This Black Redstart is a regular garden visitor
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.