22 Sep 2010

I Thought For A Moment I Had Found A Rare Wheatear and The One Legged Redshank

I was out at Killard Nature Reserve this lunchtime and I noticed a small pale bird fly up and land down on the shoreline. I put up my binoculars and my heart was racing as I thought initially I had found a rare Wheatear. Not knowing the family particularly well I wondered whether it might be a Desert Wheatear or Isabelline and beyond those I wouldn't have a clue. I got close enough to photograph it and was really looking for some obvious black detail in the feathers in the tail.
Leucistic Wheatear

Then it flew off and you can see from the photo below that it was a very pale colour where the black should have been and from that I assumed it had to be a leucistic Wheatear.

Leucistic Wheatear in Flight

On my way back I saw in the distance this Peregrine chasing a Sparrowhawk. It was a pretty close thing and in the end the Sparrowhawk just dove straight into a crop field to escape scattering hundreds of Linnets that were feeding there.
Peregrine chasing Sparrowhawk

I then stopped off at Tullyhill on the way back and the two Curlew Sandpiper were still there and there also seems to be an increasing amount of Golden Plover every day. This Linnet popped up onto a rock right beside the car.

For at least the last month I have wondered whether a particular Redshank only had one leg. It hops everywhere and after a certain amount of effort just sits down. Well today it was far closer to the shore and I could see that it's left leg was just a stump up by its body. I hope it survives.
One Legged Redshank


Timothy Belmont said...

Isn't it remarkable how they can survive with just one leg? I couldn't stand on one leg for that long! I suppose it simply compensates by spreading its weight. Isn't Nature ingenious?

StConall said...

oh dear, I thought you were joking!