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Pied Wheatear, Meols, 07/11/2018

On the 6th November news broke about a Pied Wheatear that had been seen for two days on the sea wall at Meols on the Wirral, but only just confirmed late afternoon. I am not usually a big fan of twitching but decided to go and have a look, it was after all only 25 minutes from the house and I was planning to go birding anyway, plus with it being the first record for the county it would be rude not too. This is a bird that breeds in Eastern Europe/Western Asia and migrates through the Middle East to winter in North-east Africa.

I arrived well before sunrise and there were two other birders around, they had not seen it, as the light got better a few more local birders arrived and we all walked up and down the sea wall. Nothing, for 20 minutes I was sure the bird had decided to depart, until that is the bird flew up and landed some 6ft away. I waved the birders over and soon we were all watching it - though too dark for photos. Over the next few hours around 50 birders arrived and the bird was not interested in people (a runner, mum with pram, 3 cyclists and a few dog walkers all walked past it and it barely moved!). The bird was often so close that I was having to shoot through birders to photograph the bird - which makes for a pleasant change when it comes to bird photography.

I stayed in total for around 3 hours, it was a bonny bird which hung around for another two days before departing - where to who knows!


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