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Rare bird


Have you seen seen in the news about a sighting of the masked wagtail for the first time in the UK? Its on our little cul-de-sac and we are knee deep in well wrapped blokes with tripods and huge cameras! It has so far stopped short of 50 yards of our house so we haven’t been invaded but my friend just up the road has had a crowd of them in her garden. Good thing she has grass rather than a lawn! The local hardware shop is cashing in by serving hot drinks – very enterprising! One man I spoke to had travelled overnight from Inverness, and another couple had come from Yorkshire. Amazing.
We are feeling a bit nervous about a possible influx at the weekend – we’ve had one visit from the police already re parking…

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A bit alarming for you Sue, but exciting too: have you seen the wagtail?

Twitchers are amazing, aren't they - so keen and persistent. About a dozen were on the same boat as us going from St Mary's to Tresco on the Scilly Isles, in search of a blue heron. They were on the same boat back, having heard it had flown to St Mary's! The crowd were quite good-humoured about it though.

1 Dec, 2016


Amazing that a bird, not usually seen in the UK should visit your street! :-))

Have you caught sight of it yet?

1 Dec, 2016


Fascinating to read about and well done the hardware shop!
Has the bird moved on now?

1 Dec, 2016


Yes I've seen it - same shape as a normal wagtail but a bit bigger. Creamy white body with a black head and neck.
I don't know if its still there - the twitchers were looking a bit disconsolate and not looking through their camera lenses this morning. They must have had cold feet standing around on the grass this weather.
Good job it was in our little cul de sac and not in the lane. It spent its time flying from house to house examining the gutters, presumably for food but I don't suppose there would be much after the hard frost we've had.

Google Masked Wagtail for a couple of items with pics. One of the photos was taken just at the entrance to our drive! We can't see it from the house so if we hadn't been alerted by a fiend we wouldn't have known what was going on until we went shopping...

2 Dec, 2016


Lol, I was alerted by a friend not a fiend...

2 Dec, 2016


Well spotted - your fiendish friend made me laugh :)) Btw, nice road you live in!

2 Dec, 2016


Years ago I was sitting inside my cycle cape eating my lunch through the neck hole because of pigeons, when a Black Stork flew over, leisurely, making its way along to
the Peter Scott Bird Sanctuary. I didnt have time to extricate myself and get my camera out, it was gone.

Later in the year I too was on the ferry from Penzance to St.Marys with lots of telescope wielding twitchers, mentioned I had seen this bird. They were so jealous, they were really angry. as I confirmed I hadnt reported it, didnt even know I had to. Or whom to tell.

A local Raven appeared recently, I did report it to a Raven enthusiast. They are nesting in Boughton Park, this one must have decided to decamp to a local housing development. Hope its still there.

2 Dec, 2016


Wow how good is that, I mean the bird not the people, I don't think I'd like crowds of people with cameras turning up on my doorstep, even worse if they came into my garden...Off for a google...

2 Dec, 2016


How wonderful ,Steragram,and I've just googled it..Have you seen the photo of it from the Milford Mercury? a stunning photo of it on their site..As long as the Twitchers respect your privacy,I guess it's so exciting for them to be able to see it..I do hope it is going to stay,and make it their winter home in the future..It's been a very long journey for it...

2 Dec, 2016


Being unfamiliar with this bird I read up on it. Fairly common throughout Europe, cohabits well with the trappings of human inhabitants and large flocks overwinter in or near Dublin. I wonder what has kept it out of the UK?

3 Dec, 2016


Loosestrife are you sure? I have found no ref so far to it being in Ireland. The white wagtail does overwinter near Dublin and is listed in the Collns Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe but the masked one is a subspecies - not the same bird.
Just popped up the drive to see the twitchers - all along the lane now and still arriving! Twitcher spotting is a lot easier than bird spotting...though one told me they had seen it this morning.

3 Dec, 2016


Sheila, yes it is a pleasant spot. We are facing up the cul de sac but can't see the road from the bungalow as the drive is quite long..
Today so far most of the people are in the lane that is the other side of the trees at a much lower level but I can peer down t them over the fence,lol..
Diane, that stork must have been exciting!

3 Dec, 2016


Sorry about that Stera. I typed in masked wagtail yesterday and punched in Wikipedia not noticing that it was info about white wagtail. Today I have noticed the web excitedly buzzing on this bird sighting so it is a very rare occurrence indeed!

3 Dec, 2016


I may have said before but I had a flock (over 30)of Waxwings in the area, amazing looking birds and had been feeding on the hawthorn all along the river for over a week I had 4 feeding from the apples that I had left high in the tree and then one day I saw 4 people across the other side of the river cameras ETC following day it was ridiculous must of been at least 50 that had come and gone ... and that was that not one bird in sight the day after !!! scared them all away ....

Just had a look at the white wagtail looks like a pied wagtail to me lol


3 Dec, 2016


They are all more or less similar - just patterned in different places. But this one isn't a white one. Doesn't look like a pied.
Not so many folk around this afternoon.

Wow, I'd love to see waxwings - you lucky so and so!

3 Dec, 2016


Interesting blog Stera. Enjoy reading all the comments. Hope your garden does not get invaded. Twitcher spotting sounds quite interesting too. I bet some of them are a tad eccentric!

3 Dec, 2016


I thought bird watching was supposed to be a quiet pastime. Glad you got to see the bird in reward for all that commotion.

4 Dec, 2016


I wonder if the birds are still there.
I hope those people didn't frighten them away. Humans can be so insensitive and not care about how they harm the environment and it's inhabitants, just as long as they can have their photo or whatever they want.

4 Dec, 2016


Right Hywel. That's why I didn't like most of the nature or animal encounter shows and why I detest zoos. For the most part they should have stayed away and left them alone. The shows of the late Steve Irwin (the alligator hunter) were a prime example of behavior which you have mentioned.

4 Dec, 2016


The bird watchers are very calm and quiet people indeed - its in their own interests not to scare the birds away! They caused no disturbance at all to either birds or residents (I was pretty impressed actually) There are still a few around this morning and the one I spoke to said there had been a sighting. People seem to think it may decide to overwinter here now so the novelty should wear off presently. If it does we are wondering if it will interbreed with the resident pied ones.

Occasionally we get pied wagtails running around on our drive - it would be great if this masked one one paid us a visit!
It seems to spend most of its time examining the guttering of the houses.

5 Dec, 2016


Have just read about the bird on Google. It's quite a handsome bird, isn't it.

Twitchers are so keen! My old neighbour was a bird expert, well actually a nature expert and I soon learnt never to comment on a passing bird.

If the crowds get large you could start selling hot drinks incompetiition to the hardware store!

6 Dec, 2016

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