Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stonechats on the road to recovery

Stonechats are robin sized birds. Males have striking black heads with white around the side of their neck, orange-red breasts and a mottled brown back. Females lack the male's black head, but have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests. Birds are frequently seen flicking their wings while perched, often doing so on the tops of low bushes. As its name suggests, birds utter a sharp loud call that sound like two stones being tapped together. They are widespread in coastal Ireland, and disperse more widely in winter. Although the species is not faring too badly in the Ireland, though has suffered after last winter. It is doing less well on the continent and is of European conservation concern, making it an Amber List species.

First fresh juvenile of the year.

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