Saturday 11 April 2020


I sympathise with those living in densely populated areas, far from the birding locations they love. In that respect I have an embarrassment of riches locally. I'm going to spend the rest of this post spreading some of it out before you, and I really hope it doesn't provoke envy, or any other negative feeling. My intention is simply to share it, to offer some vicarious birding for those less fortunate than I am right now. Please accept it in that spirit.

Very early this morning I took a walk...

Written on a sheet of paper, my tally of birds would look pretty unspectacular. A few Wheatears, 3 Swallows, my first 2 Whitethroats of the year. Some other bits and bobs. But in glorious Technicolor it looks a whole lot different. I love this modest camera...

First Wheatear of the day, in classic pose...
I counted 10 Wheatears in total. Here are two more of them.
And by way of a change...Rock Pipit.

Then came a non-birdy interlude. By complete fluke I came across some adders. I haven't seen an adder for quite a few years, and had forgotten how splendid they are. To be fair I rarely make the effort to look for them, but after this encounter will try harder I think. The photo shows a pair. The male is the silvery-grey one, and the browner, enormously fat one is the female. If you click on the photo and look at that little dark area at the tip of the arrow, you can see reptilian scales. Although I didn't realise it at the time, that female extends well beyond the frame of my shot. She is massive.

Adder pair

Beady red eye of the male

Obviously that was the stand-out highlight of my walk, but Wheatears continued to parade shamelessly, and I could not resist...

And to finish off, there were also fish...

Grey Mullet - quite large ones too.

I'm pretty gutted that Steve Gale's Wheatear Challenge is no longer a going concern, because this year I would be romping it. Well, maybe not, but I cannot seem to leave them alone.


  1. Great photos and comments Gavin. Good to see a few people still doing a bit of birding. I'm still waiting for a Wheatear though I've had Sedge Warblers and a Yellow Wagtail.

    1. Thanks Derek. Still venturing out on foot a couple of times a week. Definitely stops me going stir crazy. Yellow Wags not too common down here in spring. I'm ever hopeful though...