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I always hear these birds on my walks through the local fields or the woods, but rarely see them. On the two occasions I have seen them they have flapped out of nowhere before my eyes and have scared me half to death! Plodding through a very wet meadow chasing Cinnabar moths (a future blog), this one came screeching and flapping out of tall grass right before my eyes. He only flew a short distance before landing and vanishing. How an earth a bright red-faced bird of this size can vanish in a sea of green is beyond me. But then he bobbed his distinctive head up and I managed to get one decent shot before it took off again. Despite my best efforts and very soggy trousers I could not find him again.
June 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman. Sigma 18-300mm lens.