Black Redstart?

Hi, today about 1500hrs I saw a new bird to me in the garden (South Cambridgeshire). It was perched on a low garden light on the edge of the lawn, with charcoal/ash grey plumage, a black beak and I think black legs. What struck me was that the "outer" tail feathers were a reddish-orange under black/grey "inner" tail feathers. A Black Bird appeared and so it was clear the other was much smaller, perhaps Robin size but much more elongated. It also seemed smaller than a young Starling (we have these nesting each year in our garage so am used to them appearing brown-black, but this new bird was a similar size to a juvenile Starling, with similar beak shape but perhaps narrower).

When it flew off it kept low to the ground, with the tail feathers very visible in the flash of flight before it was gone. Was this a Black Redstart?

  • Sorry no one replied to this yesterday. Unfortunately, people learn to avoid verbal desriptions as some of this type of thread unravel. Maybe you saw a black redstart, but impossible to say what it was from a description. Some birds are easier to identify than others, incl when seeing for the first time or very occasionally. However, it depends how skilled the person seeing the bird is and that is impossible to know from one posting (or two now :-) ) IMO, black redstart is one that fits into the unmistakable catagory for adult male, and probably quite mistakeable for a female or juvenile.
  • If it's of any help, here's a photo of a juvenile Black Redstart taken in July of last year.

    My bird photos HERE