I made many trips and travelled many miles in search of a Whinchat in the Spring of this year, and all to no avail. I didn't find any on passage or at a trusted site for breeding. I had all but given up seeing one this year. Until that is I saw reports of them on the move again, and they were starting to move down off the hills. I had somewhere that usually gets the odd Redstart and Stonechat passing through at this time of year, and so I thought I'd go and take a walk and see if there was any sign. I checked the usual fence lines and bushes, but no sign of any Whinchats. In fact there was very little of interest about.
I hopped over a style and carried on my walk towards the River Dean. Plenty of Swallows were around and the juveniles were resting on the fence wires. I took a cursory look through the binoculars across a wheat field, when I caught sight of a bird zipping over the top. I got a good look at it, and long enough to rule out Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit that can be in the area. I thought it might be a Stonechat, but then it popped up on top of the crop. This was a Whinchat!! I'd actually forgotten to look for one by this stage, so it was real delight to see one. Only issue was that I didn't had ;eft my camera in the car.
I walked all the way back to get it and returned. Thankfully, it was still there and I was able to get a few pictures. Another good year tick.