Expecting ghastly weather I got my act together rather late this morning. Being in charge of the small people for the day was also a bit of a disincentive to be up with the lark; proper birding was not going to be an option. However, the weather was rather fine and when I did venture out to the garden I was greeted by a flock of 30 or so Siskin along with the usual 40 or so Chaffinch. 3 Tree Sparrows appeared by the feeders. A quick check on the phone indicated that the Desert Wheatear had been seen. Aaha a plan. Small people offered various incentives and we were off.
No Desert Wheatear. The hill to the pond looked rather forbidding to small people who were unanimous, they would walk no further.
Then a bit of magic, a wheatear appeared before me. The wrong wheatear but a wheatear nonetheless. Northern Wheatear, my latest ever. It had been reported earlier, so it wasn't a find, pleasing though. Girls admired said wheatear through scope. Played "being very small" with my bins whilst I pixed it.
Small people now claimed conditions were akin to the Arctic and leaving was required. So off we trooped. Northern Wheatear, lots of Rock Pipits and a single Redpoll sp over my reward. And a rather pleasant outing to a birding spot I'd not visited before.
Oh yes! did have a quick look at the water works before we left. I suspect you're not meant to so this but on leaving I was advised it was a possibility for the Desert and that's where it had been in the past and it was ok to go and look. Recalled that you were not supposed to take the car and the notices indicated such but trailed up to the filter bed compound on foot - the notices probably meant on foot too but the gates were open and a rather new and grand stretch of Tarmac offered access. A Turnstone and several Pied Wagtails with a pipit that was most likely Rock but flew. Not really worth the effort.
The Desert Wheatear was relocated at 1:30 p.m. about half an hour after we left the area, such is twitching; and why I rarely do it.