Black Redstart – first and last dates

Phoenicurus ochruros – TINGOCH DU – Winter visitor and passage migrant

All records since 1981.

YearLast recordFirst recordNotes
198118 April24 Oct
198215 May17 Sept1
198320 June22 October
198420 May20 August
198528 May13 Oct
198629 April13 Sept
198727 April24 Sept
198819 April9 Sept
19899 June26 Oct
19907 May27 Sept
199126 April12 Oct
199229 May7 Oct
19936 June2 Sept
199413 June7 Oct
19955 June16 Sept
199616 June18 Sept
19976 July19 Oct2
199816 May26 Aug
19993 May13 Oct
200020 May22 Sept
20015 May23 Sept
20029 April29 Sept3
200321 April4 August
20046 May25 Oct
200513 May16 Oct
200617 April15 Oct
20071 June2 Oct
20089 June26 Oct
200928 April17 Oct4
201014 June7 Oct
201124 April4 Sept
201229 March24 Oct
201313 June1 Nov
20143 July 1 Oct5
20159 July11 Oct6
201611 July13 Oct7
201712 June15 Oct
20183-4 July17 Oct8
201910 July22 Oct
202028 May15 Oct9

Notes

(1) 1982 – An unprecedented Black Redstart event for our county was of no less than 111 recorded from 38 localities in early November – 54 of which were located in one day in the Castlemartin peninsula. Numbers gradually reduced through November, and by December they were found only at Stackpole, Bosherston and Strumble Head.

(2) 1997 – Late record of a female on Skokholm

(3) 2002 – twelve black redstarts known to have over-wintered

(4) 2009 – Excellent year for records of this species in spring. In autumn, widespread between 17 Oct and 25 Dec with a peak in the last week of Oct, max of 9 at Bosherston

(5) 2014 – A bird at the Farm on 3rd July was unseasonable (Skokholm Annual Report)

(6) 2015 – Late record on Ramsey

(7) 2016 – An adult male on the Little Neck on 11th July was unseasonable; the only other July records have been singles in 2014, 2011, 1997 and 1976. (Skokholm Annual Report)

(8) 2018 – Late record on Skomer

(9) 2019 – An adult female, around the Observatory buildings on the 10th, was only the sixth island record in July. (Skokholm Annual Report)


Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports, which may contain more detail than shown here.

More about the Black Redstart in Pembrokeshire

Black Redstart – 2019

Phoenicurus ochruros – TINGOCH DU – Winter visitor and passage migrant

The Black Redstart is found over most of Europe and parts of Asia in sparsely vegetated rocky areas, often at high altitudes. It is resident in parts of its range and migratory in others (HBW). In Wales, it is mainly a passage migrant and winter visitor.

There are few ringing recoveries involving Wales.  However, the BTO Migration Atlas indicates that birds migrate through the UK between their wintering grounds around the Western Mediterranean, and breeding areas on mainland Europe, particularly the Netherlands, Belgium and France, and further east.  Some birds stay for the winter, though it is not clear if these are mainly birds that have bred in Britain, or are continental ones.

The majority of records are from coastal sites, though as the map shows, there is a scattering of sightings across the county even in mid-winter.

This map was produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre using data collected between November and February for the BTO Atlas 2007-11, with additional data collected in 2011-12 winter to fill gaps in coverage.

Most records come from Skokholm and Skomer Islands, where data is gathered on a daily basis.  However, as the islands are not normally occupied during the winter, there are few over-wintering records from them.

Only a handful of mainland records have been entered into BirdTrack each year, although this has increased to 20-30 in the last three years.

Mainland records in dark green, Island records in lighter green

The graph shows the cumulative number of records (not the number of birds) entered into BirdTrack since 1980. Although BirdTrack did not exist in 1980, a lot of data, especially from the island bird logs, has been added retrospectively.

Migration peaks show clearly. It has usually started by the time the islands are re-occupied in early March (week 11) and continues until the end of May for spring migration. Autumn passage starts in mid-September (week 41), continuing at least until the end of November.

