If I had to name one bird that without a doubt has the X-factor, it would certainly be the Bluethroat.

When the males arrive from Africa in March, they introduce beautiful blotches of color to the budding landscape. From behind, they are a dullish brown. However, underneath those clothes is a wonderful red fan-tail, which they spread when they display. But the real magic happens when they turn around: the chest is a colorful combination of blue and red. All these good looks, and a great voice to top it off too.

When they open their bill, a splash of yellow is added to the colormix and a continuous sequence of melodic tones and rollers is sent into the world. A sure sign that spring is here to stay. One minor nit: the displaying lasts for only a week or two. After the females have arrived and couples have been formed, Bluethroats lead a very hidden life. The nestbuilding, hatching of the eggs and feeding of the chicks consumes so much time, that showing off and singing is no longer part of the daily routine.

Bluethroat displaying; Canon 1D Mark III w. 500/4 IS and 2.0x; 1/320s at F10 and ISO800; tripod.