Lucky lucky me. Don’t feel I say that very often but what happened today, was having recently picked up a cheap second-hand car, I decided to head out on my first twitch in my own car for around 4-5 years. What a feeling. So bombing it down (70mph) the M23 toward Church Norton, a report came through of a Black-eared Wheatear at Acres Down in the New Forest. Tentative news at first then confirmation of an ‘eastern’ race bird.
So we carried on bombing along (70mph) and strolled up to the spot where this stunning ‘fall-of-your-seat’ Wheatear was popping around the heath admired by a large assembled crowd. The contrast of the jet black mask and wings against the pure white crown, nape, and underparts was just an amazing sight. What a bird and again so lucky to be on the road on the day it turned up.
And then onto the Hudsonian Whimbrel which after a bit of a wait, emerged from the long grass and scampered around before disappearing once again. The head pattern appeared much more prominent than the ten or so Eurasian Whimbrel that were present there, also appearing darker but maybe that was the light. Unfortunately I didn’t see it fly, as it is all about that dark rump with this neartic wader – had to see that dark rump you know, but it kept it’s pants on and refused to fly. Pants to that, but that’s ok because I saw it and I also know who the real star was today.