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What type of bird did I see? It doesn’t seem to exist!

31 replies

TheFreaksShallInheritTheEarth · 04/06/2019 10:27

At the end of last week, I saw two birds mating on the rail of my balcony. They looked very unfamiliar, so I got DD to look, too.

I looked online and couldn’t identify it there. I bought a bird identification book from Amazon as I’d been meaning to anyway, but it doesn’t seem to exist! I suppose it’s a visitor passing through, but even those should appear in British bird books if they’re regular visitors?

Anyway, it was small: tit size and shape (roundish) and was predominantly black (true black) with a solid red flash on the side of its head or collar. DD says there was a bit of white on its chest.

We’re in South West Wales, rural area, near the coast.

Any ideas? Thanks!

OP posts:
Apolloanddaphne · 04/06/2019 10:30


Apolloanddaphne · 04/06/2019 10:32

Like this?

What type of bird did I see? It doesn’t seem to exist!
TheFreaksShallInheritTheEarth · 04/06/2019 10:33

No, not a long as a swallow, and a lot blacker!

OP posts:
DeadDoorpost · 04/06/2019 10:34

Red-winged black bird?

DeadDoorpost · 04/06/2019 10:36

Red-backed fairywren?

DeadDoorpost · 04/06/2019 10:37

Forgot the photo for the fairywren

What type of bird did I see? It doesn’t seem to exist!
QuestionableMouse · 04/06/2019 10:38

Could they have escaped from somewhere close by?

Soola · 04/06/2019 10:38

Penduline tit?

TheFreaksShallInheritTheEarth · 04/06/2019 10:38

Ha, I did wonder about that, Dead and the starkness of the red and black is a lot like the bird I saw, but the red was, I’m pretty sure, on the side of the neck/head (not wing) and there was a little white.
Also, red winged blackbirds are American, so not sure if we’d see them here?

OP posts:
TheFreaksShallInheritTheEarth · 04/06/2019 10:40

Fairywren was very very like it! But they’re Australian... again not sure if they’d turn up here!

OP posts:
ScrambledSmegs · 04/06/2019 10:41

Most very small birds don't migrate, as far as I'm aware. There are some birds that could fit your description but the ones I've found are all resident on the other side of the globe. If it is one of them then then the likelihood is they're escapees from an aviary (zoo or private).

So I've found an American Redstart, and a Red-backed Fairywren (Australian). The likelihood of either of them holidaying here by themselves is remote, to say the least.

TheFreaksShallInheritTheEarth · 04/06/2019 10:42

No, much stronger colours than penduline tit, alas.

Thanks for all your suggestions, by the way!

OP posts:
MadameGazelleIsMyHomegirl · 04/06/2019 10:42


ScrambledSmegs · 04/06/2019 10:42

Ha! Too slow. Some of you are so much quicker on google!

TheFreaksShallInheritTheEarth · 04/06/2019 10:43

Can’t think of anywhere nearby where they could have escaped from... but if they did they were mating, so we could end up with a local population here!

Male and female looked the same colour too, incidentally. Presume one was female!

OP posts:
wowfudge · 04/06/2019 10:45

Black Redstart or Bullfinch. We have bullfinches in our garden.

TheFreaksShallInheritTheEarth · 04/06/2019 10:45

Not a bullfinch.

I’d say the bird was about 80% pure black.

OP posts:
TheFreaksShallInheritTheEarth · 04/06/2019 10:47

Not black redstart. “My” birds had a lot less red, and it was in a different place.

OP posts:
Judashascomeintosomemoney · 04/06/2019 10:47

Black Redstart? Fits with your location

JosephineHass · 04/06/2019 10:47


What type of bird did I see? It doesn’t seem to exist!
Judashascomeintosomemoney · 04/06/2019 10:47

Ha ha x post!

ScrambledSmegs · 04/06/2019 10:50

Did you see what kind of beak it had? Helps in determining the main diet of the bird.

Judashascomeintosomemoney · 04/06/2019 10:51

Long tailed tit? Or is that not black enough?
Hmmm, ponders

What type of bird did I see? It doesn’t seem to exist!
BlackInk · 04/06/2019 11:15

I would still say probably some sort of swift or swallow. The amount of black/red/white can vary, especially in young/newly fledged birds...

What type of bird did I see? It doesn’t seem to exist!
Ginkypig · 04/06/2019 11:16


If so its really far from home!

What type of bird did I see? It doesn’t seem to exist!
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