Saturday, 10 December 2016

Pied Wheatear, Redcar, Cleveland - Sunday 30th October 2016

Another great bird from earlier in the autumn, and on the same morning I saw the great Eastern Black Redstart at Skinningrove.

This Pied Wheatear had been reported late the previous day, initially as a Black-eared Wheatear. I'd headed to Skinningrove for the Black Redstart first, and wasn't aware the Pied Wheatear was still present just along the coast at Redcar, until I'd got a signal when back on top of the hill. As this bird was a lifer for me, I was pretty happy!

 Pied Wheatear, Redcar, Cleveland - 30th October 2016

The bird put on a great show, fly-catching from a perch at the back of the cinema on the beach, and occasionally landing on the beach.

The bird, a male, had a lovely pale buff breast and belly, and a grey-brown mantle. There was a cold paleness to the plumage, with a strong contrast to the upper and under parts. The back had a feint mottling, and there was a nice contrast to the back the  covert feathers and their white edges. As always with wheatears, the tail pattern was really informative: predominantly white, with a thin and variable black distal band and strong central column (forming the inverted T), but also black extending halfway up the upper tail feathers.

 Pied Wheatear, Redcar, Cleveland - 30th October 2016

Some photos and video below, showing the bird and the setting...

 Pied Wheatear, Redcar, Cleveland - 30th October 2016

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