This spring the redstarts of Scout Scar escarpment seem to have grown more wary. Perhaps it's a response to the volume of walkers during lock-down, and many are setting out early in the hope of finding solitude. Redstarts are singing and displaying, but they are far harder to see. This slender whitebeam was perfect for him and me, rising above the cliff- top and showing the bird well.
Everyone walks the escarpment edge, for the vistas. To thrive, to breed successfully, the redstart needs seclusion. And finds it so near and yet so far, just below the cliff. Inaccessible and safe. That's the magic of the hanging wood.
LInnet and redpoll, breeding in thick gorse and juniper, have it harder. Especially where dense gorse habitat is also beside a popular path. I hear redpoll frequently but they call in flight and the best place to see them well is on the feeders of Foulshaw Moss, closed during lock-down.