• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Redstart, West Cork, Ireland (1 Viewer)

My first impression seeing this bird yesterday was Common Redstart, but on reviewing the photos I took, I’m thinking more towards Black. The amount of white in the wing seems unusual either way. I’d be grateful for others’ opinions.
 

Attachments

  • 9C4942BB-5D7D-43C4-9CF5-B025631C4A3F.jpeg
    9C4942BB-5D7D-43C4-9CF5-B025631C4A3F.jpeg
    6.3 MB · Views: 196
  • 9D9D6C28-DB5B-430B-B86D-FFF59AFBC4AB.jpeg
    9D9D6C28-DB5B-430B-B86D-FFF59AFBC4AB.jpeg
    6.3 MB · Views: 197

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello,
I agree with Lou and ApusApus, its a Black Redstart. And I agree with you, such a distinct, contrasting whitish panel formed by tertials (and some secondaries, too. hard to judge here, ) is notable in your bird.
Apart from this, your bird has the typical smooth mouse-grey body with some warmer brownish tinge in the ear-coverts of female/"cairii-morph” males.
But such a distinct pale wing panel is a sign of some 1 cy males. I have looked at Black Redstarts this summer/autumn, and I am quite sure, that your bird can be identified as a male with confidence.(can older males look like this, such uniform mouse-grey with warm brown ear-coverts?)
More, it seems to have a distinct, narrow wingbar of the greater coverts. Some Black Redstarts in autumn have this, some not. But I dont know, what to make of it.

Please look here:
Nicolai B, Schmidt C, Schmidt F-U (1996) Gefiedermerkmale, Maße und Alterskennzeichen des. Hausrotschwanzes Phoenicurus ochruros.
available here: Limicola: Downloads
 
Last edited:

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Lou and all,

does this mean, that this bird here can identified as a male with confidence?
More, can it identified as a 1cy male with confidence? Or can older (2 cy or even older) males look like this bird?

Thank you!
 

KenM

Well-known member
Hello Lou and all,

does this mean, that this bird here can identified as a male with confidence?
More, can it identified as a 1cy male with confidence? Or can older (2 cy or even older) males look like this bird?

Thank you!
It does look extremely pale?
Am wondering if it’s a female of the Eastern race samamisicus?

Cheers
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
It does look extremely pale?
Am wondering if it’s a female of the Eastern race samamisicus?

Cheers
Hello Ken,

please note that samamisicus is a ssp of Common Redstart, while this bird is a Black Redstart. My question was about the pale wing-panel. I agree with you, such a contrasting and evident wing panel is at the extreme end of variation in such female-type autumn birds from Germany. Male-looking Black Redstarts in autumn with a darker, blackish grey (vs smooth mouse-grey like this bird) and a contrasting real black face mask almost allways have a more contrasting, whitish wing panel.

Thank you Butty! Thats what I wanted to know!
 

KenM

Well-known member
Hello Ken,

please note that samamisicus is a ssp of Common Redstart, while this bird is a Black Redstart.
Alexander hi,

It wasn’t the white edging to the tertials that concerned me, I have seen this on a number of species, presumably “immature” male and females can show this condition?

The general paleness of the bird is not something that I’ve seen in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.
Indeed, trawling the net for images of such a pale type as the OP’s bird left me struggling to find a match.
Eventually finding one that (was still darker) prompted me to compare pale female samamisicus that seemed more compatible?
I’m still in the dark as to why the consensus is Black Redstart and if it is, would it not be of an Eastern race ochruros or semirufus?

Cheers
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Thank you Ken.

that was my question. As said, such a contrasting pale (whitish) wingpanel is at the extreme end of variation in autumn female-plumaged Black Redstart. And my question was, if this is enough to sex it as a male with confidence (or if females can show this to this extent, too). And if this is enough to ID it as a 1cy male? No, 2 cy males can look like this, thank you Butty!

Regarding the paleness of this bird. Yes, this bird is slightly paler than an 100% ID-book female-type Black Redstart in autumn. But its within variation and the smooth mousegrey tone and the warmer brown hues in the face (in many less evident in fresh plumaged autumn birds) is very good for a Black Redstart.

If you can cope with bad picture quality, I am happy to upload one for you.

I hope it doesnt come out as an offense, that I repeat my previous post in this thread. But I looked at this species more closely again this summer and autumn and I am still interested (as with every ID-topic).

Conclusion? Thanks Butty and Ken to date!

Edit: please note, that my comments are only about birds, that have completed their late summer/autumn moult and no juvenile or male-typed autumn birds. And this bird here is not in juvenile plumage.
 
Last edited:

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello,
here is slightly warmer than normal hued bird: (01.10.2021, Fienerode, NE-Germany)
https://flic.kr/p/2mCMtPs all Hausrotschwanz 01.10.2021

and here is a slightly paler and very slightly warmer bird than normal: Hausrotschwanz Ziesar BB (03.09.2021, Ziesar, NE-Germany)

Another Black Redstart from yesterday: https://flic.kr/p/2mCMerK (20.10.2021, Schwetzinger Wiesen, SW-Germany)

And thank you Grahame! If presence/absence and intensity of the pale wing-panel is due to individual variation, rather than sex-related, than I am happy to learn. As said, I thought, fresh autumn birds with a striking pale, even whitish panel could well been sexed as males with confidence. But I was wrong.
Interesting thread, where I learned much. Thank you to all!
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

Users who are viewing this thread

Top