Monday, May 21, 2007

Wembley Wheatear

Robben and Wheatear share Wembley turf
(click the pics to see them bigger)

Wes Brown and Arjen Robben 'have a chat'...

Robben gets attention while the Wheatear hops toward the United penalty area

Widely acknowledged as the worst FA Cup final since the competition returned to Wembley, the 2007 clash between Chelsea and Manchester United on Saturday did feature one incident to wake up eagle-eyed birdwatchers. In the 67th minute while (to the delight of all non-Chelsea supporters) Wes Brown flattened Chelsea's Arjen Robben, a female Wheatear was seen hopping by!
Despite claims by Mark Lawrenson that the grass was too long on the brand new pitch, it was clearly just the right length to draw down the migrant chat. However, as it tried to avoid the unsavoury incident on the touchline, its ungainly flapping did hint at an injury possibly worse than that sustained by the Dutch flyer. Perhaps, that is unsurprising with the play (though at pedestrian pace almost throughout) covering most blades of grass.
Chelsea took the glory of a 1-0 victory after extra time, but what with the players' repeated diving celebrations, laps of honour and minor pitch invasions by the Chelsea extended family and TV crews, it is uncertain whether the Wheatear survived the ordeal.

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