Thursday, 21 March 2019
It's white-arse time!
The past couple of days has seen a large influx of Wheatears into southern England. I have been checking on the high, open ground of Epsom Downs and Canons Farm with some regularity, but with no success - until this afternoon. Standing by Reeds Rest Cottages (at Canons Farm) I was talking to Gordon Hay on the phone, moaning about the lack of Wheatears, when a smart male flew into view. The spell of taking in this most wonderful of birding moments - the year's first white-arse - was broken only by the appearance of another male alongside, and then a third. All flew off, over the green barn, before then alighting on Broad Field, where they were joined by a female Stonechat.
I moved on to Mogador, just north of Colley Hill, where the open ground has been a magnet to chats in the past, but not this afternoon. There was some compensation with a pair of Marsh Tits being extremely vocal in Margery Wood, where I haven't recorded the species for a number of years.
One more picture of a Wheatear? Why not...