Walking to work this morning I saw what I thought was a large thrush from the back, but then I glimpsed a large red chest, so I took a double take - certainly nothing that I'd seen before. It had a clear dash of white under its eye, a dark head, and was on frosted grass beside a suburban road in Leeds, West Yorkshire. I am very far from a bird expert, but having been looking at pictures of red breasted birds, it absolutely looks like an American Robin - except that the white dash under the eye was a straight line, whereas in pictures it seems curved; and I didn't notice white above the eye. What else might it have been? I understand that American Robins are extremely rare in the UK, though not unknown, so it's far more likely to have been something else. Any ideas?
Hi Claym, the nearest I can guess to what you saw is possibly a male Stonechat - take a look HERE
My Flickr. photo link HERE
In reply to HAZY:
Thank you so much for the reply! :) I have to say it didn't look very much like this - no large patches of white at all on the front of the body and the body shape was more extended. I genuinely thought it was a thrush from the back.
In reply to Claym:
Did it look anything like this thrush ............it is a Redwing which visit during winter months; they are the smallest of the thrushes.
Thanks once again!! The chest was a deep red like a garden robin, not speckled at all; the red extended right down the chest. There wasn't red on the side. There weren't any speckled markings as on the belly of this redwing. the plumage on the back was darker - not black but a bit darker than this. The white under the eye was striking - a jab of white which was much shorter than what you can see over the eye of this bird, and a much brighter white. But this is a much better shape and stance than the stone chat - but it was slightly more upright and slightly bigger, perhaps. I don't think the beak had a curve like you can see here, but it may have done. I'm all agog for more suggestions!!
Fingers crossed that other members on here can come up with ideas; it is difficult without a photo to go on, even a bad photo can be good enough for some of the experts on here (I'm not one of them though ! )
Thank you!! I'm kicking myself that I didn't take a picture. I was startled and intrigued but my mind was full of work stuff and I just thought I'd check it out later. Thank you very much for your suggestions. :)
I'm no help without a photo, but with there being very few red breasted birds in the UK the only other thing I can think of, was it an escapee from someones collection.
Just another thought though it doesn't give an ID was the sun on it making the colours richer than normal?
My Flickr photos
In reply to Alan.:
I have to say my first thought when I saw it was -I've absolutely never seen anything like that before, has it escaped from someone. The sun was shining, yes, though I can't remember it being in bright light. Perhaps the sunlight made the white under its eye more striking? The red was clear, though.
If you are back that way monday you will have to keep a lookout in the same area to see if it is still there.
Yep, I only generally go that way once a week but I'm thinking I might make a special trip tomorrow!
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654