2009 was an exceptional year for black redstarts seen on the mainland, with up to a dozen recorded on several days during October, and up to twenty in a day noted on the sightings blog.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

References:

BALMER D, GILLINGS S, CAFFREY B, SWANN B, DOWNIE I, FULLER R. 2014. Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland.  HarperCollins.  UK

HBW – Handbook of the Birds of the World

LACK P. 1986.  The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

LOVEGROVE R, WILLIAMS G, WILLIAMS I. 1994.  Birds in Wales. T & A. D. Poyser, London

Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

WERNHAM. C, TOMS. M, MARCHANT. J, CLARK. J, SIRIWARDENA. G, BAILLIE. S. 2002. The Migration Atlas, Movements of the birds of Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

More about the Black Redstart in Pembrokeshire

Black Redstart – 1994

Phoenicurus ochruros – TINGOCH DU – Winter visitor and passage migrant

Mathew (1894) listed several occurrences of Black Redstart and noted them annually in autumn at Tenby. Lockley et al. (1949) regarded the bird as a regular winter visitor and noted a March passage with as many as 50 at Skokholm in 1948.

A few still winter in coastal areas, such as Stackpole and the Deer Park, towns, including Haverfordwest, and industrial sites such as the Texaco oil refinery at Rhoscrowther. There is a small spring passage between 16 March and the end of May, with occasional stragglers until 29 June. Usually only one to three birds are seen at each locality, and these are predominantly coastal, including Ceibwr, Strumble Head and St Govan’s Head, and on the islands of Skomer and Skokholm.

Autumn passage, which extends from mid- October to the end of November, is very variable. In some years very few appear while in others birds are more widespread; occasionally exceptional numbers occur such as the 54 counted on the Castlemartin peninsula on 24 October 1982 (111 birds were seen in 38 localities in coastal Pembrokeshire during that month). Occasionally birds are seen in July, August and September.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the Black Redstart in Pembrokeshire

Black Redstart – 1980s winter

Phoenicurus ochruros – TINGOCH DU – Winter visitor and passage migrant

he BTO winter atlas shows the 10km squares where Black Redstarts were recorded during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84.

The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square. The darkest blue represents over 3 birds seen in a day.

Mainly recorded around buildings.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Black Redstart in Pembrokeshire

Black Redstart – 1894

Ruticilla titys

A winter visitor, not common. From its extent of coast Pembrokeshire appears to be peculiarly suited to this species, and it has occurred both on the northern and the southern shores of the county. In the north it has been seen several times and shot by Sir Hugh Owen at Goodwick: “Single specimens on the moors in hard weather.” In the south, the Rev. Clennell Wilkinson has seen it in his garden at Castle Martin. Mr. Tracy mentions two examples that occurred in the autumn of 1847; one killed by Mr. George Hughes, of the Coburg Hotel, Tenby, on the eaves of the hotel; the other by himself, with an air cane, loaded with small shot on the water trough of his neighbour’s house in Pembroke; and Mr. Dix was informed by him that he considered the species a regular winter visitor to Pembroke, where it might be seen frequenting the walls of the old castle. There is an example of the Black Redstart in the Mathias Collection in the Tenby Museum. Mr. Charles Jefferys informs us that he used to see one or two Black Redstarts every autumn at Tenby, but for several years has failed to see or hear of any.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Black Redstart in Pembrokeshire

Black Redstart

Phoenicurus ochruros – TINGOCH DU – Winter visitor and passage migrant

Black Redstart – 2019

Phoenicurus ochruros – TINGOCH DU – Winter visitor and passage migrant The Black Redstart is found over most of Europe and parts of Asia in sparsely vegetated rocky areas, often at high altitudes. It is resident in parts of its range and migratory in others (HBW). In Wales, it is mainly a passage migrant and […]

Black Redstart – 1994

Phoenicurus ochruros – TINGOCH DU – Winter visitor and passage migrant Mathew (1894) listed several occurrences of Black Redstart and noted them annually in autumn at Tenby. Lockley et al. (1949) regarded the bird as a regular winter visitor and noted a March passage with as many as 50 at Skokholm in 1948. A few still winter […]

Black Redstart – 1980s winter

Phoenicurus ochruros – TINGOCH DU – Winter visitor and passage migrant he BTO winter atlas shows the 10km squares where Black Redstarts were recorded during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square. The darkest blue represents over 3 birds seen in a day. […]

Black Redstart – 1894

Ruticilla titys A winter visitor, not common. From its extent of coast Pembrokeshire appears to be peculiarly suited to this species, and it has occurred both on the northern and the southern shores of the county. In the north it has been seen several times and shot by Sir Hugh Owen at Goodwick: “Single specimens on the moors in […]