Monday, 31 August 2015

Day 292 - Wonderful Whinchats

Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra
Hey everyone today's Day 292 and I have recently been over to the Lake District to look for Bee-Eaters. Those of you who saw yesterday's post will know I did see them. Now, when I was looking at the map, I saw the RSPB sign. We Googled the reserve and it was only about 4 miles away! Once we were finished with the Bee-Eaters, we headed straight over there. It was a lovely reserve called Geltsdale. It was a lovely area of uplands, very picturesque and very, very peaceful. I hardly heard a sound as Dad and I walked around. We saw 2 (maybe 3) 'lifers'. One of which was the beautiful Whinchat! This one was quite a way away but got a couple of ok shots!

So, here are the facts:

  • They are found all over the UK apart from the ROI and South-East England. They are found in inland East-Anglia though.
Looking around for dinner
  • They are an Amber Status bird because there has been a recent population decline, between 1995 and 2008...
  • ...This was more than a small decline. Between these two points, we lost more than half of our Whinchat population...
  • The reasons/causes for this are unknown but, from what I have found on the internet, there doesn't seem to be any threats to them.
  • There are about 47,000 breeding pairs in the UK so before the decline, there must have been over 200,000 birds!
  • The live mostly in upland moors but they can be found in Heathlands, Marshes and Bogs. Rarely in Towns and Villages.
  • Now, usually when I research their local names I can understand where they are coming from, sometimes less so. But the 'Furzechuck'? No idea on that one?!
  • They are usually about 12 cm long and they have a 22 cm wingspan. Both Male and Female birds weigh 17g.
  • They first breed at one year and their typical lifespan is 2 years but the oldest was 4 years 11 months and 19 days.
Off to catch another bug.
  • They usually lay about 5-6 eggs and have 1-2 broods. They fledge 14-15 days after their 13 day incubation.
  • Whinchats are a migrant bird and arrive in Britain in the Spring from central and southern Africa.
  • Their latin name roughly translates to rock dwelling small bird.
  • Their diet is small invertebrates and sometimes berries. They generally hunt from a perch which fits what this one was doing - it would occasionally launch itself off of the wire to catch something and then returned to the fence.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Lovely captures Zach, such cute birds! - Tasha