Sunday, December 3, 2017

White-crowned Black Wheatear, Scunthorpe

Friday tea-time came and it was time to head to Asda for my usual weekly big shop. And then my phone started to ring, bleep and vibrate. First one was John...."Have you seen your pager?  Its in Scunthorpe and I just can't believe it" was how the conversation went "and its now dark and the pager doesn't have the location but its in Scunthorpe and its a second for Britain". So I continued with my shop and headed home to Simon with the pager in hand !  

Our first thoughts were hoax, and then we thought what if......We had seen some mega birds in the strangest locations, the Blue Rock Thrush springs to mind and this was no different. So Karen spent the next hour texting round until she got the address from Lee Evans. All night we talked about it and was up with dawns crack the following morning. It was 2 streets away from our house, so even though we doubted it, we were still heading down to Bollingbroke Road, Bottesford to see for ourselves. 

There were plenty of birders there, all walking round the estate, looking. The bird had been in the vicars garden the previous day but wasn't in there today. It seemed to be the talk of the neighbourhood as everyone had photos of it. Some told us where it roosted, where it fed, where it liked to sit they even told us where the bloke lived who had lost it out of his aviary !!  It had been out a week, infact he had lost two from his aviary. So, what could have been a mega bird turned out to be an escapee. But many had come far and just wanted to see it before they headed back home, so the locals all told us we could trespass in their back gardens which was a very kind gesture. It was eventually found in the next street, huddled on a windowsill, certainly not well and in desperate need of food and warmth. A birder soon had it caught and it was returned to its owners aviary. It could only happen in Scunthorpe !

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