Saturday, March 24, 2012

Red-flanked Bluetail

Last October, while I was painting the house, news broke of a mega rarity for the northwest, our first ever Red-flanked Bluetail! Unfortunately, the bird was on the tidal island of Hilbre in the Dee estuary so access would be late afternoon on the receding tide. This gave me enough time to finish my painting, get my birding gear together and be at West Kirby to follow the tide out; but would the bird still be there?
After a yomp over the wet sand (okay a wade through wellie-high seawater!) numerous birders gathered on the east side of Hilbre Island hoping for a glimpse of this enigmatic eastern waif. Time passed and still there was no sign of the bird, anticipation was turning to frustration when news came through that the bird had been re-trapped. After another dash across slippy rocks onto the main island, an eager crowd of birders gathered outside the observatory keen to see their quarry. The bird was duly shown to the assembled group amidst the sound of clicking camera shutters and hushed murmurs of approval. The bird was re-released and later showed well on the sandstone ledges on the east of the island.
A truly fabulous bird for this part of the country, and one that will remain in the memories of all who saw it. On the walk over I snapped a group of birders who where wading through the ebbing seawater, this photo appears in this month's (April) issue of Birdwatch magazine.
Training update - ran 10 miles at 7 min/mile pace followed by 12 miles at 7.37 pace due to a sore thigh muscle. Only 4 weeks to London.
Saw a White Wagtail at Leasowe accompanying a few Pied Wagtails.

Red-flanked Bluetail, what a bird!

Twitchers wading through the ebbing water in the Dee Estuary.

Red-flanked Bluetail being shown to
the crowd of birders.
White Wagtail, (nominate race of Pied Wagtail), Norfolk
April 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment