Monday, 20 February 2017

Bunker birding

I made the trip to Thurlestone Bay in Devon last November with my friend Trevor to see my first male Desert Wheatear in Britain. The bird was a bit bedraggled that day, so as I was heading to Cornwall with the family for a few days over February half-term, we took the southerly route along the A38 putting me within striking distance of this attractive rarity again.
On arrival at Leasefoot Beach, the Desert Wheatear was not present - a bit of a worry as it had been consistently there for several months, even returning after a short absence when it seemed to take a dislike to being trapped and ringed. I stuck around admiring the folded geology at each end of the sandy beach, and on returning to the base of the dunes was pleased to find the Wheatear catching the last rays of sun. When flushed by a dog it vanished over the dunes and I refound it perched on the roof of a small shed belonging to the local golf course. Away from the crashing surf I could hear its quiet sub-song - a scratchy warble mingled with a bit of melody - a real treat to hear this in the UK.
The Wheatear then perched up on some scrub at the edge of the golf course and continued to sing - I got some decent pictures of it with one of the greens as a backdrop, a pleasing contrast and a change from the classic views of it on the sandy beach which have littered the internet in recent months! It won't be long before the Desert Wheatear's northern cousins are arriving on spring migration - there must be a good chance of seeing both species together on Leasefoot Beach before the Desert Wheatear moves on.  

No comments:

Post a Comment