Sunday, 23 April 2017

Northern Wheatear and beyond

The 'dry inland patch' birder has to reduce anticipation and be thankful for what comes along. The blue-riband species are invariably those colourful, confiding chats - Stonechats, Whinchats, Common Redstarts and Wheatears. And if that same 'dry inland patch' birder does not own a 'big lens' but has a bridge camera, then these same species will be over represented in their photographic studies, mainly because they (a) perch in the open; are (b) fairly tame and most importantly are (c) colourful. Hence more of this:


There were six together at Priest Hill this morning, four of them males. I love counting them - they do not reveal themselves all at once, and hide behind bushes, hummocks and long grass. A scan can start off with two birds, then you scan again and there are still two birds, but you realise that the first scan was of a male and a female and this latest scan is of two males - therefore three are present. And so you carry on, others appearing, but with the sex composition differing each time, until you build up a minimum number for each sex to reach a flock total, even though the whole flock is never in view at the same time. Hours of fun!


I should have kept up the Wheatear Challenge - or better still, some other bored blogger could have started one and I might have been a contender for 2017. I make that 10 bird so far...

9 comments:

  1. I've only see two so far this spring!

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    1. Yes, but I know very well that you make up for that dearth with a wealth of other stunners Stewart!

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    2. And now its snowing, full on big flakes too!

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  2. There’s no such thing as too many Wheatear photos Steve. You know it, I know it. And, as the current holder of the ND&B Wheatear trophy, I hereby crown you King of the Wheatears 2017. There’s no wriggling out of it. Grab yourself a tipple of your choice and celebrate this run of fab little birds on your patch! You gotta make the most of them whilst they’re here…

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    1. Lucy, that's very kind. Just supped a mug of green tea in celebration - my Birra Moretti went down well earlier on...

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  3. Lovely images, Steve - I still haven't seen one...

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    1. You will Neil, when you get to Dung next week!

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