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Old Wednesday 9th May 2012, 10:53   #1
lazza
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Northumberland, UK (no picture, just a bad description!)

OK, this is a long shot...

I was at Bothal pond yesterday near Ashington in Northumberland, and briefly on the horse meadows by the road I saw a small (sparrow-sized) bird briefly flying up out of long grass. It disappreared completely into the long grass for a minute or so, before flitting up about 2-3 feet into the air and landing back in the grass. It did this 3-4 times.

My views were quite distant, and once I got closer, it had stopped, and didn't appear again.

Its most prominent feature was a very bright orange-red breast, but I didn't get a long enough views to fully register any other features, although other than the red-orange breats, it seemed mainly dark, with some white in the wings, possibly.

The only birds I can think of would be a wheatear, but the breast seemed much darker and brighter, or a stonechat, but I don't associate them with this kind of behaviour.

Any other suggestions?!
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Old Wednesday 9th May 2012, 10:59   #2
Andy Hurley
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Male Chaffinch?
Male Bullfinch?
Bramling?
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Old Wednesday 9th May 2012, 11:09   #3
StuartReeves
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Behaviour sounds good for stonechat to me.
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Old Wednesday 9th May 2012, 11:47   #4
lazza
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Thanks both

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Hurley
Male Chaffinch?
Male Bullfinch?
Bramling?
There are plenty of chaffinches in the area, but the behaviour didn't fit. Bullfinch - not pink enough. Brambling's a possibility, but do they skulk in long grass? To me, the behaviour was possibly fly catching....

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartReeves
Behaviour sounds good for stonechat to me.
Is it common for stonechat to "hide" in long grass? My only sightings previously have been birds perched on tops of bushes or on prominent vegetation.
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Old Wednesday 9th May 2012, 11:55   #5
Andy Hall
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Possibly a male Wheatear displaying?
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Old Wednesday 9th May 2012, 12:59   #6
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What about a male Linnet?
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Old Wednesday 9th May 2012, 13:11   #7
chris butterworth
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Sound more like a Stonechat. The breast on old males can be very bright, the patch of white at the base of the wings can be prominent and they do spend a lot of time on the deck searching for insects - and occasionally jump up to flycatch.

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Old Wednesday 9th May 2012, 15:09   #8
lazza
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Thanks everyone. Will head back at the weekend with stonechat in mind!
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