Saturday, 15 August 2009

European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola)

Adult male European Stonechat (subspecies S. r. hiberans) at Trevose Head, Cornwall - April 2015

OTHER NAMES: Stonechat
Featured Subspecies: Saxicola rubicola hiberans
Weight: 13-17g
Length: 12-13cm
Wingspan: 20cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The European Stonechat is a great example of a locally common bird - in unsuitable habitat it will be rare or absent, but in the sorts of places it favours - heath, moor, marsh and coast it can easily be one of the most abundant species  I've seen it in many of the habitats I've visited, from the grassy dunes on Lindisfarne to the Cheviot Hills to the Marshes at Rainham. I haven't quite managed to pick a common theme beyond somewhere with a decent amount of ground cover. Quite bold, it likes singing from perches, and can often be easy to photograph.  Many authorities have split it from the the Siberian Stonechat and the Canary Island Stonechat, but this isn't necessarily reflected everywhere, but for now I will keep them separate.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Saxicola
Subspecies: S. r. hiberans, S. r. rubicola

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Locally common breeding resident (59,000 pairs)
 - Birds seen at sites including Trevose HeadRainham MarshesDitchford Gravel Pits and Keswick.

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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