Northern Wheatear

I saw my first wheatear on the grass retaining bank near the car-park at Wilstone Reservoir near Tring.  It was a bracing spring day – clear skies, bright sunshine and a nipping wind that stung the cheeks as I searched the hedgerow for a singing chiff-chaff that had caught my ear. As I moved on a bird a-lighted on the grass 10 yards in front of me. The first glance of a strong black eye-line, a grey cape over black and a sandy underside was enough to know it was a male northern wheatear , pausing on it’s migration from sub-Saharan Africa to breeding grounds on the higher mountain screes and valleys of northern Europe. A distance between us, a few magical minutes passed, allowing the delicious views of this beautiful bird, sleek in it’s breeding plumage that inspired this relief print.


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