Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Redstart.

Redstart with food
Redstart Brian Rafferty

Having visited Barbondale again yesterday I was reminded of just how easy it is to see the Redstart here, in fact a quick count would bring me to suggest this area to be one of the very best in our locality for finding at least 25 species - some of which I'd say were of desirable bird sightings to many a birder - in an hours stroll along the path for not much more than a half mile from the footbridge to the plantation entrance gate and return. 

Whitethroat Warren Baker

The male Redstart must surely be one of the most striking and colourful birds to grace our shores in the summer, but there was a collapse in the population during 1965-75, which is thought to have resulted from drought conditions in the Sahel zone of Africa, these conditions also severely affected the Whitethroat. But the following 20 years saw an almost doubling of the population of Redstarts, though this level is still below the peak of the1960's. A general rise in both clutch and brood sizes appears to have been behind the recovery of the Redstart,and in common with other short distance migrants, the laying date has apparently advanced since the 1980's.

Interestingly, the Redstart in Ireland has always been a scarce and sporadic breeder, with rarely more than one or two pairs and not in every year, otherwise the bird is a scarce passage migrant in spring and autumn in Ireland. Most of the Redstarts we see here during the summer months winter in the Sahel zone of Africa, whilst some are in S Arabian peninsula.

Thanks for the Redstart/Whitethroat BR/WB.

And finally, well not quite....

Dipper David Cookson

The flying Dipper....thanks DC.

And this time, finally....

I was both amazed and disappointed that a pair of Cetti's Warblers having created a first breeding record a Leighton Moss this year had to rely on a local newspaper to break the news about them posing the question....Have the 'newscasters' within the ornithological societies lost interest in what their members/birders would dearly like to know on the news front, or is this what we call suppression and if it is, in the case of this excellent and exciting record....why?  


Brian Rafferty said...

Pete. Nice to see you had another enjoyable day at Barbondale with the redstarts etc. Thanks for the image and info re this bonny bird.

Warren Baker said...

I did at least get a passage Redstart visit my patch this spring Pete, who knows it may have been on the way up to you! :-)