The gift that keeps giving
With several ‘local’ sites reporting their first autumn chats over the last couple of days, and being a self-confessed ‘chatophile’, I went on the hunt this afternoon. From home by foot, I first pitched up at Canons Farm, a bit of a gamble as the fields are still with crop and there would be little decent habitat for any chat, and so it proved. However, there was a plan B! Making my way through to the paddocks to the north of Banstead village, the very first one that was checked, adjacent to the cricket club, held a Wheatear. Even after 47 years of birding, and having seen thousands of them, this species still brings so much joy to me. I watched it as the bird made its way along the fence line, dropping down into the paddock every now and then. The chat hunt had been successful, and my afternoon was made. Simple, modest stuff, but that is one of the pleasures of being at ease with birding locally. It’s the gift that keeps giving.