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Rare Black Redstart Bird draws crowds at Tewkesbury Abbey

Posted on 14th December 2016

Crowds have been gathering in Tewkesbury near the Forest of Dean recently as a rare bird has been spotted thousands of miles from its home. The unique eastern black redstart has been spotted at Tewkesbury Abbey, drawing dozens of people to visit the historic site with their binoculars.

Eastern Black Redstart

According to Gloucestershire Live, experts believe that the bird may have been blown off course on its winter migration, as the species is only usually seen in Africa and Iran during this time of year. But, some 2,500 miles from its usual winter residence, a lone specimen was spotted at the Abbey, becoming one of only ten ever recorded in Britain.

A local birdspotter from Paul’s Birding Diary, says: “The Eastern Black Redstart on Tewkesbury Abbey is a cracker of a bird, and was pleasing a good number of birders as it flitted around the abbey and made a brief visit to nearby trees.”

Gloucestershire Live report that the RSPC have said that “this year as part of a larger arrival of Siberian vagrants this autumn there have been at least three others all on the east coast between Edinburgh and Newcastle.” The bird is native to India, and migrates thousands of miles every year to winter in warmer climes. It is believed that the long periods of easterly winds this autumn may have helped to bring this lost bird to the UK.

But, for Gloucestershire, this bird is a first, and thus local wildlife enthusiasts have gone out in their droves trying to catch a glimpse of the unusual bird. It is expected that the bird will soon continue on its migration. So, if you’re considering a Forest of Dean cottage holiday and you love to see unusual wildlife, now is the time to visit Gloucestershire!

Image Credit: Johan van Beilen (Shutterstock)