A couple of upland birds

I've always enjoyed the company of Wheatears on the fells, as they perched on the rocks and watched you go by. I've not been to see them much this year, but I found a couple on top of the moors at the weekend. Obviously, they disappeared when I first turned up, but by the time I'd poured a coffee and drank it, they were back.

It turned out there was an entire family (about 6 as far as I could gather as pairs were constantly shuffling in the air). The summit cairn was popular, including with the ever present Mipit infiltrators and photobombers.

I've never seen a Wheatear levitate before, though.


I think they were attracted by the sheer numbers of cranefly up there - you can still see some legs sticking out of her beak!

"Go and see if that pesky photographer has gone yet." "Nope, he's still hiding behind the cairn!"

There's a fabulous fencepost, but no, apparently Linnets prefer balancing on bits of wire.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the moors, you get these

Don't be fooled, I had to use ISO 5000 to get even a half-reasonable shutter speed and at that I needed the bird to stay reasonably still to get these shots ... and this was on a bright sunny day. Talk about where the sun don't shine ... Dippers love it there!!


Both the resident pair were present, but I can't tell them apart. This one was actually singing, although you could barely tell from looking at it and you could barely hear it above the noise of the river.

I tried getting them swimming but didn't have the shutter speed! I had to settle for this one extracting a Caddisfly larva it had already caught. One of these days I'll get one in a brighter spot!

It did at least pose in a nice spot for me!


Nige   Flickr