Wheatears (by Richard Campey)

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Wheatears (by Richard Campey)

Wheatears (by Richard Campey)

Wheatears have been turning up on the Norfolk coast in the last few days. Sightings from Cley to Hunstanton and though mostly coastal they have been seen inland at Roydon Common. Numbers  will build up in the coming months and a recent survey estimated some 240,000 will remain in the UK.

The wheatear is a small mainly ground-dwelling bird. It hops or runs on the ground. It is blue-grey above with black wings and white below with an orange flush to the breast. It has a black cheek. In flight it shows a white rump and a black 'T' shape on its tail. It is a summer visitor and passage migrant. Birds breed mainly in western and northern Britain and western Ireland, although smaller numbers do breed in southern and eastern England. It winters in central Africa.

Below pictures of adult male showing two differently marked birds, adult female, caharacteristic T patterned tail, young wheatear






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