Monday 6 January 2014

Black Redstart and little else

6th January 2014 - Topsham Recreation Ground

There's little to be seen at the Rec right now, the high water levels mean the large gulls aren't loafing on the river as they should - spoiling my expectations of a nice white-winger. The weather isn't helping either - wind, rain and low light make photography difficult. The long-staying Water Pipit seems to have gone but has been repaced by a Black Redstart which has taken up temporary residence on the flotsam at the north end of the field. It's almost as nervous as the pipit but at least doesn't disappear for long when disturbed; hopping over the fence into the gardens and then often reappearing a few minutes later.

Black Redstart -Topsham 4/1/2014

Black Redstart -Topsham 6/1/2014

Black Redstart -Topsham 6/1/2014

This is presumably the same bird that was first seen on the 7th December by my good friend from Japan, Yusuke Umegaki, though where it's been in the intervening three weeks I've no idea. Since I first saw it on New Year's Eve it's been present and easily found on every visit. It's my first for the site and a good bird for Topsham - I just wish it was a little more confiding.

As to its age and sex, all I can say for sure is it's clearly not an adult male. Adult females and most first year birds are all but identical in the field (some males can be told as such but this isn't one of them). However, from some angles it does show a hint of a pale patch on the secondary and tertial fringes which has got me wondering...

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