Nature Notes #3

I’ve had very little time this week for my usual outdoor pursuits, largely owing to a growing workload and a multitude of mounting side projects. That said, yesterday I managed an all too brief outing in search of a bird I have wanted to see for many years: a Rose-coloured Starling. A rare vagrant to British shores from Eastern Europe and middle-Asia, where the species breed before migrating South, to India and Pakistan, during the Winter.

This confiding individual – a superb adult – has been gracing the chimney pots, gardens and bird-feeders of Ashington, in Northumberland, for two days now. And while I would much rather have caught up with my quarry amid a more natural and less intimidating setting (Ashington, for those unaware, has a reputation for being somewhat rough), I am thrilled to have enjoyed a good half-hour in the company of this particular bird. It’s delightful mix of faded pink, iridescent blue and intricately marked brown complimented marvellously by the current bout of fine, Spring weather.

Usually in a post such as this, I would go to great lengths to waffle on about the encounter, its significance and story; however, on this occasion, I think I will let pictures do the talking. For once, owing largely to the birds less than timid demeanour, I managed some rather good ones…

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