I’ve just spent a week in the far west of Cornwall with Mrs Astins and our 3 dogs, staying in a cottage at Cape Cornwall that we’ve stayed in many times.  The location is superb – close to St Just and it’s amenities (including Warrens, purveyors of superb pasties and cakes), and with a sea view to relish.  It was a very relaxing week, and much needed, being the first whole week we’ve spent together since a week in Northumberland last October.  Avian highlight appeared on Thursday 15th, when I headed off for a few hours birding, opting for Polgigga/Nanjizal over Sennen/Land’s End at the last minute.  What a good choice that proved to be!  Walking along Bosistow Lane I spotted a few Red Kites over some fields to the south that were being cut for silage, counting a minimum of 14 birds.  When I reached Bosistow Farm I had a better view of the area and quickly picked up a BLACK KITE, wow!  I passed the news quickly to 2 local friends, before the bird drifted off east with the Red Kites.  I completed a circuit which brought me out on to the road to bird-mecca Porthgwarra, and as I approached the car the kites began to ‘kettle’ up into the sky.  At least 25 Red Kites and, surely not, 2 BLACK KITES!  I quickly passed the news out and basked in the good feeling that is finding a new self-found (selfie!) species for Britain (having seen 5 before in Britain – 1 in Pembrokeshire & 4 in Cornwall).  Happy days!  The following morning I enjoyed excellent views of up to 45 Red Kites and 2 Black Kites in the West Penwith area (latter photographed by Mashuq Ahmad).

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