My partner is working on a building site in Alsager near Cheshire and has spotted a pair of birds ? Are they common to the UK?

My partner is working on a building site in Alsager near Cheshire and has spotted a pair of birds which we have identified as Black redstarts. . The first he spotted last week had blue black feathers on the top with white flashes on the flight feathers and a red tail underneath. Today he spotted a similar bird but this time with a yellow tail feathers we think this was the mate of the other the female ??. We have never seen birds like these. Are they common to the UK ?

  • That photo is, as you said, a male black redstart. Uncommon in UK. Most, at this time of year, are migrants. Not rare but uncommon……maybe less than a thousand in UK? Not sure. Not up to date.

  • www.rspb.org.uk/.../
    Black Redstart facts!

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • In reply to Robbo:

    Robbo, the BTO Atlas shows 58 breeding pair in the last atlas and there are records of wintering birds, as you say we are not exactly over run with Black Redstarts.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In fact Black Redstart’s was a bird that was helped by the tragedy of the bombing and the blitz in London and the Black Redstarts started to nest and breed in the ruins of the bombed buildings in London. I will try and find the link to that story.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • www.theguardian.com/.../country-diary-black-redstart-finds-a-home-in-londons-blitzed-ruins-1946
    The story of the Black Redstart finding a home in London’s blitzed ruins. I’ve known about this since the early 1960’s a few years after my interest in birdwatching started in 1958. Had problems getting the link to work. But the link now works.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • thanks for that Ian, I had forgotten that story.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • The Black Redstart also have a nesting/breeding population in Birmingham now as well. The Black Redstart has a smaller nesting population in the UK than the Golden Eagle,Bittern etc. and it’s main nesting/breeding strongholds are in urban London.. Breeding/Nesting population of Black Redstarts is under 100 pairs. A much larger population of Black Redstarts can be seen in the Autumn/Winter period in the UK.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • I actually wonder how many of those that live in London and Birmingham actually know that in those two cities that one of the rarest annual nesting/breeding birds in the UK, the Black Redstart does nest/breed in those cities where they live!

    Regards,

    Ian.

  •   Here are some details, maps of distribution of the Black Redstart in the UK from the RSPB website.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • Hi

    I think the number of breeding pairs is probably under-estimated- it's hard hearing them sing on rooftops in cities !

    S

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