Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear at Pilling

When first found the Wheatear at Pilling was put out as an Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and people rushed to connect but then a tag was added indicating that it could also be a Pied Wheatear.
The following day things were reversed and it was now thought to be a Pied but the tag now read but possibly Eastern Black-eared and some poop has been collected and sent for DNA testing to see if that can identify the taxa. We hadn't been too excited at the prospect of travelling up the M6 to see this bird but today decided we should try so we set off early hit horrendous traffic as the M6 was closed at junction 12 but soldiered on and arrived on site at 10am where we found the bird entertaining a small crowd which we joined and spent a few hours watching the Wheatear as it went about its business.

Whilst on site news came through that RBA had now labelled the bird as an Eastern Black-eared after inspecting the many photographs they had found one that revealed the white spot at the base of the mantle feathers which is diagnostic and not seen in Pied Wheatear so on this info I've listed it as a pending Black-eared. I understand the guy at RBA putting out the info also sat on the BBRC panel up to last year and has a wide interest in taxa so quite a reliable source.  The birds ID continues to be debated elsewhere but for now RBA have labelled it.

The journey home was much smoother.
Year list now 286
Life list now 406 (pending acceptance of course)

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear at Pilling 
You can actually see the Wheatear in this pic........good luck
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear
Black-eared!
Black-eared Wheatear 
Cracking little performer
Now and then you find a bird that likes the camera.

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