A Redstart - as it should look [taken last year]
One of today's fighters, during a brief rest
There was no question that today’s star bird was a Redstart- again seen by both groups. One male Redstart is special enough in East Yorkshire, but today we had 2. They were in conflict over a territory, as they chased each other round & round the same area, and on one occasion 4 times round the same Hawthorn tree one circuit after another. These birds were obviously tiring themselves out & were concentrating so hard on each other that they failed to be aware of a Sparrowhawk, which made an attempt to interrupt the fight. However, the Sparrowhawk suddenly became aware of the audience & veered away at the last minute. We were pleased that our presence probably meant this most attractive of our woodland birds survived to fight each other for another day! During part of their chase they were joined for several minutes by a paler bird. Without a clear view at first it was assumed to be a female Redstart, but eventually it was discovered to be a Willow Warbler, which just wanted to join in the fun, crazy! I also had a glimpse of one of our host’s Little Owls, but unfortunately, no other class member managed to spot it! Also seen today: Red-legged Partridge (too many to count!), 2 Treecreepers, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Kestrel, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Meadow Pipit & Skylark. The Redstarts were "lifers" for many of those present.