Black Redstarts are rare in the UK. Here in Parco della Caffarella in Rome they are everywhere. They’re the equivalent of Robins in the UK.
They perch at the top of low plants and survey potential rivals, food and predators:
This is my favourite photograph of one. The face is sharp and the wings are blurred with movement. Lovely:
The ‘start’ in their name means tail. Their Italian name is Codirosso Spazzacamino, which sounds great in an Italian accent. Spazzacamino means chimney sweep. I can see why, with their ash-coloured plumage.
They are a delight to watch:
There’s one feeding on insects on the broken reeds floating on the small river here:
The only thing which puzzles me though, is where are all the adult males? Here’s one I saw last time:
I’ll just have to come here again.