Yesterday I got a text off my birding pal Dave, saying he’d found two black redstarts at Langsett. Although I don’t doubt Dave’s ID skills in the slightest, I must admit a slight degree of scepticism due to to the rarity of this species in the area, but sure enough he emailed me some cracking pics and sure enough black redstarts they were!
I managed to persuade my long-suffering wife to be my birding taxi this morning, and sure enough we found at least one of the birds in the same place as they were found, and their proud finder back for a second look! The birds weren’t quite as showy as when Dave found them, but they were present and correct, with one posing quite nicely for a while on the dry stone wall, its slate-grey body camouflaging perfectly until it flicked its tell-tale red tail. Regular readers of this blog will know the species was my biggest “bogey bird”, so it’s nice to get that one on the list!
Sadly they were too far away for photos today, but here’s one of Dave’s from yesterday, used with permission. A lovely shot, I’m sure you’ll all agree!
(picture copyright Dave Simmonite 2010)
The question remains – are these birds just moving through the area on passage, or have they been breeding in the farm buildings here, unnoticed until now? Either way, it’s great to finally find one of these stunning birds, especially so close to home!