Headed up to Howick on Saturday to twitch the Deaths head Hawk-moth being shown by Stewart and Jane at the Village Hall. Prior to that John and I stopped off at the path along the cliffs just outside Howick and immediately spotted a Stonechat in its normal pose on top of a bush. We were distracted though by a number of Goldcrests which were hopping around also. When we had our fill of the gorgeous Goldcrests we turned to look at the stonechat which was being harassed by a Dunnock and a Robin we both looked at each other with looks of amazement and after a few minutes of humming and hawing we went back to the car to get the Collins. We started going through but still couldn't decide on what it was although Stonechat and another bird were favourites (not mentioning the other candidate though). Just then a friendly face turned up, so I shouted and he came up and looked at my photograph (as the bird had buggered off by then).
A couple of seconds hesitation and he said yes it was a Stonechat.
I nodded knowledgably, wondering if I had a page missing out of my Collins or there was a
special section on Birds who grew Santa Claus's beard for him in his off season I had missed. Anyway we then headed up to Howick where we also showed some more of the pictures I took, to some of the experts gathering there. There were, thank god, a few puzzled looks before most of them gave the verdict of Stonechat also. A couple more pics, taken in different lighting circumstances, completely untouched by photoshop or whatever apart from a couple of sharpening tweeks and 1 click of exposure change.
and here is a Stonechat which we saw later on in the day
Anyway the reason we were up there was this little Big Beauty:
Tom T arrived bringing another great species with him,
the Hummingbird Hawk Moth
The following is a picture of both together
(don't think there will be many of these around)
Atropos - The Movie