Redstarts 2011

Field Paintings

The settled weather over Europe and north Africa through much of April has led to the early arrival of summer migrant birds.

The first redstart appeared at White Wood about a week ago and there are now 3 males holding territories. I watched this one for three hours as he sang from the tops of the oaks at the edge of the wood- advertising his territory to any females. His short song was occasionally interspersed with snatches of swallow like notes and a perfect mimic of a green woodpecker.

No females have been seen yet but when they appear is the time to catch the amazing display of the male. Determination and a little luck is needed to witness this but it is well worth the effort — one of the most beautiful displays of any British bird — the last week of April is the best time to see it as the females arrive then and nesting begins.

John Walters

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