Thursday, 7 April 2011

Seeing and believing

Another gorgeous morning and after yesterday's Wheatear hit I am keen to search out for more migrants. Or, more likely, eliminate them as a possibility from the Cuddesdon area. The Farmhouse Pond was pulling them in though: 2 Chiffchaffs and the first singing Willow Warbler, with Swallows on the wires. The first Corn Buntings have also arrived, with 2, maybe even 3, around their usual territories in North Field:
The action continues to the east of the village with 50 Fieldfares heading north-east - a good April record - they should be in Scandinavia by dusk. At least 2 Whitethroats were recently arrived and in full song. Then down the hedgerow by the private pond, where a bird flicked up from the path and perched , just within view. I uttered the (now immortal words) "Please be something interesting and not just another bloody Robin" and lifted my binoculars. Simultaneously, the bird sallied out into the sunshine, revealing a red tail, blue back and black face. There was a sharp intake of breath, before I breathed the words that I have been dreaming of forming all Spring: "male Redstart":
To say this bird was mobile and unapproachable would be an understatement, but I managed a few record shots of Cuddesdon's first Spring and second ever Redstart:
A simply beautiful bird. And who said, only yesterday evening, that Wheatear would be as good as it gets this Spring? How the unbelievers have fallen.

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