In praise of Black Redstarts

"When a man is tired of Black Redstarts, he is tired of birding." So said Samuel Johnson (or at least something like that...)

Another day of mild south-easterlies although the birds were thinner on the ground. There were at least 20 Black Redstarts around the point and it was a joy to sit in the sun and watch them - normally in groups of 3-5 birds - as they flitted between patches of broom, garden outbuildings and fence posts. I could do this all day and not get bored.

I have come to the conclusion that chats are my favourite birds. Especially if we include Wheatears in with them. What's not to like about Common and Black Redstarts, Stonechats and Whinchats? They are colourful and confiding, mostly migrants so have that extra special dollop of wonder, can turn up unexpectedly even in the most hostile of places and sometimes arrive en masse as a part of unforgettable happenings.

If there is nothing else to look at tomorrow, bar one of these red-tailed flicking beauties, I'll be happy.


I didn't think we had them round here but some snapped one in the Maun Valley! I'll need to practice a lot more to spot a redstart of any kind.

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