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Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros (L 14cm) has benefited from urban sprawl and indeed often thrives in areas where industrial dereliction prevails. It is a bold bird that perches conspicuously, quivering striking red tail in an obvious manner. Adult males are particularly striking, with slate-grey body plumage darkest on the face and breast. By comparison, female and immature birds are rather drab, with mainly grey-brown body plumage. In a strange way, the Black Redstart’s song sometimes match its surroundings and includes curious crackling, static-like phrases. Between 50 and 100 pairs attempt to nest here each year but the species is more numerous as a passage migrant and occasional winter visitor to south coasts.
- © PAUL STERRY/Nature Photographers
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- Contained in galleries