A walk up the west coast of Westray revealed several pairs of Wheatear, which are very active at the moment. They’re exceptionally wary of people, and fly long before I would have spotted them. This is the first time I’ve had the time and the patience to simply be with them.

Wheatear - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Orcadian name for Wheaters is Chuckie, with an alternative of Stinkie Buil. For once, I prefer the plain old English name for them, which is White Arse, the polite form of which is Wheatear. In Italian they’re called Culbianco, which is White Arse as well.

Do I need to mention they have a distinctive white rump?

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