Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Local Wheatears

With spring migrants now being seen all over the place I headed for the high ground west of Sawbridgeworth. A beautiful sunny day which meant I seemed to be on the wrong side of a lot of birds for photography

It was a quiet start with not much of note until I hit the big open field near Shingle Hall Farm. There was 10+ Yellowhammers in the bush by the chaff dump, and a pair of Red-Legged Partridges flew up. Then on the old airfield perimeter a male Wheatear. I spent a good half hour trying to get a decent photo, but distance and my continuing crapness with a camera resulted in these apologies for photos.

Walking a little further and I got to the top of a field by local farm Tharbies.  A Red Kite flew over, a couple of Grey Partridge flew out of the field, and on rounding the end of a hedge I found a small paddock with 4 Wheatears in it. I searched for more but never mind - Four spring Wheatears is a cracking local record.

three of the four Wheatears.
and that was nearly that. One of the pleasures of going off birding is bumping into people along the way. A highly entertaining and informative encounter with a nature-lover/shooter/photographer today was one-such. Now I know how to shoot a deer so it dies instantly, and how to avoid the possibility of a wounding and a lingering death, as well as some more detail on the local birds of prey.


Jonathan Lethbridge said...

I have seen one Wheatear this year. One. Pathetic.

DorsetDipper said...

Jonathan - I normally read of the Wrynecks, Ouzels, woodlarks, SEOs and Firecrests coming from your area with much envy so this is a bit of a turn up. I would say this is as good as it gets round here but there's a Black-Necked Grebe reported a few miles away today too, so an early trip tomorrow to see that one.

Still plenty of time for some Wheatears in Wanstead.