|That tiny colourful blob in the middle of the photo is a male Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus).|
After walking up and down the track for a bit, it eventually hopped out from a dense bank of Hawthorn onto the path and did so on and off for the half hour we were there. The fact that it was a male individual made it a bit special, just because of the fantastic colouration. We got good views of the fine rusty tail, which it flicked up and down while on the deck, its bluish upperside and the gorgeous dark facial plumage contrasting with the frosty white 'eyebrow'! It's not hard to see why this bird attracted the taxonomic latin name of phoenicurus - with that sooty face and fiery red underside it could be reminiscent of the mythical Phoenix.
|I didn't take this photo (can you tell?!) Male Redstart up close. Image by Rayh via GoogleImages|
Small, Robin-sized Redstarts are summer visitors to Britain from Africa, and are more commonly found in west coast deciduous/Oak forests. A pretty scarce passage bird in Kent so nice to catch up with this one.
Thanks to Jason for the tip.
*Update - London gets in on the Redstart action! Check it out: www.solomig.blogspot.com