Saturday, 10 October 2020

Borough Hill, Daventry :: 10 October 2020

I set off to see if the long-staying black redstart at Borough Hill, Daventry would give itself up, or if it would be another Saturday morning curse. Just when I was about to enter Byfield from Banbury, around 8 red-legged partridge scattered from the road as I approached; they were a bit slow and so I had quite a good view.

As was the case when I visited last time, there was a wind blowing but it wasn't very cold. Boots on and camera locked-and-loaded I set off in search of the "eastern perimeter fence". I turned at the end of the metal fence hoping for a view but nothing showed, until @987jonty appeared from the other end of the facility. We chatted and watched linnet, meadow pipit, stonechat and a kestrel around us.

Black redstart

We split and headed in opposite directions to see what we could find. As I reached the far end of the fence I flushed a single bird between me and the fence - I watched it circle and raised my bins to see it land out in the field. I could swear it had a red/orange flash at the rear.

Meadow pipit

Heading back I saw a bird fly off toward where @987jonty stood. I got closer and could see the black redstart on the fence to his left and that he hadn't yet spotted it. I attracted his attention and pointed to where the bird was showing - in 30s we both had cameras on it.

Black redstart

Black redstart

We watched as it hopped arond various structures and fences and then again as it fed around two concrete pads. It turned out to be quite a showy bird. Eventually @987jonty had to go as he had only planned for a short drop-in visit.

Black redstart

I followed the bird around for a while with views in several different spots: from trees, in scrub, on walls and on the ground. I also searched around hoping for another bird on migration but no other species were showing.

This was a very productive area and I'm sure any remaining passage will be good here.

Sightings for today included: black redstart, blue tit, carrion crow, chaffinch, cormorant, goldfinch, kestrel, magpie, meadow pipit, reed bunting, robin, skylark, stonechat, woodpigeon and wren.

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