BIRD-watchers spotted 18 red kites around the M40 on the way to Wycombe, plus another three and a buzzard and a kestrel next to Adams Park, then a red-lagged partridge on the pitch while play was going on.
But 2,000 away fans only had eyes for the Owls as their team showed they can soar above others even without the aerial ability of Gary Madine.
The new strike partnership of Chris O’Grady and Ryan Lowe provided a combination of power and subtlety as Wednesday proved too good for the League One newcomers across the board and earned a victory that was more convincing than the score may suggest.
It also raised this thought: Was this the front two that Gary Megson had in mind when he was chasing both players in the summer, and before Madine conjured up a transformation in his form?
What is certain is that the club now seem to have a formidable strike force. Megson acknowledged: “Ryan played great; Chris played ever so well. Clinton Morrison is back - he looked sharp as well - and we’ve got Gary Madine.
“We’re fortunate to have four strikers of such quality. This is Sheffield Wednesday, and we’ve got to have it.”
Wednesday, throughout the team, produced just the right tonic after the jolt of the unfortunate defeat at Carlisle, by going at Wycombe from the start and showing them who was boss.
Milestones of Jose Semedo’s first goal since he signed, and Lowe’s goal on his full debut were accompanied by O’Grady’s best game for the club.
There was also something of a renaissance for Mark Reynolds: a surprise selection at left back, with Reda Johnson ruled out by a groin injury suffered in training, and Julian Bennett picked only on the bench after playing at Carlisle. The Scot who was once criticised by Megson for not taking his chance did so this time, with a thoroughly competent performance.
The manager said: “That’s the first time Mark has played and we have won. I shouldn’t have criticised when I did, but we shouldn’t have players who play that amount of games [eight League starts before Saturday] and we don’t win. but I’m really pleased he’s been part of that, and he did well.”
Lowe’s goal, a header from a cross by Jose Semedo, was his eighth of the season (including seven for Bury) and came after he had expressed determination to seize his opportunity if he was in the side.
He celebratory hug with Paul Smith was a thank-you for the way the physio helped him back to fitness after his ankle injury.
Lowe - who was taken off in the second half because of a touch lof cramp - also showed some thoughtful, skilful football, and when his shot came back off a post it made a chance that was smartly taken by Semedo.
Danny Batth must have enjoyed himself as well on Saturday, for he was in commanding form at the back, yet even he could prevent a terrific goal from 15-year-old debut-making striker Jordan Ibe, who showed pace and the fearlessness of youth, especially when he beat Rob Jones, drifted just out of Batth’s reach and hammered home a shot that I thought was unstoppable.
Megson commented: “It was a good goal, but he shouldn’t have been allowed to get there, and I would expect Stephen to get a stronger hand on that.
“We were having a laugh and I said I’ve got suits older than that! He did really well, good luck to the kid. It’s good for Wycombe that he’s got that potential. He didn’t look out of place.”
Ibe shared his celebration, too, with his mum, but for leaving the pitch and leaning over the perimeter wall to hug her was handed a petty booking, in accordance with the rules.
Gareth Ainsworth fell foul of officialdom, his second, fair booking coming when the game was already slipping away from Wycombe, and so did Megson, whose dismissal in injury time was an irritation rather than a major blot on a happy afternoon.
Megson reflected: “I’d been told a few times - I must accept that - that I was going over the [technical area] line towards the touchline.
“I think somebody complained about my language, which I always try to apologise for, because it’s not acceptable.
“But when a free kick’s given to a team with 10 men, it’s an opportunity for them to score; it’s not the referee’s fault, it’s a stupid rule, with us having to bring off our best header of the ball; we’ve all had worse cuts while shaving.
“Then they wanted a new shirt; I got a shirt; it wasn’t the right shirt; I got the hump and threw it down.”
Jones stayed off and was replaced in the third minute of stoppage time by Julian Bennett, who went to left back with Reynolds switching to centre half for the last few moments.
It would have been a travesty if Wednesday had been caught out at the death, by losing Jones.
In the first half there were chances of varying difficulty for Chris Lines, James O’Connor and O’Grady, and Lewis Buxton should have a penalty when he was brought down.
In the second half, O’Grady was inches away from the top corner with a shot on the turn and had a goal chalked off for offside; Ben Marshall hit the bar with a 25-yard free kick, and Jones headed over the top but Wednesday still made it 10 points from their last five away games.