Black Redstart – Meon Shore Chalets, Titchfield Haven, Hampshire

Black Redstarts are passage migrants and winter visitors on the Hampshire coast. An individual turned up near Titchfield Haven on the 7th October where the chalets on the Meon Shore at Hill Head provided a perfect habitat and it seemed to settle in the area. 

A few days later I headed down there in fairly windy and cool conditions and as I arrived I realised that the chalets covered a larger area than I had anticipated! I decided to try the beach side first and walked almost the full length before doubling back to try the road side chalets. After two more circuits I finally found the bird on one of the roof tops although it quickly disappeared. Over the next 20 minutes I had several very brief views usually the back end of the bird as it disappeared around or over a chalet. It did seem that getting a good prolonged view might be tricky and hoping that the bird might pose for a sketch seemed a bit optimistic. However, I decided to get my sketchbook out and a sharpened pencil at the ready ready in case my views were brief. 

Overtime I managed to begin to predict its movements and eventually I caught up with it sheltering from the wind on a fence between two chalets. It stayed in view for several minutes allowing me to complete a few sketches.

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