Wednesday 23 September 2015

Strike a pose!

Tring reservoirs: It was a beautiful, sunny morning today and I had the chance to call in at Startop's End Reservoir. On the NW bank, I spied 3 Wheatears, gazing wistfully south and soaking up the rays. One of the birds raised its little feathery hand and beckoned me over (really, it did). With its head cocked and a cheeky glint in its eye (you know the look), it suggested that I drop down onto the shingle and grab a few studio shots. I think it was rather taken with the way the warm light caught its peachy, buff tones and had been hoping for just such an opportunity to really show them off. Happy to oblige, I settled into position. Chattering throughout, the Wheatear could be heard to say....

"I may not be an Acadian Flycatcher but....Here. Here. Look! Aren’t I beautiful... "


"Do you see my rich, rufous cheeks and silky, silvery supercilium?"

"Is this any better...?"


"Don’t you just want to tickle my tummy...!?"

And, finally, I suggested the little chap might like to turn around...

"Yes, yes, the back. You’re right, still beautiful....see!?"

I could only agree.

Sadly, our photo shoot was brought to an abrupt end by the approach of the inevitable bounding dog. Thankfully, I had other fish to fry but more on that later this week.


  1. Better than an Acadian Flycatcher...

  2. How close did you get? And did you glue that bird's feet to the granite to get those wonderful shots?

    1. lol, rumbled! And, thank you.

      If the superglue doesn't work - and let's face it, you don't always have a tube handy - my experience with Wheatears at this location is that as long as you stay lower than them (on either side of the bank), they are surprisingly fearless. A few years ago, I had a gorgeous spring male whose feet remained similarly glued.

  3. Ha! Brilliantly written up and he certainly did pose beautifully for you! Perfect shots. What a treat. From ARF

  4. I think your practice of staying lower than the bird works for many species.


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