Saturday, 5 November 2011

Izzy Wheatear a right show-off

An Isabelline Wheatear turned up at Spurn on Friday afternoon where it was trapped and ringed. The bird had very little fat, meaning it needed to feed, so I was hopeful that it would still be present on Saturday, though history with this species in the UK dictates that they don't often hang around for long, therefore making it quite a tricky species to connect with unless you are in striking distance on the first day!

It represents only the fourth (and latest) Yorkshire record after birds were recorded in 1990 Kilnsea (21st - 23rd October), 1998 Whitby (26th September) and 2006 Filey (14th October). A quick look at past records shows that the 1990 Kilnsea bird was actually the last mainland long-staying bird (i.e. more than 1 day!), prior to that it was a bird in Northumberland (16th - 20th September 1980) and Aberdeen (17th October - 10th November 1979). I really hoped it would stay!

I made the quick sortie over to Spurn this morning and I wasn't disappointed as the bird showed really nicely on the Humber beach for the hour or so I watched it. The bird was very actively feeding and occasionally came very close providing great views. I managed to get the following pictures on my phone but it was moving around so much it proved very difficult!

Some better photos can be found on Graham Catleys blog here, and also check out Tim's blog for a video of the bird, and some idiot who managed to get his car stuck in the dunes!!! As mentioned yesterday check out Garry Taylors blog for some in-hand shots.

Other birds seen during the hour included several showy Twite, a Short-eared Owl high over the humber before dropping into the triangle, lots of thrushes and a couple of Woodcock.

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