On the way through Greenwich, I checked my phone and saw Gary Howard's tweet about having just found a Black-eared Wheatear in the New Forest. A brilliant find, and with less individuals that have been twitchable than Cretzschmar's Buntings in the last decade it's a pretty rare bird. Anyway, with a nice meal booked for 9pm it would be a tight turnaround - and having seen a couple before (a long time ago, 1993 and 2002) - I headed to Crossness. There'd been an obvious influx of Black-headed Gulls at the outfall, but nothing with them, and 14 Lapwing and 3 Teal were presumably non-breeders. A 1st-summer Yellow-legged Gull was NTGG ringed, but frustratingly too distant for digits to be read. So essentially the place was quiet, there was a good bird just a couple of hours away but I needed to be back in London late evening in order not to disappoint. So a check of the weather and realising clear skies tonight in Hants (with Black-eared Wheatears notoriously doing one overnight), the decision was made.
|male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Acres Down, Hants 13th June 2015; note the extensive black bib going over the bill, well above the eye and extending towards the upper breast. Upperparts showed little trace of colour, with a buff wash to the breast.|
And I managed to get back to London in time for the evening too... so all in all, a very productive day.