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Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Black redstart in Canterbury
Black redstart courtesy of Glynn Crocker

Black redstart in Canterbury

Only about 2-15 pairs of black redstarts are reckoned to breed in Kent, almost exclusively around the coast. Originally a bird of rocky habitats, it has transferred its allegiance to concrete structures, particularly those of an industrial nature. So it came as a surprise to hear one singing in the Sun Street and Orange Street area on 1st June, and again on 2nd. No views were obtained, and it isn't known if the bird has a mate. Some thirty or so years ago one or two pairs were located in Canterbury, but so far as I know breeding was not confirmed, and the sites were abandoned. It would be lovely if they returned to the city as regular breeders, adding a distinctly continental air to the prevailing cafe culture of the back streets of Canterbury.