Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Obliging Redstart.

Last Friday morning we drove into East Sussex to enable Anita to attend a craft event at Crowborough and with the chance of some half decent weather I took the opportunity to revisit Old Lodge Nature Reserve.

With views across the Ashdown Forest the reserve habitat is a mixture of heathland, woodland and small pools that support a very varied selection of wildlife including a dozen species of Odonata.
On this visit I saw one or two damselflies and views of any dragonflies were also scarce as they tend to emerge here some three or four weeks later due to the colder temperature of the water.


This site is a stronghold for several avian species, including Tree Pipit and Common Redstart and while listening to Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers I saw both my target species within the first 15 minutes but it took another hour before one special species provided an opportunity to enjoy a close encounter.

As I climbed out of the deep valley I noticed a male Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) using a fence post as a perch in between its search for insects so I promptly found a spot to park myself and waited and watched.

On a couple of occasions it flew away from the fence line and used a dead snag as a perch, just a little too far away for a really good close up, but after a while that situation changed.

This delightful but 'Amber listed' bird gets its name from its fiery-red tail which it constantly flicks and also fans out during its courtship displays.

Originally categorised within the Chat and Thrush (Turdidae) family it is now considered to belong to the Old world flycatchers (Muscicapidae).

This male was obviously feeding a young brood by finding plenty of insects in the grass beneath its perch then flying off but regularly returning to the same spot providing me with some of the best views I've ever enjoyed.

Every so often he would just stop and rest on one of the fence posts and occasionally treat me to a burst of song so I have included below a sonogram by Patrick Aberg in Sweden and you will also hear Willow Warbler and Chaffinch in the background.




More images from this session can be seen HERE and I'll be sharing some other wildlife seen during this brief visit in a future post. FAB.

26 comments:

  1. Wow, great shots Frank, I have never seen a male. Such colouring.

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  2. They're reminiscent of robins, but not quite, huh?
    Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/06/island-welcome-labadee-haiti.html

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  3. I agree with NC Sue. They do remind me of Robins, just a bit. Beautiful bird!

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  4. Beautiful shots and bird song.

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  5. Lovely bird singing a cheerful song.

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  6. A handsome bird, terrific photos!

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  7. Wonderful images Frank. I have only ever seen them in books.

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  8. What a handsome catch, Frank! A beautiful bird that until now was only heard of....:)JP

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  9. WOW! Hes was very accommodating to post so well for you Frank.

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  10. You certainly were at the right place at the right time! Great pics!

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  11. Wow,these are superb captures Frank,your last image is my favourite.
    John.

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  12. Hello, Your Redstart is a beautiful bird. Wonderful series of photos. Enjoy your day!

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  13. A cracking bird Frank...and it posed beautifully for you too. Some days are good days and they don't come much better than this...[;o)

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  14. That busy father was kind to pose for you in the midst of his labors! It's a beautiful bird!

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  15. It's one of my Summer favourites Frank. I so look forward to hearing that song.Beautiful pictures as always.

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  16. Lovely photos - he posed so nicely for you and even showed off lunch for the kids!

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  17. Fantastic shots, Frank! A beauty!

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  18. What a handsome bird! Great captures.

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  19. Lovely bird and I appreciate listening to the calls. I hope I keep my hearing as hearing problems run in the family and I want to keep enjoying the calls that I hear in the yard and back in the woods...Michelle

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  20. Frank, it is interesting to me that your redstart is considered to be in the flycatcher family. We have 2 species of redstarts here in the U.S. and ours are both warblers! But, they also flick their wings and tail to flash their colors! Birds are so amazing and I still have so much to learn! I am glad you were able to get such lovely views and photos of this beautiful bird!

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  21. The redstart is lovely! Love your photos.

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  22. the redstart is a lovely bird.

    beautiful photos.

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

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