Desert Wheatear at Cooden Beach.

Upon the third time of trying, I finally caught up with this smart 1st winter male Desert Wheatear, found by Chris Ball yesterday evening. Having missed it by 30 seconds yesterday and spent 2 hours searching this morning, it wasn’t until the dying embers of the day that I finally caught up with it. In fact the sun had disappeared behind Beachy Head by the time I clapped eyes on it. Although the bird was fairly close the light was crap and the images below were the best I could manage.

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Desert Wheatear, not in a desert.

I’ve not seen one in the UK since I saw the spring bird at Barn Elms reservoir in Hammersmith (later to become the London Wetland Centre) in 1989. Quite a remarkable record. I remember friends and I driving there after school! Jeeze… time flies. I was a kid lister.

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He’s a mobile wee chappy and has been seen along a kilometre or so stretch of beach between the level crossing at Cooden Beach and the Martello tower and Norman’s Bay.

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