The first Wheatears can be seen at coastal localities in early March and by the end of March or early April good numbers are in the country. Exceptionally, Wheatears are recorded in late February. The larger ‘Greenland’ race passes through slightly later. Counts at Bird Observatories vary tremendously with the more westerly observatories generally recording higher numbers. There is some suggestion that Wheatears fly straight to their breeding grounds and that the ‘Greenland’ race tends to pause at coastal localities before starting their North Atlantic crossing to breeding grounds in Greenland and Iceland.
Male at Ballycotton
Male in song at Malin Head
Male freshly in off the sea at Knockadoon Head, Co. Cork
Autumn migrant at Ballycotton
Autumn migrant at Cape Clear.
Fantastic birds that take on a mammoth migration and certainly welcome here every spring.