The Wheatear Tree.

The weather was a whole lot more promising this morning with a “new” Chiffchaff singing, crisp and fresh, by the office at Ainsdale and what looked like a male Greenland Wheatear on the roof of the discovery centre first thing.
After the brutality of the cold easterlies and blue skies of the last few days the warmth and cloud was reassuring and gave way to drizzle – even better as I headed out for my lunchtime circuit into the dunes.

The rain grounded plenty of Wheatears, with six memorably perching together in one exposed Sea Buckthorn on a ridge (I’ll get to you next winter…) and up to 10 in the immediate area.
Is a bird in the hand worth six in the bush???
Now 12 singing Willow Warblers, although I was surprised the rain hadn’t brought down more – I was hoping for a Gropper or a few Whitethroats at least, but tomorrow is another day…
The two pairs of Blackbirds were still skulking around the sheep enclosure, with the male occasionally singing – always a lovely sound in the spring rain – and swallows zinged through.
Smaller, but just as cool, most of the tiny spring annuals grace the dunes now from Hairy Bittercress and Early Forget Me Not to Spring Vetch (time to dig out the 5p bit again….)

5 thoughts on “The Wheatear Tree.

  1. Get up close and personal with nature and pop along to the RSPB Binocular and Telescope Open Weekends this May bank holiday. The charity is running two of these events in Lancashire – at Leighton Moss in Silverdale and the Ribble Discovery Centre at Fairhaven Lake.
    The events run on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 May from 10am-4pm, when a variety of binoculars and telescopes will be on display for visitors to try out, as well as friendly, impartial advice from the knowledgeable team of staff and volunteers.
    Not just for wildlife experts, RSPB reserve shops stock a wide range of equipment suitable for different skill levels. The range includes RSPB and Viking binoculars and telescopes as well as other premium brands such as Swarovski and Leica.
    Money raised through purchases at these events helps the RSPB reserve teams to continue to deliver their wildlife conservation work, advocacy and allows thousands of people every year to get closer to nature.
    Vicki Hickman, Retail Manager at Leighton Moss said: “At our Lancashire sites we’re privileged to showcase some amazing natural wonders including rare birds like bitterns and marsh harriers at Leighton Moss and internationally important flocks of wading birds at the Ribble Discovery Centre.
    “Instead of trying out the equipment in a store where you may not spot anything of interest, testing the kit out surrounded by natural sights and sounds really helps you identify the best investment for your needs.
    The events on 4 and 5 May at Leighton Moss and the Ribble Discovery Centre are free to attend and suitable for all levels of bird and wildlife watchers.
    For more information visit and


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