Monday, 14 November 2011

Margate Eastern Black Redstart (13 November 2011)

Sunday 13 November.  I was keen to see the ‘Eastern’ Black Redstart at Margate, particularly after reading David Cooper’s blog, but was concerned that it may not stay.  A family gathering in Hove for my father’s 87th birthday meant I only had the morning free so waiting for news was not an option.  I picked John King up outside Burgess Hill at 05:45 and we arrived at Palm Bay at 07.30 am.  The bird was on view for virtually all the time we were there and we watched it for over two hours before dragging ourselves away.  Also seen was a very dull normal Black Redstart (any other would have looked dull compared to the Eastern but this one appeared to be particularly so) and a colour-ringed petrosus Rock Pipit (black AHP on yellow) ringed 1266km away on 12 August 2011 at Makkevika (Giske Ornithological Station) (62.30N-06.02E), Giske, Møre & Romsdal, Norway.  Despite being from Scandinavia all Rock Pipits at Giske are apparently petrosus rather than littoralis.  This is at variance with the literature (Migration Atlas, Wagtails & Pipits, BWP etc) but those on Giske should know as they are handling birds in the summer when it would be more obvious to which race they belong?  Ring-necked Parakeets were heard a couple of times while we were there and 7 briefly flew out over the cliff edge on one occasion.

Rock Pipit AHP ringed 1266km away in Norway in August

Eastern Black Redstart at Margate, one of the birds of the autumn
Black Redstart at Margate, rarely are they made to look so drab

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