Monday, August 30, 2004

Redstart(s) at Ferry Meadows

There has been a string of Redstart records from Ferry Meadows over recent days/weeks. This is a pretty rare species in the PBC area, since (like Pied Flycatcher), it has a westerly breeding distribution in Britain, so we rely on passage migrants being found. Very often, they don't hang around, so these birds represented my best chance yet to get them on my list.

I was ringing at the park on Saturday morning when two birds were showing between Oak/Coney Meadows, but I obviously couldn't get away at that point and I was too tired - and muddy - to go searching immediately afterwards. I tried for them again yesterday, with no luck, so it was third time lucky this evening...

Being a Bank Holiday, FM was busy with barbecues, kite-flying and football, even though the weather was less than ideal, being showery and very windy. I lurked for about 90 minutes in the required spot before I glimpsed a shape flying into the dark depths of a hawthorn bush. I thought 'well, either that was a Robin or a Redstart', and before I could pick my bins up, I saw the bird's tail quivering... Yes!

I spent the next 30 minutes or so watching, but mostly waiting. It was incredibly uncooperative! For about a total of 60 seconds it fed on elderberries out on the side of the hedge, but the rest of the time it was out of view, and there were certainly no digiscoping opportunities. That didn't matter; it was just nice to have picked it up at all.

Mike Weedon would like to point out that he got some photos of the other (first-winter male) Redstart that I didn't see. Click here to see 'em.

What's in my CD player: Gold - Ryan Adams