Since I started this blog each year I have had the chance to make and record some fascinating observations. The first year it was a family of ducklings that hatched and were led by their mother to the river and the challenges of surviving nature and its dangers Alas this year the mother reappeared but she didn’t establish a nest and I have not spotted any ducklings.
Last year I obseved a family of bluetits which nested in a jug and all fledglings hatched and happily flew into the outside World. This year the tits have nested in the nesting box fixed to a tree and the parents have been happily flitting back and forth and seem very contented with their new home.
This year after watching a pair of busy redstarts it became apparent that they had decided to build a nest in the eaves of the covered terrace. Redstarts are immediately identifiable by their bright orange-red tails, which they often quiver. Breeding males look smart, with slate grey upper parts, black faces and wings, and an orange rump and chest. Females, like the one I photographed on her nest and young are duller. Redstarts ‘bob’ in a very robin-like manner, but spend little time at ground level. They are commonly seen in Wales, but usually around London but if you are in Europe or travelling outside London look out for them as they are charming little birds with a sweet song. They were thought to be in the thrush family but are now thought to be part of the old world flycatcher family and are cousins to robins and nightingales. Infact name start comes from the Old English word fot tail, steort. According to the RSPB The redstart is included on the Amber List as a species with unfavourable conservation status in Europe where it is declining, which made me feel happy to be providing a home for this family.
Then to my delight while the the mother had briefly left the nest I took a sneaky peep in the nest and discovered that the fledglings were beginning to hatch and I was able to take a short video to share:-