Field guide to the most commonly encountered mammals and birds

Here, we provide some basic information regarding commonly observed species (plus some others about which we have had queries).  

Feel free to contact us by email if you have any questions regarding species you have encountered on the site.

For more information about mammals, we recommend the Mammal Society's species hub, here. For birds, excellent resources are available from the RSPB (here) and the BTO (here).


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Redstart (Common)

(C) EdwynAnderton (shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license)


Scientific Name: Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Appearance: Robin-sized. Sexes differ. Male: Crown, nape, mantle and back bluish-grey, and bold white forehead. Face and throat black. Underparts rich orange-red. Rusty-red rump and dark centre on rusty-red tail visible in flight. Female: Plain grey-brown head and upperparts. Underparts buffish off-white. Rusty-red tail.

Song: Brief, bright and snappy, commencing with several low rolling notes and ending with a high musical warble or whistle. Song bouts consist of similarly constructed, but not identical, phrases repeated at regular intervals.

When heard: Summer migrant. Males produce song on arrival in mid-April through to the end in breeding in late-July or early-August.