I remember showing my children this bird when we lived down by the harbour in Eastbourne, as they would flit around on the shoreline during autumn on their way back to Africa. They have a distinctive white and black eye stripe combination, and diagnostic white rump.

One of the books I used a lot when homeschooling the children was Bill Oddie’s Birds of Britain & Ireland. I like his style of writing, and the illustrations are really good – so much more helpful than photographs I find.

The wheatear I have painted is a male in his breeding finery, although his white rump can’t be seen from this angle!

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