Monday, September 1, 2014

Once Bitten Twice Shy?

I wondered why it was taking so long to catch the single Wheatear along the sea wall at Pilling today as they usually go for a meal worm pretty quickly. When I eventually took the bird from the trap it proved to be wearing number L733748, an adult female “Greenland” caught here on 18th August exactly two weeks ago. Once bitten twice shy is the relevant idiom I think. 


Wheatear - adult female

So much for the theory that Wheatears migrate through here quickly; they certainly do in Springtime but less so in Autumn, especially if they are in post-breeding moult like this one was on 18th August. The moult appeared complete today, her weight up from 24.1gms to 28.7gms leaving her in good condition to set off to Africa very soon. 

Wheatear - L733748 adult female 1st September 2014

 Wheatear - L733248 adult female 18th August 2014

There wasn’t too much doing along the sea wall except for a noticeable influx of wildfowl to the shooters’ land with 270 Teal and 34 Pintail flying in from the marsh to the pools where feed is being put out and water pumped in from Pilling Water. 


Less wild were the first releases of Red-legged Partridge and “Mallards” in preparation for the cming shooting season with several hundred of each species in the area. Below is a photograph of the Mallards - gun fodder in a week or two providing that the beaters can persuade the ducks to fly after their pampered existence in large cages where they learned how not to find food in the wild. 


Two Green Sandpipers and 2 Grey Herons spooked from the ditches and on the marsh 13 Little Egrets, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Buzzard and 4 Meadow Pipits. Blimey! - It must be September if Meadow Pipits are beginning to appear. 

Meadow Pipit

More birds, news and views soon on Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.


TexWisGirl said...

the wheatear is such a beauty. i love their soft but striking coloration. love the delicate pintails, too.

CabinGirl said...

These are such pretty birds. I'd love to see one up close some time... Until then I'll enjoy your fabulous blog, Phil!

Bob Bushell said...

I love the Wheatear, it is superb.

David Gascoigne said...

All these pictures of Wheatears take me back to January in Ethiopia. I don't recall having seen even one that was banded.

Gunilla Bäck said...

I love the first photo. Poor mallards.

Stewart M said...

Its a wise bird that learns from its mistakes.

Had no idea idea the ducks were raised like this - pheasants yes, but not duck.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Noushka said...

Gorgeous close-ups of the Meadow pipit and the Wheatear!
I can only hope thy don't ring too many birds! ;-)
Great post, Phil!

Findlay Wilde said...

The Wheatear I found along the farm track hung around for about 8 days, so he was it was in no rush either. From Findlay

Christian Weiß said...

Stunning photos of the Wheatear, I saw very few during the last years.

carol l mckenna said...

Excellent birding photography ~ love the wing spread macro shot ~ Happy Week to you ~

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Adam Jones said...

A rather pristine looking Meadow Pipit. Cracking shot.

Indrani said...

These are simply fantastic. Got to learn about them. :)

Mary Cromer said...

Ha Ha too funny, smart bird. The image of the group of Mallards is really lovely. Catching up before another Dr. appt. The big one is on 29 th~

Breathtaking said...

Lovely close up images of the Wheatear and the Meadow Pipit.

Marie said...

The wheatear is incredibly beautiful! What great photos!

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