Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

At last...Spring is here?

I set off for a walk around my patch this morning, determined I should find either wheatears, ring ouzels or, preferably, both. I'd only walked a hundred yards from the house to the first field when I saw a white rump flit across the open ground, my first wheatear of the year! Then, as I binned the stonking male bird, another popped into view, followed by another and another. In fact there were 10 males and a single female, which is unusual for my patch, it's normally the other way around. But I wasn't arguing, they are very smart birds and herald the spring as much as any martin or swallow.

Male wheatear: R Harris

Male wheatear: R Harris
The only thing was, it didn't feel like spring! There's a biting easterly wind and I reckon these guys will be asking themselves if they've made a wrong turn somewhere. Add to that the flock of fieldfare overhead and the picture is complete, we're not quite there yet. In fact by the time I'd walked my usual circuit and returned to take more photos, not a single wheatear was still there!

More chiffchaffs on site too following a large fall at the weekend. They looked bewildered too as they search desperately for insects...

Chiffchaff: R Harris

I hope the weather warms up soon, before the migrants start to suffer.

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