Saturday, November 24, 2012

Desert Wheatear

Today I had planned to go in search of more Waxwings in North Wales as there had been reports of some large flocks of these colourful birds. But news of a rare Wheatear near Rhyl in Clwyd had me heading for the coast. After a brief drive around near the golf course I found a suitable parking place and headed along the seawall adjacent to the golf links.
A small group of birders was gathered in the afternoon wintry gloom watching a small bird flitting along the seawall. It flew and landed right by me; my second ever Desert Wheatear! It's what I would call a birder's bird; not bright and gaudy like a Waxwing, but endowed with a subtle beauty that repays detailed examination. And as this bird exhibited a tameness to rival any Waxwing, its plumage details were easily observed and duly appreciated. It fed on small flies along the seawall unperturbed by the presence of birdwatchers and passing walkers and cyclists. The views could only have been bettered if the sun had broken through the clouds, but what a fabulous little bird.

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