Stonechat - Saxicola torquata

    Alt Name
    Saxicola torquatus

    Stonechats are robin-sized birds. Males have striking black heads with white around the side of their neck, orange-red breasts and a mottled brown back. Females lack the male's black head, but have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests. They frequently flick their wings while perched, often doing so on the tops of low bushes. As its name suggests, they utter a sharp loud call that sounds like two stones being tapped together. They breed in Western and Southern parts of the UK, but disperse more widely in Winter.

    Identification difficulty

    Heaths, conifer plantations or coastal sites, especially in Southern and Western counties.

    When to see it

    All year round but mainly Winter in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Life History

    They eat mainly invertebrates, seeds and fruit such as blackberries.

    UK Status

    Widespread but local in Britain, scarcer on the Eastern side of England.

    VC55 Status

    An uncommon Winter bird and bird of passage in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map