Desert Wheatear - Thurlestone
It has been there for a long time but I haven't had many opportunities to make the trip down for the Desert Wheatear. It's a Devon tick too so it's been niggling me a bit. Thurlestone is not the easiest place to get to from Exmouth but I'm glad I made the effort. It's a beautiful little bird, conveniently frequenting a small beach. I've only ever seen one Desert Wheatear before - the Torpoint (Cornwall) bird on November 30th 1994.
Today's bird performed beautifully, perching on posts, sticks, rocks and an upturned boat, in exactly the same fashion as the Torpoint bird did. It made several mini, twisting fly-catches and was generally quite restless. The plumage was a little darker than I'd remembered - the upperparts being browner and the underparts a deeper orange. Low light levels didn't help with photography but I was pleased to get some images.
The Wheatear shared the beach with a Rock Pipit, a Pied Wagtail and a Black Redstart.A quick look off Mudbank revealed the continuing presence of the first-winter drake Scaup and at least 500 Dunlin.