Sunday, 29 May 2011

Male Grey-headed Wagtail at Whitesands

A sprinkling of goodies from the Northern Isles to Northumberland yesterday had me itching to get to the coast so I set my alarm and was up and out early. Whitesands Bay was my first stop and after checking the triangle and bushes down towards Vaults without success I decided to head towards Barns Ness. I hadn't got very far when on a whim I decided to pull over and check the Bay. As I got out of the car a neon bird caught my eye close by on the close cropped turf path running through the marram grass - a cracking male Grey-headed Wagtail (thunbergi) only 10 metres away. We both froze and I slowly tried to extricate my camera from my shoulder bag. That was enough for it and it flew towards the parking area giving the typical flava-like call.

Before I could relocate the bird it was in flight again and moving towards the beach. It fed along the upper shore for 20 minutes or so before being disturbed by a dog walker and heading for the golf course. Hopefully it will hang around longer for someone to get some better pictures than I managed! Its active feeding behaviour made phonescoping difficult and after the initial sighting its range was a little to great for the SLR. Through the scope the grey cap, darker ear coverts, lack of pale supercilium and bright yellow extending from chin to vent made this a very smart looking bird - features sadly not abundantly clear here...

Also in the bay this flock of 43 Canada Geese - could they be on their way north to moult already?

Northern Marsh Orchid

No comments: