We started the final part of our 'holiday' with a late start today, leaving Lancs mid morning. We made our first stop at Brow Well near Ruthwell where Chris Baines had seen Marsh Harrier at the weekend. No sign of this raptor (a D&G tick for me) but as we supped tea in the car an Osprey could be seen over the creek. A stroll along the saltmarsh a short way produced great views of Osprey close overhead and a Peregrine, but little else. So on to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust grounds where a pair of Spotted Flycatchers could be seen in the car park on this glorious sunny day.
The WWT grounds at East Park are probably not at their best for birds outside of the 'Barnacle season' but the report of a Yellow Wagtail seen on the Folly Pond earlier in the morning (briefly and at distance) was definitely noteworthy and decent enough for me to alert Chris that one had been reported.
So we waited a while in the Folly Pond hide fantasising how nice the weekend's female Red-necked Phal' must've looked (let it go Colin!) when Mrs B. exclaimed "Oh what's this?"
"Er wagtail, but it's not a Yellow!" I snapped off a series of very shakey record shots of a male Citrine Wagtail before running out with camera in hand to alert the warden.
Male Citrine Wagtail, Caerlaverock WWT 4 June 2008.
With considerable panic I phoned Chris who by now was nearing the Wig, Loch Ryan near Stranraer! "Chris. That wagtail - it's a male Citrine!"
Chris ......"I'm on my way!"
A couple of calls to bird news services and then back to the hide where some of the staff had gathered to see the bird. What a cracker - yellow head and underparts, black hind-collar, grey upperparts and nice white wing bars, tertial fringes and outer tail feathers.
Mrs B. and I went for a stroll around the reserve, leaving a few birders in the hide to watch the wagtail. We didn't see too much and returned to the Folly Pond to find Chris who had spent a few anxious moments searching for his wife Pat in Stranraer supermarkets before being able to set off east for Caerlaverock!