Only just got it?!
On Monday morning, 6th June heading for a flight to N. Ireland I heard about one of those ‘super rarities’ that occurs every now and again. I had important commitments. I would not be home until Thursday evening. I didn’t expect to see it. 7:30 am this morning I learnt the bird was still present. Time to go!
Arriving around 10:15am I found a bowling green and c 30 less than optimistic birders. After a quick recce I headed for some thick hedgerow away from the group and nearer the sea. I reminded myself how I had seen a Red-flanked Bluetail just sit at the base of a wall and under a thick patch of hedge, remaining undetected until I had gone for a pee (see http://birdingfrontiers.com/2010/10/16/red-flanked-bluetail/ . Surely this chat was similarly chillin’ out. The only other birder I bumped into with the same idea was former Shetland resident, Jason Atkinson. He too had been working all likely looking habitat, hard. As we stood comparing notes a bird hopped from thick hedge. Before bins reached eyes I knew what it would be- phew no dipping today! A sign of the times: I opted to phone and twitter the news rather than run to get other birders in the area. I figured they would hear quicker! However it soon flew back into the ‘inner bowling green’ for all to see.
I inadvertently bumped into Chris Brown, the bird’s finder and Toby Collett (the grooviest facial hair in British birding?) took one of us for my ‘cheesy picture collection’. Toby also got (the best yet?) HD video of the bird this morning:
Jason http://at2h.blogspot.com/ got some cracking shots during our “private viewing”:
Old Records Update?
I am sure many can now recite the ‘old records:’
1983: Isle of Man, Calf of Man. Male 22nd June
1990: Pembrokeshire, Skokholm. Female 27th -30th May
The Calf of Man individual was seen only briefly and at best the brownish wings likened to those of female Wheatear point towards it being a first summer males. Photos of the Skokholm bird however clearly show pale tips to primary coverts verifying that, like the Hartlepool bird, it was a first summer female.
Mr White-throated Robin, Chris Brown who first found (and trapped) the White-throated Robin. Here, outside his house- what a local patch! With ‘tick’ bucket I think he said some £1,500 had already been raised for the local ringing group- excellent result!
Photo below taken seconds after my first view: