Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Wily Wheatear

Hemel: The little tinker! Sunday midday, I’d watched him fall gracefully from the sky - obviously coming from the south - and alight on the grass verge by the side of the road. After getting his bearings and taking a good look around, he’d flown into the crop field. The area is exposed, higher ground and the cold wind was gusting hard. I achieved the obligatory record shots and some video footage, which, incidentally, is probably best watched when you’re half drunk. After that, I lost him and presumed he’d flown onwards.

Yesterday, I checked the area again. No sign of the African beauty but I did spot a couple of Partridges waaaay off in the distance. Couldn’t eliminate Red-legged without a scope so planned to do that another time. Today, I was busy most of the day but got out for an hour in the morning. Perfect conditions: light wind, blue sky and blazing sunshine and....as I approached the crop field, a glowing dot seemingly moving. The wily Wheatear was still here! I was pushed for time but improved on Sunday’s record shots (even if they are cropped to within an inch of their lives!) and took some hand-held camera video footage, at long range, which means it’s even worse than Sunday’s efforts. Still, it’s a fabulous little Wheatear, in a field in Hemel Hempstead, happily preening in the sunshine and being dive-bombed by singing Skylarks. Bliss!






Shocking(ly bad) footage of the White-arse...

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