However over the past few days this has suddenly changed and it has coincided with cooler temperatures here.
I am still visiting the university farm despite its apparently slow dismantlement and its here I have observed the wheatears walking to and from work.
Eastern mourning wheatear
The easiest wheatear to identify has been this Eastern mourning wheatear. It is the first sighting this season and its not a passage bird because it winters in this area and not much further south.
sideways profile of eastern mourning wheatear
The other wheatears have been much more problematic. But thanks to BirdForum I have fairly definitive conclusions.
first year black-eared wheatear
The first one, above and below, is a young black-eared wheatear almost certainly pale throated.
first year black-eared wheatear standing upright
Likewise a second bird seen two days later is the same species and morph. It is conceivably the exact same bird.
another first year bird two days later
Other wheatears have been young pied wheatear. I know what adult female pied wheatear look like and there are close similarities.
first year pied wheatear
Indeed I believe this particular first year bird is also female.
second look at pied wheatear
Separating young dark throated black-eared wheatear from pied wheatear is the most difficult but I have had one dark throated black-eared wheatear come through as well (not shown).
As I said in a previous blog, until this wave of wheatears the passage had almost dried up at the farm. Nevertheless there has been other limited passage activity to report. This includes another spotted flycatcher. They have been seen on and off for nearly two months now.
spotted flycatcher moves onto a post
Two evenings ago I spotted three tree pipit but they must have moved on quickly because they were nowhere to be seen the next day.
Tree pipit on a post
This is another species which has been visiting for a while. The first one was here about a month ago.
Tree pipit on ground
I am on a short trip to Ethiopia soon followed by a visit to Tabuk in the north of the country. The latter visit is all birding whereas the trip to Ethiopia is not. In the meantime I may have time today for some local observations. Let's see what all this brings.