“When will I have time for Redstarts?” I asked a few weeks ago. Well, today is the answer.
I’m at Emsworthy Mire in peak Bluebell season. They’re later in flowering here on Dartmoor than they are on the South Devon coast. Bluebells are a feature of ancient woodland. Since Dartmoor is a shattered, derelict landscape, stripped of its trees and with its nature destroyed, they are a sad relic of an ancient ecosystem. Their purple is intense. This is the bright orange and black male Common Redstart amongst the purple Bluebells:
I could tell you a long story about finding these birds, observing them for hours, understanding where to lie in cover so I didn’t disturb them, understanding the direction of light and framing a pleasing composition. Instead, just look at how beautiful they are:
This is the female:
And a closer view of the male:
They’re busy checking out potential nesting sites. Here’s the female appearing from one hole in the wall with the male behind.
Aren’t they a handsome couple?