Well, that was quite the welcome home.... we returned from our latest Scottish trip (more on that to follow) late yesterday evening, and with the calls of incoming Blackbirds in the misty night sky as we unlocked the door, I resolved to get up and out first thing here in Filey this morning.
With hours of heavy rain due to arrive perhaps an hour or so after dawn, I knew the window of opportunity would be brief, and it was already gloomy and very windy when I reached Carr Naze; but with thrushes grounded on the clifftop and arriving overhead, I set the camera ISO to maximum (just, you know, on the off-chance...) and wandered out to the end.
Where, incredibly, a pale sandy wheatear came into view, ran and fluttered a little, and then stopped, looking me straight in the eye... after a few more seconds of observations (and the sound of a loud penny having dropped), thankfully my reactions were then swift enough to swing the camera round and fire off a series of hopeful shots.
Knowing that the chances of the bird disappearing over the edge and without trace within seconds was high - you don't want to know how many ones-that-got-away got away that way - remarkably (given the lack of any light, strong winds and steadily increasing precipitation), the auto-focus locked on, the bird thankfully paused at various angles, and, against all odds, the ending was very happy indeed.
Shortly afterwards, it did indeed disappear without trace, the wind strengthened, the rain became ever more intense, and the search was fruitless - although I was still treated to plenty of incoming migration, with thrushes (especially Blackbirds), Woodcocks, Snow Bunting and more adding to the experience.
Given my lack of game time locally in recent months I was kind of resigned to missing out on a BBRC self-find this year - but, oh boy, what a dream of a curtain closer to reward me this autumn....