An immature/female type Pied Wheatear was discovered and identified at Collingham Gravel Pits, near Newark, Nottinghamshire, on Saturday 9th November 2013. News came out late on Saturday evening. Yet another rare vagrant to grace the Midlands and hot on the heels of last weekends Dusky Warbler. Pied Wheatear is a vagrant from Eastern Europe and the desert areas of the Middle East, with immatures and females being notoriously difficult to identify. Fortunately the bird was still present this morning (Sunday 10th November) and in superb autumn sunshine, eventually, early on, gave good but rather distant views. Only occasionaly coming anywhere near close enough for a half decent record photograph. Some people seemed to be more lucky in the afternoon.
Black-eared Wheatear is recognised as being the confusion species in Britain, as both types can show some similarities in plumage and tail pattern. The immature/female type Pied is a more "Greyer" toned bird with pale fringes to the cold grey-brown upperparts, giving a "Scaly" appearance to the mantle. The greyish toned pink-brown breast-band is thinly spread across the upper-breast and throat, this also enhances the birds "smokey" appearance. The head and bill has a somewhat "Stonechat Like" appearance which gives Pied a distinctive "Jizz" and looks less like a typical Wheatear. A small thin bill, black alula and dark wings, contrasting with the general greyness of the upperparts is apparent. Note the black "T" shape to the tail and white bars with black extending partly up the tail. Pied also shows a large and prominent gleaming white rump and appearing long winged and long tailed.
Also at the pits – Adult Yellow-legged Gull; 2 redshank; 1 Green Sandpiper; a few teal, Wigeon, Pochard and Tufted Duck and lots of Cormorants, also a Peregrine overhead.
On our way home we stopped off at Lowdham for the immature Glossy Ibis – Year List moves on to 253.
Above two images – Immature/female type Pied Wheatear – Collingham, Notts – 10th Nov 2013 – Tony Davison©
Above two images – Immature Glossy Ibis – Lowdham, Notts – 10th Nov 2013 – Tony Davison©