Saturday, June 9, 2018

Missed The Pink

I found myself looking at Starlings this morning. Yes, those noisy, mucky pests that carry the very appropriate Latin title of Sturnus vulgaris. For readers not up to speed with the latest rarity news, there has been an influx of Rose-coloured Starlings into Western Europe and the UK from the pink ones’ normal area of easternmost Europe and southern Asia.  In those parts the species inhabits steppe and open agricultural land but when they turn up here in the UK they might be found in almost any habitat that resembles their original.  

An adult Rosy Starling looks nothing like our Common Starling but for the next few weeks it’s a good idea to check out any post-breeding Starling flocks as the juveniles of each species have a closer likeness.

All of a sudden there are a lot of Starlings around this week with flocks here and there and 90% of them fresh juveniles. 

Rose-coloured Starling 

Common Starling 

Good and bad news from Conder Green. A mink scurried along the water’s edge, glistening black from its dip in the creek before it disappeared into the grass. This was my first sighting here of this non-native terrorist, the originals of which were escapees from fur farms and those released by misguided Disney-heads. 

Mink - Pdreijnders CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Unsurprisingly the watery creeks held little apart from a handful of Redshank, Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Shelduck, plus singles of Curlew, Grey Heron and Little Egret.

Fortunately the story on the pool was much better with proved breeding from a number of birds and a "maybe" from a single Little Ringed Plover that is unlikely to be alone.  On the nearest island an Oystercatcher had three chicks, vying for the limited space with four fresh out-of-the-egg Redshank chicks.  Play “Spot the Chick” in the picture below. 


Otherwise - a pair of Avocet in the throes of egg sitting, 18 Tufted Duck and at least 4 more pairs of Oystercatcher with more small young.

There are still two pairs of Common Tern, one pair with chicks, all of them joined briefly today by two other Common Terns that flew in from the estuary. After a few very noisy but brief skirmishes the would-be interlopers flew back from whence they arrived out to the River Lune.

I completed a circuit of the lanes from Conder Green via Jeremy, Moss etc. to estimate the passerines hiding in the ditches and hedgerows with singing counts of 12 Tree Sparrow, 8 Sedge Warbler, 6 Whitethroat, 3 Reed Warbler, 5 Reed Bunting, 4 Pied Wagtail, 2 Willow Warbler and 2 Blackcap

Tree Sparrow 

Pied Wagtail

I drove back via the moss roads to find more juvenile Starlings, a day flying Barn Owl, 4 Buzzards and a single Yellowhammer belting it out from on high. A Yellowhammer is quite a find nowadays, almost rarer than a Rosy Starling.

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl


That’s all for now folks. Another Bird Blog is back soon with more colourful bird tales.

Linking today to World Bird Wednesday and  Anni's Saturday Blog.


Kelly - Community Manager @ Google 31 May 

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sandyland said...

fabulous collection what the hoopoe has in his mouth posted

Jean said...

Your Starlings are so much prettier than the ones we see around here. Absolutely love those photos of the Barn Owl! Hope you're having a great weekend so far.

Rhodesia said...

Lovely set of photos but I would not move from the site where you see the Barn Owl, what a stunning bird.
Interesting about the starlings, I do not see a lot around us here but just maybe the rose-coloured starling will turn up here.
Have a good Sunday. Diane

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Good morning Phil: Mink is native here, of course, and is subject to the normal checks and balances of an indigenous animal, but I can well imagine that an efficient predator set loose in Britain can wreak serious havoc. Short of a massive campaign of eradication. I have no idea how you can control this creature. The Barn Owl shots are captivating and this wonderful species is again the star of the show.

Anni said...

I understand that if you leave yourself a comment right after you publish your post and tick 'notify me' then oublish your will then receive email notifications of subsequent comments it works for me.

Love your commentary this week & your bird photos! Thanks for linking in this week!

Phil Slade said...

Thank you for visiting Another Bird Blog

Betty Crow said...

Enjoyed reading your post and seeing all the pics, but that barn owl really captured my attention. Beautiful!

NCSue said...

The barn owl shots are gorgeous!
Thanks for sharing at

eileeninmd said...

Hello, awesome post and photos. I have to say the Barn owl shots are amazing.
The mink is a cute critter. I also love the Redshank and the Yellowhammer. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week!

Lowcarb team member said...

I think we will all be pleased when and if blogger sorts itself out!

I think those barn owl shots are wonderful.

All the best Jan

Lady Fi said...

Amazing shots of the owls.

Liz Needle said...

I too love the Barn Owl shots. Stunning. Your starlings are interesting. Not at all like ours which are much darker - almost black. We used to get large flocks of them, but they seem to have disappeared - which makes life much easier for our native birds.

A Colorful World said...

A Rosy Starling! Wow! That's interesting. What a find that would be. Love seeing your other birds...always love the owls.

Angie said...

Hey Phil - I have never heard of a Rosy Starling … but I have a hard time accepting any member of the Starling family …. old habits die hard! Now that Yellow Hammer - that's more my style!!!

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