I didn't expect my second Tweet of the Day to appear quite so quickly, but the last few days have seen a trickle of Wheatears starting to appear in the UK, so it's good timing.
My only slight disappointment is that they describe it on the website as the 'English Ortolan', which is perfectly correct, but isn't the fact that everybody likes to quote concerning the name of the Wheatear.
That, of course, is that 'wheatear' is a corruption of the original Anglo-Saxon 'hvit oers', or 'white arse'. As I may have mentioned in A Sky Full Of Birds, the Anglo-Saxon's weren't much given to thinking too long or hard about the names of birds, what with so much of their time being taken up with fighting, feasting, feuding, engaging in long and convoluted religious arguments, and writing epic poetry to annoy undergraduates in the centuries to come.
Instead, they just fixed on one very obvious feature of the bird in question, and named it after that. In this case, a white rump. If you're not lucky enough to live in an upland area where they breed, now's the time to look for them as they go through on passage. They favour areas of sheep or rabbit-cropped grass, and have a habit of perching on molehills or cowpats to survey the surrounding area for tasty morsels.