I’ve a day in the park at Parco della Caffarella in Rome. Having said that, I’ll probably spend a fair amount of the time drinking tiny coffee and eating cakes.
I love the Black Redstarts here. They’re the Roman equivalent of Robins, although, confusingly, they also have Robins here. Aren’t they lovely?
I was delighted to get a first distant photo when I was previously in Italy:
This time I’m much closer. Codirosso Spazzacamino is their Italian name. A spazzacamino is a chimney sweep. They are certainly ash grey.
They perch and then pounce, either on flying insects or on invertebrates on the ground. They are fast and agile.
They don’t stay perched for too long when there’s tasty food to be had. A little like me, then.
It’s been tricky to get close to them today because they fly whenever anyone approaches them, and that means all the dog walkers, school children and runners constantly disturb them.
Yet again all I see is females, although some may well be immature males. Where are all the beautiful black and red male birds? I’ve not seen one at all today.
Maybe a coffee and cake will make me feel better.
The next day I’m back and have more luck:
There’s a male working the ground for invertebrates from a series of perches. I’ll need a tent if I’m going to get anywhere near close to him. He’s very beautiful.
I see him fly a huge distance in a straight line from his perch, pick up a green caterpillar and return back to the same perch. That eyesight is extraordinary.
I think that means I deserve a cake. And coffee, of course.