Garden birding often ends up as a period of being sat in the hide, listening to birds instead of seeing them, as they frequently refuse to come out of the shadows and foliage to allow me to get any shots. So I try to learn the birds' calls to identify them.
One problem bird for confusing the issue is the starling as it mimics other calls, so when I heard what I thought was a redstart yesterday, I assumed it was just a starling. Afterall, a suburban garden in Birmingham isn't exactly a prime spot for redstarts!
A sudden influx of blue and great tits caught my attention and I watched them acrobatically take the suet and seeds from the feeders for a few moments... until that is, I spotted a flitting red tail nearby. Before I could lock on to it, the bird flew off. Was it really a redstart? Surely not.
I was wrong to doubt myself though. It was a female common redstart and moments later, it appeared amongst the branches of the apple tree, long enough for me to grab 3 shots before it disappeared back into the gloom once more.
Wow is all I can say. I drive to Wales, Staffordshire and all over the place to see these fabulous birds and I get one right in my own back yard!!
I shall be out in the garden again tonight, fingers and toes crossed that it's still around, though I have my doubts once more!!