Monday, December 16, 2019

Extra time Lifer

On Saturday, Paul Cassells found a Yellow Wagtail at Prestwick Carr near Newcastle. In December, this was always going to draw some interest, locally, if nothing else. Sure enough before the day was out several knowledgeable birders had seen, photographed and sound recorded the wagtail and proclaimed it as Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis ( if that is spelled correctly I'll be surprised).

Now, knowing how complex the Yellow Wagtail races are I just milled about on Sunday thinking 'meh' its a Yellow Wagtail. I knew full well that these have recently been split and command specific status, but I just couldn't get motivated for a 70 miles round trip.

This is where things become shameful.

During Sunday I saw that more and more of my birding peers were paying homage to this little grey and white bird as it is new for the county and with only 15 or so UK records everyone I know's list was increasing by 1. Now I am not anywhere near the biggest county lister but the thought of those in the same league, leaving me back at base camp improved the lost motivation.

So, without ado, this morning, before work I began by visiting Prestwick Carr where the Eastern Yellow Wagtail, now with some heavy backing by Magnus Robb of The Sound Approach Team using some technical wizardry, was still puddling around on the flood eating bloodworms at close range.

The bird behaved impeccably being on close show the whole time I was there, even calling a few times and perching on a hedge only 5 feet from birders. So once I get Bubo working again I will add it as Northumberland List 347, life ? not sure, 417? ish.

Forgetting all the listing nonsense, it was a cracking bird and now the id features are being clarified  one to watch out for again in the future...

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