2 May 2008

Sublime Citrine

Another amazing week in the N West. However, this weeks star bird turned up at RSPB Conwy and not the Wirral as had been predicted for the last two years! News from RBA of an unconfirmed report of a male Citrine Wagtail at Conwy provoked mobile phone network melt down as the LBO team of Duff,
Conlin & Woollen tried to find out more news.
Confirmation came from John Roberts who rang me back from Cyprus. Abandoning our quest for rarities on the Wirral we headed in two groups to Conwy with Steve Williams picking up Frank & I enroute whilst Allan waited for Mark Turner.

News was relayed to us about the bird whilst we were driving at speeds that would have had Scotty beseaching 'she can't take anymore Jim' with Steve casually announcing his brake warning lights had come on..........

Unfortunately when we arrived the weather had deteriorated badly and the bird wasn't on show. 30 minites passed during which time the possible Iberain Yellow Wagtail put in an appearance. I decided to check ut another small pool further along the path and the Citrine flew up and onto the salt marsh where all who managed to make it
before dusk managed good but distant views of this stunner. I'd only 'ticked' Citrine Wagtail on Foula last year as its one of those birds that turn up regularly enough to warrant not travelling to far....................... A spring male was on my most wanted list! A grotty juvenile now this.
Apart from the excitement of the Citrine the birding week has progressed well withtrips to the Wirral and other local hotpsots producing Black Tern (Inner Marsh Farm), Whinchat, Pied Flycather, Redstart, Sandwich Tern and more Lesser Whitehtroats than I've seen for a long time.
Putting something back into birding is something I'm a great believer in. Whether its undertaking Atlas work or doing voluntary wardening all birders should get involved in some way or another - eve nwatching a local patch on a regular basis and submitting records to County recorder is putting something back. Last night was my turn to watch Neston Reedbed. A beautiful evening and a fantastic aray of migrant warblers singing and displaying.
Back to the Iberian - it looks good but the possibility of an intergrade with the cinereocapilla race from Italy can't be ruled out. After all, Italians have a certain reputation. I've seen what I thought to be an Iberian two yerars ago in Spain. That one had a full supercillium.
So far the Easterly winds of the last few weeks have produced Black Lark, Calandra Lark, Caspian Plover and Citrine Wagtail. With a Bank Holiday imminent soemthing else is bound to turn up.

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