Wednesday, 28 September 2016

More chats and starts

Since my initial sightings of Whinchat and Redstart on the 6th, over the following couple of weeks, I came across another female type Redstart and three more Whinchats.

The Redstart was another frustratingly brief view.  I found the bird on the 14th sitting on top of a pile of turf at the top end of Emmett's fields.  As soon as I saw it, it saw me and darted back into an adjacent stretch of game cover.  I was looking against the light, so decided to carry on along the path past where I had seen the bird and then hope that it reappeared for a record shot.  After about half an hour, with no further sign, I had to leave, so another Redstart with no record photo.

On the 11th, I found a confiding Whinchat in a weedy field along Pump Lane.  It remained faithful to a small area of this field near the northern fence line for three days, allowing a better record shot than my last attempt!

On the 12th, another Whinchat was feeding in a low cut stubble field at Emmett's.  It was always against the light, so the record shot is just that!

And the final bird was seen on the 22nd in exactly the same spot in the same weedy field in Pump Lane, obviously attractive to chats - I'll have to keep checking it for Stonechat.

An interesting non-avian record came on the 12th.  A couple of years ago, I had come across a Red Underwing moth resting high up on a telegraph pole - I think my attention had been drawn by a flick of its wings.  Anyway, I was passing the same pole on the 12th and remembering this previous encounter just scanned it with my bins.  To my surprise, in almost exactly the same position, was another Red Underwing - not a scarce moth, but one that I don't see too often.  I'm not sure what makes this pole so attractive to them, but suspect that it is pretty well camouflaged and also quite warm to rest up during the day.  It was not accessible for a close photo, so I had to resort to phonescoping from about 60 yards away - I'm surprised that any shot came out at all!

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