Black-eared Wheatear  Oenanthe hispanica

Chearsley - 25th April 1992

Black-eared wheatear2.jpg (29212 bytes)

This bird, a first for Buckinghamshire and one of the few to be recorded in an inland county, was a pale-throated male of probably the eastern race O.h.melanoleuca.    It was found by Mike Wallen and Jim Rose mid afternoon while checking out potential sites for Curlew, for the forthcoming bird race.  Having gone as far as intended the sight of a fairly bare cultivated field ahead caused Jim to state "That field looks good for Wheatear"!   On reaching a gap in the hedge Mike Wallen picked out the bird pictured above along with a Northern Wheatear.
This was before the days of mobile phones, so Jim set off to the local phonebox and Mike stayed to keep an eye on the bird.  Confirmation of identity soon came as did fifty or so local birders and twitchers from further afield who were keen to tick this difficult species.  Even as darkness fell birders were still arriving.  As is typical of this species it had departed by the following morning.

Photos courtesy of Mike Wallen

Any more photographs of this individual would be gratefully received.

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