A 1st winter male Pied Wheatear was found along the sea wall at Meols, on the Wirral on 4th November but news didn’t get out until 6th. The bird was very obliging giving stunning views and seemingly oblivious to close human presence. I managed to get to see the bird on the 9th November, which turned out to be a good move, as the bird was not seen on the 10th.
Pied Wheatear is a rare vagrant visitor to the British Isles from Far Eastern Europe and beyond. It can be tricky to identify as Black-eared Wheatear, especially the eastern race, can be a confusion species. The tail pattern is the clincher, along with the more scaly patterning on the back and crown and the greyer and colder colouration. Pied Wheatear also have a small head in comparison to the overall structure of the bird and a very “Pot-Belly” appearance, giving it a distinctive “Jizz”.
A superb little bird performing exceptionally well and wasn’t at all bothered by our presence or by local people passing by.
In duller light the colours became much colder and greyer. In brighter light the orange-buff tones became more prominent. – Tony Davison©
The above 3 images show the distinctive tail pattern of Pied Wheatear.
Pied Wheatear – 1st winter male – above 25 images – Tony Davison©