Isabelline Wheatear by Tim White
Isabelline Wheatear isn't the first species that springs to mind as a potential subect for the Christmas Photo of the Week, yet it happened in 2022. Turning up on the Devon coast just before the festive period, this rare Asian vagrant went on to linger over Christmas and, after a few days' absence, kindly reappeared for the 2023 listers on 2 January.
The images posted in the BirdGuides gallery indicate that the wheatear has been offering excellent views throughout its stay, and ace local photographer Tim White certainly made the most of the opportunity provided, producing this outstanding flight shot. Taken in perfect light, many of the bird's identifying features are on display, including the deep black tail band.
Quite simply, images like this would have been nigh on impossible to achieve even a few years ago, but the advances in auto-focus systems mean that even fast-moving passerines can now be 'nailed', especially in great light like here. Of course, it requires skill as well as a degree of luck to take a shot like this, and our congratulations go out to Tim!
Other notable images
Northern Hawk-Owl, Sparresholm, Denmark (per schans christensen).
Ocellated Turkey, Riviera Maya, Mexico (Clive Daelman).