Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Four Wheatears

So I thought I'd set myself a bit of a challenge, see and photograph the four species of Wheatear that were available in South Mainland in the fastest time possible. Starting off with the Desert Wheatear at Scousburgh Sands, seen straight away and I watched it on the beach for 10 minutes as it gradually worked it's way closer, before flying to the north end of the beach at 08:20. Nearby the Isabelline Wheatear along the Noss road was showing but at a distance of 100 yards or more and never looked like getting any closer, so I moved on to the Pied Wheatear at Scatness, predictably it was still in Stinky Geo feeding on flies coming off the rotting seaweed. Three down, one to go. Yesterday there was a Northern with the Pied, but it was nowhere to be seen today, I kind of gave up on it and started walking back to the house along the coast, and on Sanblister Beach - a Northern Wheatear - all four! The time was now 09:02, so 4 species of Wheatear in 43 minutes!!! Thinking back, I remembered that I had seen 4 Wheatear species before in 1 day, Variable, Desert, Isabelline and Red-tailed, in the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat in 2010.
After all this excitement, it was back to thrashing the patch, totals as follows - a late Bonxie, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 7 Barnacle Geese, 1 Pintail, 12 Carrion Crows (normally a spring bird), 2 Waxwing, 7 Blackcaps, 5 Goldcrest, 2 Song Thrush and 2 Chiffchaff.
The 4 Wheatears
Desert Wheatear
The 4 Wheatears from Gujarat
Pink-footed Goose with Barnacle Goose

No comments: