A lovely week spent with the wife and kids in St Ives (again!), Cornwall from 16th October was a great break. My first time down there at this time of the year and I had high expectations of something special (bird-wise) dropping in, but with it was all coming from the east with the locals getting very excited by Yellow-browed, Pallas and Radde's Warblers dropping into the St Just valleys. I managed one morning out taking the coast road from St Ives to Sennen, in what must be one of the scenic drives in the country.
I was after the Buff-beasted Sandpiper just outside of Sennen, and getting there at first light I scanned the field it had last been seen in...nothing, but looking up I saw a 'cloud' of Golden Plovers wheeling around, 140+ and just below them, and desparately trying to keep up was the Sandpiper. It was a fantastic sunrise, which I enjoyed for the whole of the 50 minutes it took the flock to eventually land! The tower in the photograph above is that of St Buryan church and if you click to enlarge the photo, you'll see the plovers above the cloud - see if you can spot the Sandpiper! Moving onto to Nanquidno I was surprised to see a 'twitch' on. A Pallas Warbler had been seen late the previous day and it seemed most of Cornwall's birding fraternity were out to see it. Needless to say it wasn't found, although a Yellow-browed Warbler put in a brief appearance and I managed to catch sight of two of the six plus Firecrests that were flitting around this normally tranquil valley.