I may have become slightly obsessed. I’ve just spent a couple of afternoons up on Trendlebere Down on the east of Dartmoor. It was destroyed by fire in 1997 and is only just recovering. I’ve been spending time sitting in Gorse bushes waiting for a pair of Stonechats to come close.
They seem to love calling and hunting and perching and flitting so much that they fill their every waking hour with it.
You can’t mistake them for anything else, given their two-strike call is like two stones being banged together.
Here’s the male. He has a small tick under his eye, which makes me wonder just how safe from ticks I am, sitting in this Gorse bush. I’m feeling a bit itchy just thinking about it.
Prepare yourself. If you’re about to share my Stonechat adventures, you may just fall a little bit in love with them.