One of the most attractive families of birds we may encounter this coming term are the Chats.
Apart from the Kingfisher, the Redstart must be one of the most colourful of the UK's breeding birds. We will be visiting a location where we may hear them singing & hopefully we will spot one feeding its youngsters.
We aren't going to a specific site to see a Wheatear, but they are so widespread on migration, we should be able to observe at least one at some of the sites we are visiting.
In contrast, we are going on one specially organised event to listen to the astounding song of the Nightingale. The timing of our trip has been designed so that we should also be able to see this elusive species.
30 years ago we would have commune across a Whinchat at one of the sites we will be visiting near Market Weighton, but this species has declined drastically, and no longer breeds in East Yorkshire. We are therefore making a special long-distance trip once the main classes have concluded to try & find this stunning bird on its moorland breeding grounds.
Similarly, we may see the Stonechat at a moorland site, but we may also connect with one on migration at a coastal site towards the end of the course.
We are probably be going to be too late to find a Black Redstart, but if one is around when we are on the coast we will try & find it.
The Bluethroat is a bird which has eluded the sessions so far, but we can dream!
Finally, there is one Chat which we won't make any special efforts to see, but which we won't be able to avoid!
Redstart - a thinly distributed breeding bird in East Yorkshire
Wheatear - always a popular bird to find on migration
Nightingale - not the most colourful member of the family, but a memorable bird to encounter
Whinchat - a special trip into North Yorkshire should track these beauties down
Stonechat - a coastal visit is most likely to result in this little character
Black redstart - again most likely to be found on the coast, but scarcer than a Stonechat
Bluethroat (c) 2012 Mick & Kath Sharpe - only a dream bird so far!
Robin - common as muck!