07/11/2018 Meols, Wirral

Pied Wheatear: The bird had been around for a day or so before there was a picture sent to Allan Conlin to ID.

It was a pied!!!

But it took me almost another full day to catch up with it as I was stuck in work plodding through a long environmental scoping assessment and feeling livid and gripped off as the streams of crippling pictures came through on social media.

I ended up taking some toil and getting up on to the Wirral for around 3 o'clock. But by then the bird had moved off the sea wall and on to the roofs of the buildings near the boating club, and here it stayed for about 35 minutes, while the light faded.

The bird did eventually decide to come down and feed along the sea wall giving the small crowed of people a chance to see it up close and personal.

The light wasn't great at this point, but that didn't matter as the bird flew right up to us and posed.

This is a real local mega bird as this is the 1st record of pied wheatear for Cheshire and Wirral and it has been 21 years since the Seaforth bird. Great find by Richard Ashford.

Pied wheatears spend their winters in eastern Africa (Sudan to Somalia south to north-east Tanzania) and south-west Arabia (Yemen). so its a long, long way from where it should be at this time of year.

Controversially there has been reports since I saw the bird of folk putting down mealworms, supposedly in order to get better images.

The reason this is so controversial is that this practice of putting down artificial food has been blamed in the past for birds becoming too tame and complacent and then being predated.

There is no need to supplementary feed this bird, as you ca see from my pictures and the vast amount taken by others yesterday there is simply no need. It comes close enough. The bird is showing well and finding plenty to munch on.