If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

17 March, 2014

The wheatear won't stay here

During the spring thousands and thousands of birds pass through Dorset as they return from the far south to their breeding grounds across the United Kingdom. Many go unseen, they do not stop as there is an urgency and a drive to get 'home'. The autumn is a little different, many stop off here for a final meal before setting off across the Channel on their long journey to their winter quarters.
One of the first to arrive in spring is
the wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) and from mid-March and into April it is not unusual to find one along the coast of Dorset or on high ground across the county. The wheatear will not stay here though, it is a common bird in the uplands of Wales, northern England and throughout Scotland and it soon continues on its journey back home.
It is a distinctive bird in appearance, an upright stance and about the size of a startling but the most obvious feature is its white rear that cannot be missed when it is in flight and it is what probably gives it its name - white rear = wheatear!

It is often seen standing on rocks and boulders surveying the surrounding grassy areas for likely insects to eat. 
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