Saturday, 20 August 2016

Bird of the week - Stonechat

Here is a bird that likes to keep an eye on what is going on.  Stonechats are easy to spot as they like to sit on the top of bushes and call loudly if you approach too close.  The male is very handsome at this time of year.

The female's colouring is more subtle but no less beautiful.

Here are the two together.

The BTO Bird Atlas shows the stonechat is a bird of the north and west of the British Isles.

Its numbers are increasing.

The stonechat's scientific name is Saxicola rubicola, meaning rock-dwelling bramble-dweller.  Its common name obviously comes from its call, as described by Thomas Bewick in A History of British Birds, although he was hedging his bets.

Bewick also gave its other names of stone-smith and moor-titling.

You can hear the stonechat's call here.  And listen to the BBC Radio 4 Tweet of the Day on stonechat here.  There is also a BTO video on chats here.

No comments:

Post a Comment