Monday, 29 April 2013

Migrating Wheatear.

During an unplanned visit to Witley Common last week I had faint hopes of catching up with a displaying Tree Pipit .......


.... but instead a female Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) provided a welcome distraction. I initially spotted her feeding on insects about a 100 yards away on open heathland with nowhere for me to gain any cover.


Fortunately the breeze was in my favour and she decided to take a rest on a nearby tree stump ... so the next question was how to get closer. I immediately laid down and adopted a very slow crawl towards the stump ... praying that she wouldn't fly away. 
  
This species of thrush winters in Africa and visits the UK between March and October to breed, usually on upland moorland terrain with grass fields and rock outcrops. Sighting in Surrey are therefore during their Spring and Autumn migration when they stop off to feed and rest during their very lengthy journeys.

Eventually she looked me straight in the eye before turning her back on me ... typical female!

Let's hope she finds her mate and successfully breeds before returning safely back to Africa in the Autumn.  FAB.

Linking to  WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY.

23 comments:

  1. love her soft colors and understated beauty. :)

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  2. Good to see you post again. Yes, a good shot takes lots of patience and skill.

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  3. Beautiful series of photos of her! A great find for you.

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  4. Your female Wheatear is a beauty! Lovely photos!

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  5. She's a beauty! Excellent shots, well worth the crawl.

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  6. Great set Frank.
    Hope you managed to get up OK after lol

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  7. Congrats! Your crawling worked and you got super photos.

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  8. What a darling bird she is. I probably wouldn't get up after crawling...but maybe one of my neighbors would help. Some of them would worry about me. One old guy has asked me what on earth I'm taking a picture of when I'm aiming at a bird or the sky. When I tell him, he looks at me like he's never heard of either. (I am never going to get old ;>))!

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  9. you have done well creeping up on this bird ..great shots.

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  10. Great photos of a beautiful bird. I hope the grass was dry for you to crawl over!

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  11. Lovely birds top see Frank... superb images.

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  12. Absolutely wonderful captures of a very pretty little bird.

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  13. Great image series you show. Thanks for the comment on my blog :) Hanne Bente

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  14. Wheatears are so obliging arn't they! (-: Well done for having the patience. Lovely to see you posting again Frank.

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  15. Hi Frank!!!.. Love these birds.. Beautiful pictures. Cheers!!!..

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  16. Splendid little bird - use to see lots of these in the Lakes - not any more!

    My wagtails really are very aggressive for their size!

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

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  17. Frank, I had my first giggle, trying to imagine that low crawl, but whoosh, these images were certainly worth effort. beautiful images of this gorgeous bird. I always enjoy seeing them in UK images~

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  18. Well, if you can't see a Tree Pipit, a Wheatear is a nice consolation prize! Good job on working close to get these really nice images!

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  19. Hi Frank,
    They are just arriving around here and I still did not manage to see one. You got wonderful shots of it. Well done and welcome back ;-)

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  20. Thanks for all your appreciative comments. Now if only all the other migrants were so co-operative!

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

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