Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Black Letter Day (3rd October)

After reports of a Black-eared Wheatear down on the Lizard the day before, I set of early morning in the direction of Helston where I planned to take the bus down to Lizard.  4 Tawny Owls were still calling on my bike ride to Helston (just to give you an impression how dark it still was).  Unfortunately, only 2 miles from town, I took a wrong turning and ended up doing an unnecessarily long detour that cost me the bus trip down to Lizard (I only missed it by a matter of seconds as I saw the bus leave in front of my eyes).  I was still eager to get there as soon as possible so ditched waiting for the next bus and did the full trip down to the Lizard by bike.

On arrival, it started to rain and within an hour or so it was pouring down and the dozen or so birders who had arrived scuttled for their cars.  With no sign of the bird, I decided on wandering around the nearby fields in the vein hope of relocating it.  I did encounter a Spotted Flycatcher and a Yellow Wagtail on one of the horse fields but still no luck with the Black-eared Wheatear.  There were still a couple Northern Wheatears dotted about the place but as time ran out I had to return to uni.  It was only on my bike ride back that I received a text from a friend with the words "Ooh unlucky :P yeah the bird photographed is just a bog standard Wheatear"!!!

Sure enough, once back at uni, I had my first opportunity to see the pics.  I couldn't resist a couple profanities exiting my mouth!  After all, I had just cycled 40 miles in the rain, my bins fogged up and I can only see through them clearly after 5 days of cleaning them out, my phone is broken thanks to the damp and I was nicely decorated with the muddy water and gunge that littered the road thanks to the lack of mudguards (stolen earlier in the year).

In all, a very exhausting twitch, for a Wheatear...

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