Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Masked Wagtail in Pembrokeshire 3rd December 2016

December is one of those months when those who have been fading since January 2nd fade even further, waiting for their annual days birding on January 1st. 

All of the current Clayheads were sitting with their feet up, reading their van Duivendijk, planning trips for 2017, when news came from Pembrokeshire that a Masked Wagtail was present - and a British first to boot. Now those who are clued up will realise that a Masked Wagtail will probably just stay a subspecies and nothing else, but fortunately, LGRE includes it on his UK400 list and so we felt the need to pop down.

It really felt like one of those end of term twitches. If it wasn't for the fact that it was a UK400 tick and I'm nearing my next certificate (thats the one for 300 species in the UK), I don't honestly think I could have been ar.. bothered to go. When you have to be up at 4am for work in the week, then it hurts a little to get up at that time at the weekend too. 

Anyway, spurred on by my fellow crew, we set off for Pembrokeshire at 05:00hrs on a Saturday morning. The journey was alright; no hold ups at all, and we arrived in the village of Camrose at just after 09:00hrs. Our good friend Grizzly was already on site, and we followed all on site parking instructions (actually we parked in the first layby we came across because we couldn't find the field to park in). 

And following a short wait, we were soon watching a Masked Wagtail feeding on the road in front of us. The twitch really did have a bit of everything. It was a twitch in a residential area, so cars kept pausing to ask what we were doing; there was a slippery grass slope and there were some certain birders who are more welcome at twitches than others.
Look at the guy who's lying in the road

Just look at the guy furthest left - have you ever seen that expression at a twitch before. And the lady on the left looks like she's suffering 2016 burnout

1w Masked Wagtail, Camrose, Pembrokeshire
An extremely rare photo of me plus the man slipping down the slippery slope and nearly taking out another birder. You just knew it was going to happen (photo by CJW)