Thursday, 1 December 2011

Desert Wheatear

Made the DESERT WHEATEAR pilgrimage today. I'd had a habit in the past of leaving it too late to go and see birds of this family. I like Wheatears...perky, smart and easy to see! I arrived at a perishingly cold Bempton around 1.30. I gave the young lad a few throws of his ball, then left him in the car and made my way gingerly down the path. Major improvements going on here which was nice to see.

I'd only gone around 20yds when a Short-eared Owl flew virtually over my head!!

I continued the short distance to the cliff footpath. Just as I reached the fence I noticed a bird flicking around on the path...surely not? Bingo...DESERT WHEATER!

The little cracker had been frequenting an area a little way along the coastal path, so it must have known I was struggling a bit. It was so tame it probably would have perched on my crutch if I'd stuck it in the ground!
It continued to feed in the immediate area around the grandstand viewpoint until I left a short while later. SEO's were almost constantly on view quartering the fields and frequently swooping over the cliff edge...spectacular stuff. This was the star of the show however...

Footnote: Just to back up my earlier comment, I've just added the record and realized I've only seen 1 previous DESERT WHEATEAR in Burniston 27/11/1989!!!

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