Rare sighting of a Desert Wheatear on Graveney Marshes

30 October – a male Desert Wheatear was spotted by Danny Chesterman feeding on the tideline about three hundred yards east of Castle Coote. He was happily catching flies. We’re delighted to say that many local birders were subsequently able to connect with the bird including Steve Ashton who has kindly allowed us to use his photographs here.

The Desert Wheatear is a migratory species that breeds from northern Africa (Sahara Desert) across the middle east and into central Asia. It builds its nest in a hole in the ground or amongst rocks and lives on a diet of insects, beetles, larvae, small lizards and seeds.

Photos by Steve Ashton

The male’s song starts with a brief series of short, sweet whistles and ends with a mellow rolling note. Listen below!