Admittedly his choice of garb was a bit questionable - it hardly blended into the greens, greys and browns of a rain-sodden hillside in the valleys, but all that was forgotten when "Casper The Friendly Ghost" (don't know his real name) got a glimpse of the Common Yellowthroat in the fields above Rhiwderyn in South Wales at 1.30pm today.
Er Neill (excellent driving buddy - what HGV???), Bazzo, Tropical and I had nipped down this morning and had been tramping the fields scanning the bracken and hedgerows in continual rain and strong winds from just after 10am, so spirits were particularly low - soaked to the skin, no sign of the bird.
Thank God for Casper.
We ran to the area he was in, but the bird had melted into the bracken and was back to its old skulking ways (in weather like this you could hardly blame it), so I walked on down the hedgerow for about 100m when a vision in olive green and yellow zipped past me, called and dropped out of sight again - BINGO!
I followed the bird and suddenly it flew out of cover onto an exposed horizontal branch, all black mask, cocked tail and the glorious bright yellow that only Yankee Wood Warblers seem to possess.
Within a second or two it dived back into cover, but at least I'd had a great view of the beastie.
It was occasionally visible shuffling around at the base of a bush with its tail cocked for a few minutes after that, then it was gone again - no chance of a pic, and my scope and bins were full of water anyway.
Plenty of shots on Surfbirds etc.
Boots brimming with rain, mission accomplished - nice one Casper.
If you're going for the bird, prepare for a long wait and try to avoid lousy weather - I'm sure it'd behave better in more clement conditions, although as I recall from the US of A, they can be pretty skulky in good weather too!
Few Siskin this morning and Nuthatch too, and before I forget, I had a fine Raven flying west over Birkdale Dunes yesterday at about 3pm.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies....