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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rosy Starling - a jewel for Cumbria

With Cumbria suffering in the last few days from the heaviest English rainfall in recorded history, and with thousands made homeless by flooding, it came as a spark of brightness when my Natural England colleague Rob phoned me to say that a Rosy (Rose-coloured) Starling had turned up in his garden near Kendal.

Rob emailed this picture he captured of a juvenile Rosy Starling in his garden to tempt me,
and kindly
invited me to his home to see it

The normal range of this species is far eastern Europe and across southern Asia. The species is a strong migrant and normally heads towards India to spend the winter. So what was one doing in England in November?

After a very good breeding season by certain species, when food is abundant, there may be a population explosion when birds may "erupt" and colonise new places. Biologists also have evidence that a small proportion of individuals in a migratory population are genetically predisposed to migrate in the "wrong direction". These become pioneers that may extend the range of the species into new areas.

The individual in Rob's garden did not show striking pink and black plumage of the adult, but was a much more drab juvenile that may have lost its way in a storm.


An adult male in full breeding plumage.

This is not my picture, please click on the
image for the internet source.





On a very dull morning I was not able to match the quality of the pictures that Rob had taken, but here are a couple of my images taken as the bird pecked its way around the chicken run

Juvenile Rosy Starling, Kendal, 22 November 2009

5 Comments:

Blogger simon said...

do you think this is a result of a shift in weather patterns? from what I am learning birds seem to be "oppertunists"?

just a thought. fire threat has eased today

10:21 pm  
Blogger simon said...

ps- I called it a Minor in the text i sent- Sorry ( stupid boy)...

10:48 pm  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

Will it survive do you think?

6:22 am  
Blogger Jenny Holden said...

Not so striking perhaps, but still an exciting sight! Not that I'm developing any Twitching tendencies!

5:43 pm  
Anonymous Kendal Cottages said...

Just read about this on the Gazette website as though it were recent news but it looks as though it's been around for a bit... ?

5:51 pm  

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