Friday, 6 February 2015

Black Redstart Comes to Doonfoot in Ayrshire

The Ayrshire coast sometimes has a Black Redstart visiting during the winter. This year an immature male is living in a small area north of the mouth of the Doon around the gulley where Slaphouse Burn runs onto the beach. Hordes of twitchers and birdwatchers (not the same species) have been to see it just yards from the busy promenade that links Ayr and Doonfoot. Only dogs (the bane of seaside birdwatchers) seem to see it off for a while. It searches for food in the piles of seaweed and we have seen it taking insects from the air as they are disturbed.

I remember seeing a Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) on a bomb site in Fleet Street in London in the mid-1950s before I knew anything about birds or much else for that matter. It is difficult to contemplate that buildings destroyed by bombing had not been replaced by the 1950s but the sites became famous as the place to see Black Redstarts in Britain.

Yesterday my wife had the camera and the bird obliged us with these photographs.