What would the garden be without the birds?

In our garden in France some days we hardly hear any sound of human existence.  Just the two of us digging, weeding and replanting.

This Spring we have  four pairs of redstarts (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) nesting in our garden, on the ash tree, under the car porch, in the Persimmon (Kaki) tree, and on the low beam outside the  kitchen.  This last one was originally an old robin nest.  That makes it a bit awkward as we have to be able to get in and out of the outhouse, but it seems that the bird and us have got used to each other, as long as we don’t look at her when we pass by.

Actually I think three pairs are the common redstarts and the other pair are black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros).

redstart 2

Here in France they are called le Rouge-queue and le Rouge-queue noir.  Looking at their tails, I think I agree with the French.

redstart 3

I had a peep inside their nest earlier, as the little bird was carefully preparing it.  Have you ever seen such soft bedding?


A few days later I looked at the nest on the beam outside the kitchen door,  The nest was all ready with five eggs.  It looks as if she has used the sheep’s wool from next door to line the nest.


I have left several water dishes for our birds, but I think the redstarts are the cleanest birds.


Their bath times remind me of my grand daughter who loved what she used to call her ‘splishy splashy’.  Is this one washing her ears?


The black redstart also loves bath times,


I wonder if they would like deeper baths?


This all makes a change from the bees and swarm collecting.



15 thoughts on “Redstart

    1. thelivesofk

      Thank you, Helen. I wish I could take better pictures, but I am forced to take the pictures through the dinning room window. Still it is just lovely watching the birds.


    1. thelivesofk

      Thanks, Emily. The garden id for sharing. Since our family are not near us, we share the garden with all kind of animals.


  1. Lovely photos and very informative. I have only seen a black redstart and then only once. It landed on the roof outside our kitchen window when I was sitting at the table and paraded about for a short time. It was a rare chance for me to see this beautiful bird.


  2. Most birds are nice, but have you ever heard of “When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano’? Well, a few days later, they arrive here! It can be a mess until the settle in, and some keep moving farther norther. They build their mud nests in the oddest of places. Once the get settled and find some out of the way place for their nests, they are rad, and eat so many insects. I think they even get mosquitoes, although they tend to be less active at that time of day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thelivesofk

      sounds like quite an experience. Here In France we see less and less swallows each year. Three years ago one nested in our large barn. Last year a wren took residence in the swallow nest and have a brood there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, they are delightful birds. I just dread the task of knocking their nests off of eaves over driveways and walkways. They look so sad . . . and then come back to try again.


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