This week had seen incredible temperatures for September, peaking in places at 34 degrees. Thursday night though saw the heatwave break with severe thunderstorms that carried on through the night and was still rumbling early Friday morning.
Overcast conditions continued through the day, but by the late afternoon the sun appeared and I took the chance to walk around Plain Farm. When I parked I decided to take a different route, walking along the road, then crossing the field on the footpath. Despite the rain the field was quite firm, and despite the fact there was no path laid out the walk wasn't too bad.
As I walked into the second field I disturbed quite a large flock of Meadow Pipits that flew around, settling amongst the stubble and then flying up as I approached a little too close.
There was a strip of land that was growing wheat, probably for the partridges and pheasants through the winter. As I walked through it I disturbed several small birds that I could not identify. I then noticed movement in the stubble, and as I scanned the field I found two Wheatears. I had hoped there might be something this evening, and it must have been a sixth sense that sent me on a different route. I walked along the line of the wheat and was able to get closer and some acceptable photographs.
The second bird flew away from me, but the other stayed close.
As I tried to get closer both birds flew off, flying around me and heading back to the area I had come from. I walked back, and of course they flew off once again, returning to the place I had just left.
I left them and walked on, disturbing Meadow Pipits and several Skylarks.
Back on the main path I could hear Chiffchaffs calling from within the hedge, and had brief views, but they never stayed long enough to get a suitable photograph.
As I headed down the main path I looked back at he lovely light being cast by the setting sun.
The walk back to the car produced nothing of any real interest, a Kestrel flew ahead of me but the dominant bird was of course the Woodpigeons and as I reached the car I could see them sitting on the wires in the golden light of the evening sunshine.
As I pulled away to head home the sunshine on the Mountains Plantation looked quite spectacular.
A short visit, but it proved to be successful with the first Wheatears of the year.