Stonechat Special

We had some steady wintry sunshine today. All day. It was cold, but certainly a very welcome change, and I headed over to Sheepcote Valley which is where I generally go in search of kestrels. There weren’t any around today, but the scrub clearers were back. Yes, the sheep at Sheepcote are ‘workers’. They get brought in every few months to eat back the undergrowth, and then are moved on to another site.


It was while I was sheep watching that I spotted several little stonechats. These are small meadow birds, with a distinctive call (which gives them their name). They like to perch on low shrubs, and a prone to offer little wing flicks.


Stonechat flitting out a wing


Let’s give both wings a go!

The merest hint of a branch was sufficient for this male stonechat on lookout duty.

Male stonechat on lookout.

And what goes up a perch, must come down. I have to say I was quite pleased with this little sequence, not least because I had deliberately left room for the flight when I lined up the first shot. The stonechat helped things by staying in the same plane as it dove down.

Stonechat flying down from its perch

Stonechat flying down from its perch

Stonechat flying down from its perch

Stonechat flying down from its perch

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

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  1. derwandersmann January 25, 2015 at 3:19 am #

    Nice sequence, Words … cute little birds.

    • Words January 25, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      Hi dW, good to see you. The stonechat is quite a common little bird but this is probably the best set of images I’ve got of one. The 7D2’s 10fps definitely helped capture that little lot.

  2. Darko January 26, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    Nice little birds, look so tiny 🙂

    • Words January 27, 2015 at 12:13 am #

      Darko, they are about the size of a European robin.