Black Redstart Survey 2006

7th April 2006 | John Lerpiniere

A search for the birds in Reading will be made again this year. The date will be 7th May. As in previous years an early start of your choice will end with a gathering at the very top of Garrard Street car park at 7:30am. We will not allocate an area to search but choose our own, perhaps choosing a likely site and a less likely one. It should not matter that areas will be covered by more than one observer.

I personally choose to drive to one or two possible spots just for a brief look then choose an area to cover on foot. Areas with Black Redstarts in the past include the Station, Friar Street, Broad Street, King Street, Castle Street, Civic Centre, Battle, Beresford Road, and north of Greyhound Stadium. Other areas that cross my mind include the Cattle Market and railway sidings, Oxford Road, Chatham Street, The Abbey, Old University, Newtown, old sewage works at Whitley, around London Road and Katesgrove and so on.

I encourage people to visit on other days too (or instead) for better coverage and to add to sightings. In fact some of us are going to try predawn visits from the beginning of April to see if they really do sing better at first light.

With this more loosely organised approach is a concern that some, with every good intention, will feel less committed and not make it on the day so I would be interested to hear from you if you intend to join in. But go anyway, and beware Grey Wagtails, they sing from the rooftops too.