Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Greenland Wheatear

Whilst out searching for nests in Hucknall last week, and feeling pleased that I had found a Meadow Pipit with 4 eggs, a Wheatear caught my eye. Fortunately I had one of Chris`s spring traps with me and some mealworms. Within 15 minutes it couldn't resist the bait and entered the trap.

Weighing a little over 40g and with a wing of 99mm, it was an enormous bird. These figures, coupled with the characteristic late timing of the bird left me in no doubt that this was a 'Greenland' Wheatear, a large race that migrates up to Iceland and Greenland, passing through a little later than the more southerly breeders as they are waiting for their summer haunts to defrost. Another indication that she still had some serious flying to do was her fat score, which was 6!

Mick P

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