and Painted Lady!
Beautiful morning at Spurn. A few migrants (hirundines, Corvids, Linnets) trickling through. I dropped Sharon off at the riding stables just before 10 am and went to check Sammy’s Point. A calling flava wagtail was hidden behind a dung midden. Approaching slowly the bird flew as I got within a few feet- and landed on top of the midden: A stunning male Blue-headed Wagtail. None of this ‘Channel Wagtail’ malarkey ; ). A brilliant blue head with sharply defined rather thin white supercilium, yellow throat but bordered next to blue with thin white line. Awesome! Unfortunately so close, that as soon as I went for my camera… and it did, flying off high and away. 5 ‘flava’ Wagtails were blogging around the area. The others being male flavissima, but easily spooked and flying far. As I searched for repeat views the news came through of 2 Bee-eaters over the Warren. A bit of a chase, but missed them by a few minutes, delayed by the local bus. I have had lovely views of spring Bee-eater only a couple of years earlier here http://www.spurnbirdobservatory.co.uk/sightings/may09.html– so the Blue- headed Wag was more than enough.
A little later a second find was unexpected. Abi and I were having some daddy-daughter time when we found a somewhat faded and worn Painted Lady Butterfly. Easily my earliest record and normally seen at Spurn from mid May onwards. Amazingly the fragile creature had almost certainly flown from North Africa. Any one else seen any this year yet?
Painted Lady, Sammy’s Point, Easington, 13th April 2011. Abi Garner. A mega -migrant, this has flown from North Africa to Yorkshire’s east Coast. Earliest ever at Spurn – 2 years when PLB occurred on 6th April (thanks to Barry Spence).