A new brood of black redstarts

Last weeks in Shed’s Workshop were a time of hard work of… bird parents. Instead of the former rambling of machine engines one can hear now all day long screams of the nestlings.

Those totally unconnected with railway reality sounds we owe to yet another generation of black redstarts (Phoenicurus ochruros). Those small and pleasant birds have nested for the first time nearly twenty years ago in the vault left after light switch. When we first noticed the newcomers, we wondered how they manage to get inside the properly sealed building. After a while of observation we concluded that birds found their way through the old lathe vent.

And so, after remembering the way, another generations of redstarts are with us. Initially, they keep getting back to their first nest, which was easily accessible and could be inspected without interruption to the birds. As soon as parents arrived with food, the nestlings rose their heads and wide-opened their becks. Eventually, satiated, they turned around and pretended that… they are not in the nest. The nest seemed to be abandoned and filled with litter. Except that the litter was really the disheveled feathers on backs of the nestlings.

Unfortunately, one year the observations were disrupted. We found the nest on the floor and all nestlings killed. It appeared that a marten has also found its way into the workshop…

Thankfully, this mishap did not discouraged our flying tenants. Redstarts have moved higher and set up new nest between  the roof trusses. Now, each year in May and sometimes again at the beginning of July, we are welcomed in the workshop with their unique song.

After all, redstarts could not have found a better conditions for nesting. We don’t disturb them and the inside of the workshop building provide safety, stabilized temperature and lack of wind and rain. This year’s brook has already left the nest. Currently they are still getting back for an overnight stay, but soon they will fly away into their adulthood. Godspeed and see you next year!

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