Thursday, 25 October 2018

Close encounter with a Rose-coloured Starling


So now we know why it's not often seen with the local roaming starling flocks... it prefers to be alone. Sure when the flock lands on the roof or on the nearby aerials it occasionally flies up and joins them, but when the flock leaves the rose-coloured starling drops down alone into the back yards of the houses around the Bowling Green Inn, St Helens and appears to vanish. It's best seen from the alleyway behind Frydays chippy in Robins Lane and if you do see it here it shows really well, often down to a few feet and even more importantly it's not silhouetted against the sky.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Rose-coloured starlings, St Helens and Greater Manchester


Not really my idea of birding, furtively wandering around a housing estate looking at every roof and into every back garden, binoculars around my neck and camera over my shoulder, trying not to look suspicious, not really knowing where I was supposed to be looking. Still, worth it in the end when I finally located the juvenile rose-coloured starling which has been present for a few days. Originally vaguely reported as "near St Helens hospital", I finally managed to track it down to an aerial opposite the closed Bowling Green Inn in Robins Lane. This is my third juvenile in the past 12 months. The second was just a week ago in Timperley, Greater Manchester.......

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Great white egret, Pennington Flash


Little egret is now a frequent enough visitor to barely raise an eyebrow amongst  the regular birders at Pennington Flash, but great white is still a very rare bird locally. Todays great white was only the fourth ever at the site and was a Flash tick for me. Chances are, they will become more frequent in future years as they are now a common enough sight on local estuaries. For example, in 2017 I photographed a group of 10 great white egrets together on the Dee Estuary.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Back garden sparrowhawk kill


A bit of drama in the garden this week, a sparrowhawk eating a freshly killed woodpigeon. It looks like an adult female sparrowhawk to me, I can't see any hint of brown in its plumage to make it a juvenile. Also it looked pretty big and I'm not sure that a male is big enough or powerful enough to take down a woodpigeon.

Sparrowhawk kills can be a bit gruesome, whilst they will take and eat quite large prey such as woodpigeons and lapwings, they are often not powerful enough to kill them outright like a peregrine would, and it's not unusual to see a sparrowhawk eating prey which is still alive. Don't be too quick to judge them though, they have to eat and this what they have evolved to do. If we're worried about song bird populations being effected by sparrowhawks, then lets first remove cats from the environment and then stop destroying song bird habitat. Talking of cats, Polly and Ted just sat and watched while this was going on and didn't try to approach. Very wise!

Popular Posts