Redstart

Field Paintings

I have been out watching redstarts in the woods over the last week. By 28 April four males have arrived in my study area and one female has been seen so far. I first saw them on 23 April after returning from holiday so they may have been in a few days already. Only one of the males is paired up and I watched the pair go into the same hole as I saw redstarts nesting in last year. The female was building a nest from moss, dead grass and dead oak leaves. The pair sometimes move near a neighbouring male’s territory inciting some chases. At one point one of the males displayed with his tail fanned out. I suspect that the female was close by for him to do this.

The second male paired up on 1st May when they were both investigating a hole in a oak about 70 metres along track from first nest. The female built a nest here and laid 3 eggs before the nest was predated (probably by a grey squirrel) on 11th May.

John Walters

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