As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Rare bird spotted in Herefordshire

2 days ago / Sally Boyce

A RARE bird sighted in Herefordshire could well cause some twitter among spotters.

The robin-sized black redstart, photographed by a reader in the Golden Valley, is a “very rare” sight in the county, according to Herefordshire Wildlife Trust.

With fewer than 100 breeding pairs in the UK, the black redstart is on the the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ endangered red list.

A continental bird, in this country the black redstart has adapted to living in industrial and urban areas. Its name comes from the plumage of the male, a grey-black colour with a red tail. Their decline has put them on the official red list of birds of conservation concern.

“Seeing a black redstart here in Herefordshire is exciting,” said HWT expert, John Clark. “They are very rare, the only places they tend to breed are on building sites in London.

“They tend to prefer upland areas and dry, rocky habitats.”

The location of the county sighting was an area of uncultivated pastureland.

John advised the reader to record spotting the black redstart as an official sighting for the county with the British Trust for Ornithology.

“It is important to record such sightings of birds not commonly found in Herefordshire,” he said.

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