it carried on along the stone walls where I lost sight of it, and could,nt see where it went.I tried to relocate it but couldn't find it again, there were no other birders around .Anyway the bird was playing on my mind for the rest of the day ,but I couldn't get to download the photos until the next day, when on looking through all the fiedguides etc I came to the conclusion it was either Desert ,Black Eared or Pied Wheatear, I tried e-mailing a photo to a top birder in Cornwall, but for some reason the message was'st getting through, so the next day I sent a pic to the county recorder who confirmed that the bird was indeed a 1st winter Pied Wheatear, and went over to Botallack to take another look but with no luck. Pied Wheatear is a new bird for me, having seen
First winter male Pied Wheatear at Botallack
Pied Wheatear - a bit blurry but shows it head on
Black Eared at Nanquidno a few years back and a Desert at Looe a long time ago.I apologise for not getting the photos downloaded and the i.d confirmed sooner to any Cornish birders out there.