Thursday 10 June 2021

Rosy Starling in North Cornwall garden. 10th June 2021.


I received a message from a friend yesterday afternoon to say that his mother had a Rosy Starling (Rose-coloured Starling) regularly visiting their feeders in her garden and was I interested in photographing it.

Goes without saying I was very keen but... we had our 2 young granddaughters for the day and I couldn't (or didn't want to) get away so I agreed to go later that evening.

However it came in really wet and dull with the classic Cornish sea mist descending on the area. We then decided to leave it till this morning to try.

I was concerned as with all things wildlife that the bird may have moved on and I'd have got the "you should have been here 5 minutes ago" scenario!

I arrived at the prescribed time and asked "is it still around?". "Oh yes it's in the garden now" was the reply.... I'm not used to that!

I went into their house and lo and behold it was on a dead tree stump at the bottom of their garden just stood there posing.

What lovely people too, they let me photograph resting my lens on an an upturned vase  on the draining board and through the kitchen window. Realistically there was nowhere else to get a good angle from so it worked out really well.

I've seen and photographed a few of these birds over the years but none as brightly coloured or as showy as this fine adult bird.

This species regularly ventures into Western Europe from its breeding range in the Asian Steppes and there had been recent reports that this year could see a lot of them in Britain. Indeed as I write there are about 5 we know of in Cornwall.

It was feeding on fat balls in 2 feeders hanging from a dead tree stump and was quite aggressive to the house sparrows and common starlings that were "regulars" at this feeding station. It did hold back when a larger jackdaw was feeding but attacked everything smaller.

I watched it bathe in a pool of water on someones flat roof and then sit around with it's 'punk' hairstyle whilst it dried.

I stayed about an hour and in that time it was in the garden for about 90% of the time and I took 355 photos of which here is a small selection.