This Black Red­start is a reg­u­lar gar­den vis­i­tor

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

QI was in­ter­ested to read in Bird Watch­ing re­cently that Black Red­starts are sum­mer vis­i­tors and only a few over­win­ter. I took the at­tached photo of one in my gar­den in East­bourne, East Sus­sex on 27 Jan­uary. I saw its rump clearly, be­fore it turned around to pose for its photo, and it was def­i­nitely rus­set. I have seen them be­fore in my gar­den, I did not re­alise they are scarce. Mar­i­lyn De­war, via email

AThat’s a great bird to get in your gar­den, and it’s even bet­ter that they’re reg­u­lar. The pale grey plumage sug­gests that it’s a young bird, yet to moult into its adult plumage. Although Black Red­starts are scarce in the UK, they may be a lit­tle more com­mon than we re­alise – be­cause they of­ten fre­quent ur­ban habi­tats, and be­cause their song and calls aren’t fa­mil­iar to many bird­ers (un­like on the con­ti­nent where they’re very wide­spread), there’s some sug­ges­tion that they pass un­no­ticed in some of our towns and cities.

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