2nd May 2022
Finished work late this evening, walked onto the golf course and ‘BOOM!!!’ found this female BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR in the top east field from the club house.
After 3 Red-rumped Swallow were seen by Chris Hobbs on the Garrison yesterday evening, I thought I would give it an hour in the dull conditions this morning before I start work. 13 Wheatear on the rocks and Plenty of hirundines feeding on the west side of the Garrison but not a sniff of the target species. With folks returning home from the hotel after World Gig Champship , it turned out to be a crazy day at work. I finally finished at 19.30 after dropping guest off at a restaurant at Porth Mellon. The sun was still out and it felt very warm but I guess I only had over an hour of light left to bird. As the golf course was just up road, I thought I would go and see what the crack was up there. A very brief look at Porthloo on the way and the only birds of note were 4 Whimbrel and 2 Wheatear. From the club house car park, a scan saw double figures of Wheatear before I made my way along the south side, until I came to last top east field bordering the golf course. The overturned field held just 2 Wheatear. This included one of them out in the open in the hedge on the far side. Through the bins, it was front on and gave an impression of being a Whinchat than a Wheatear and although no ones goin to believe me, I thought I had a possible Black-eared Wheatear. When it flew onto the golf course out of sight, I couldn’t get anything much elseon it. I was still confident that it was one but I needed to get better views. For the next five minutes I couldn’t relocate it. It had vanished! I was goin crazy as I didn’t even have a record shot. I needed to get others searching for it and called a few mates and told them that I’ve got a BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR on the golf course. Everyone panicked except Higgo ‘I’ll be there in an hour, I’m just having my tea’ What!? Did he hear what I said and how big is his dinner? I was kinda stunned and told him that Scott is on his way to pick you and Wayne up after picking up Ren. I was panicking now as I could not find the bird and no one had turned up after ten minutes and all I wanted was a record shot so I don’t have to do a description of the bloody thing. However, panick no more. I returned to the original field and to my relief, there it was in the far corner only to fly up and perch on top of a bramble very briefly before appearing to fly down onto golf course. It was distant while on the bramble but I got it! I got a record shot!! I immediately put the news out on the WhatsApp group and shortly afterwards, Martin first arrived followed by Robin and the others, including Higgo. With so many birders all over the shop on the green, I had hope that it would show up for all present. light was fading fast and after seeing a male Ring Ouzel on the northside, it was almost dark and we all called it night and try again tomorrow.
In the past years, I’ve identified three rare wheatears on Scilly, including a female Black-eared Wheatear but never found my own rare wheatear, until today. And I guess this is more than likely a Western rather than an Eastern Black-eared Wheatear.
Altogether I had a total of over 50 Wheatear including some 35 on the golf course and working throughout the day, I had no time to get out in the field.
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One thought on “BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR on Scilly”
Females are difficult to Id – I still don’t know how they can be about the one I saw in Lancashire – Chris Batty said a white feather base made it EBEW – hmmm
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