Returning from my early morning walk today I set about preparing breakfast, and while waiting for the kettle to boil I stood staring out into the back garden. My attention was suddenly focused by the arrival of a Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochuros), its rufous rump unmistakeable as it bobbed along the ground and onto the recently tilled vegetable patch. Struck by its jerking head movements I realized that it had come down to earth in order to devour the prey it must have just plucked from the air. In its beak it held a large white butterfly, the wings of which fluttered on either side of the bird’s head like an enormous snowy moustache. I watched transfixed as the whiteness was swallowed up and the bird regained its poise, all in an eternity of seconds. Then, as suddenly as it had arrived, it was gone, making one more orange salute as it spread its tail feathers in flight.
October 29, 2014 at 14:43
I tried to leave a comment but just in case am repeating.
I found this an interesting diversion from the norm. It reminded me of how much more fascinating it is to look at all the natural things around you as opposed to focus on what your workload is that day!
October 29, 2014 at 14:58
Thanks David. I think it’s important not to let “work” get in the way of life!
October 30, 2014 at 12:47
Here’s a rather fetching photo of the culprit in question:
October 30, 2014 at 12:54
Yep, that’s him
October 30, 2014 at 14:07
Does that mean that you have moved what would appear to be rocks on a Cornish beach into your back garden?
October 30, 2014 at 20:34
Thanks Alan for painting such a vivid picture – think I may look out onto my trees with a little more purpose the next time I make tea. And thanks Tom for the photo as I confess I did not know what it looked like.
November 1, 2014 at 10:13
That back garden, which often is forgotten, has taught us a lot about the life of birds, and lately other creatures too. What a shame I missed this spectacle.
November 1, 2014 at 10:59
And your grasp of our very foreign language is wonderful. The beauty of simple things.
November 2, 2014 at 16:37
I would like to thank my friend Tom Johnson for his constructive criticism of this and my previous post, as a result of which I have made some minor, but hopefully significant, changes to their respective endings.
November 13, 2014 at 18:01
Nice post, my friend, I have been quite busy these months… I really enjoyed reading this Food fot Thought which amongst other things has taught me what a Black redstart is, as well as its noun in Spanish (colirrojo) and Catalan (Cutxa fumada). Congrats for this relaxing blog! All the best
November 13, 2014 at 19:00
Moltes gràcies Fredi!