Monday, April 16, 2012

A Couple Of Wheats

Like other migrants the Wheatears have been thin on the ground so far this year, and before today the most I’d seen together was a trio just a couple of weeks ago, before the northerly winds set in. I doubled that count today when I found 6 along the sea wall at Pilling. 

Wheatear

The Wheatears gave me the run around for a while but eventually two of them succumbed to the temptation of meal worms. 

Wheatear
Wheatear

Wheatear

Both birds were probably Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa, one a rather chunky bird with a wing length of 106mm, the smaller bird a wing of 102mm, the latter a little in the overlap range. Both birds were quite bright with underparts a fairly extensive buff cinnamon, bearing in mind that oenanthe is very variable with the darkest birds similar to a pale leucorhoa. 

As I waited for the Wheatears to surrender the birding yielded 4 Swallow, 1 Kestrel, 1 Buzzard, 300 Pink-footed Geese, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Chifchaff, 1 Reed Bunting, 6 Teal, 90 Golden Plover, 1 Greenfinch, 4 Linnet. 

Swallow

The forecast for the week ahead is a mixed bag of everything that a UK April brings - showers, rain, sun and wind. Just the stuff to drop some migrants from up high – here’s hoping.

29 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

The wheatears are so cute, and your swallow is just lovely.
I might post pelican pictures today, we have quite a few of them, but very few other birds.
K

Stuart Price said...

I'd forgotten what a great looking bird a Wheatear is, only ever seen one over here and that was a tatty exhausted female vagrant.......

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

The male wheatear looks really smart! Looking much better than the plain Isabelline Wheatear I saw in India.

Russell said...

Very attractive little bird, Phil, and wonderful portraits. Some birds are thin around here too this year and I don't know if it's just a late spring.

EG CameraGirl said...

Lovely little bird. Let's hope the weather people are correct and that you have a great birding week.

NatureStop said...

The wheatears are really good looking birds.Your gotsome neat shots!!

Shantana

HansHB said...

Great shots of this bird. I like your close-up!
happy WBW to you!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

They are just so cute and your pictures are wonderful. Wonderful birding list too (any of the ones you list would make my day if I would ever be lucky enough to see them)
! Thanks for sharing.

Modesto Viegas said...

Good capture, great post.

Frank said...

A very smart looking species. Super pics Phil.

heyBJK said...

Gorgeous shots, Phil!

Amila Kanchana said...

Real cuties!

Gary said...

Gee Phil, I have not been able to visit your blog for a while; some tech problem. Great post Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Crafty Gardener said...

Cute little birds.

Pia said...

Your photos are so wonderful! This is a very cute bird, I did not know it so far.

Andrew said...

Lovely birds to see.. your images are fantastic.

Chris said...

I'm eager to see them back over here but no sign of them yet. You got sumptuous pictures! Well done.

Carole M. said...

Your header photographs is incredible; so crisp!

eileeninmd said...

Phil, they are pretty birds and great closeups.

mick said...

Great photos. The Wheatears are beautiful.

Wanda..plain~N~simple said...

Love the Swallow, beautiful shots.

Stewart M said...

So when they 'succumbed to the temptation of meal worms' does that mean you trapped them - or mist netted?

I can remember very busy days around fixed nut feeder stations in the NE or England.

Cheers - Stewart M

Mama Zen said...

Such pretty birds!

Phil said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. Stewart M - yes spring traps work most times.

Hanne Bente said...

Great pictures you show of a wheatear.
Wishing you a good day.
Hanne Bente / hbt.finus.dk

Fjällripan said...

Such a beautiful bird! And great captures of him aswell :)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Love these images, the sparkle in those beautiful eyes, sweetness like no other! The Swallow image...love those Swallows!

El rincón de Ceditas said...

Bellisimas todas!!!
Saludos

Springman said...

A wonderful looking little bird is the Wheater, such subtle coloring! Here's hoping for some great sightings this week!

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