03 June 2014

Wheatears around Mewslade

Wheatears arrive here in mid March and are usually around until mid October. This year my first local sighting was on March 15 (two days later than in 2013). Since then there have been signs of breeding behaviour in three local spots. The site just east of Thurba Head has produced the first success of the season, with three obviously newly fledged juveniles present on May 31. The site is shown below.

 On May 31 one young bird was accompanied by the adult male and was soon abandoned. This bird allowed me to get close (photos taken May 31).

The adult female was about 70 metres away and was doing a much better job of looking after the other two young birds.

I returned to the site yesterday (June 2) and found the juveniles without the adults, foraging independently. There were at least three, possibly four of them. The change in the juveniles, in both size and plumage, in just over 48 hours was remarkable (photo taken June 2).

 I returned again today (June 3), to find the adult male with two juveniles, both looking more mature after a further 24 hours:


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