Monday, 14 September 2009

While the cats are away the mouse will ‘twitch’

With Gerry in Hungary and Pete away leading a tour in California, I’ve been kept pretty busy in the office. But following an afternoon phone call on Friday from non-birding friend Peter B in Tittensor, the weekend produced a “lifer” for me. "Why have loads of people with binoculars and telescopes turned up in the village?" he asked.

A quick check on the internet soon gave us the answer – A ROSE-COLOURED STARLING had been reported in one of the gardens that morning. With a promise that he would phone if the bird was spotted again I returned to work.

At about 10.00am on Saturday Peter B phoned to say the bird was around. Grabbing my bins I headed north. But to no avail, I arrived to find that the bird had disappeared. Four Buzzards and a Hobby gave some consolation but...

The general consensus was, that to stand any chance of seeing the Starling I would have to be in Tittensor before 8.00am the following morning.

Sunday dawned foggy and quite cool but I was on the road by 7.15am. I arrived to see quite a few cars already on the car park but no-one in sight. Heading towards the church I soon found the main group looking at the roof tops. I was dismayed to be told I’d just missed great views of the bird but was hopeful that it would soon pop in to view again.

It was my lucky day - before too long someone spotted the bird as it swung around pecking hungrily at a fatball in one of the gardens. Everyone rushed to the spot and all managed good views of the bird . After a few minutes it flew and its pale colouring was then more apparent. So there it was my life bird – a juvenile looking (just as described in the Collins Field Guide) like a washed-out young Common Starling!

Many thanks to the residents of Tittensor for welcoming us with good humour and patience.

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