Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A sign of the times?

So there I was down on the saltmarsh at Sudbrook, with my 'I-Spy' book (remember them - an age definer if you do) of Flotsam and Jetsam, looking for some interesting discarded or lost items to photograph. There were plenty there, mostly common or garden plastic species, but the odd nice bit of glassware. The problem was this bird kept getting in on the act.

But wait - was that a flash of red?

Look it was.
Yeah, okay, nonsense over. I had found the young male black redstart I was seeking. In time with a bit of patience (just letting him come to me) his inquisitiveness got the better of him, and I had good views.
They're not common residents in the UK, being mainly a bird of 'rocky montane', but after the war they were known as the bomb-site bird. They liked the ruins which stood in for their rocky habitat.
Reading the section in Birds Britannica, one paragraph caught my eye:

'Certainly (the habitat) loses its ecological value once it is redeveloped as happened in the London dockland area, once a stronghold for black redstarts. It is not surprising to find that the fortunes of both bird and habitat have tended to fluctuate in inverse proportion to the national economy. Both tend to be squeezed at times of boom and inner city regeneration, and thrive when there is a slow-down. The black redstart thus acquires another strange symbolism: it is the bird of economic depression.'

Sadly I guess we may see a few more.

As always better quality shots can be seen HERE in the latest pictures album

No comments: