Local birder, Hector Galley came up with the goods when he found a juv Rose-coloured Starling on his bird feeders mid week. His garden is only a matter of about 300 mtrs from my work place but I just didnt have time to go, so this morning JWR and myself started off parked furtively outside Hector's house.
I hate these suburban twitches, peering into gardens and the like. I have had a few over the years with Black throated Thrush, Raddes Warbler, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Dark eyed Junco etc but always feel uncomfortable standing with binoclars at the crack of dawn outside someones house. This morn we tried to be discreet. Only the two of us were present and for half an hour we sauntered back and forward making sure we did not make any direct eye contact by peering into residents windows on our quest for a beige coloured starling. No joy. There were lots of birds at the feeders inc 15+ Tree Sparrows, a dozen Greenfinches, 4 Common Starlings but no rare one. As we sat in the car avoiding a short shower 10 mtrs from the garden, Hector posted a Whats App message - 'RCS still in garden at 9.14' I glanced at John and the clock. It was still 9.14 and we were here! We jumped out of the car and began to concentrate for another 30 minutes but we still couldnt find the bird... this is the third RCS dip we've had this year!
As time was pressing we stopped at the nearby QEII Lake for a brew and a scan just in case there might be a Smew when we bumped into Lindsey McDougall who told us that a Great Northern Diver was here yesterday. Sure enough a quick scan found the bird, a juvenile aged by the buff scalloping on the upperparts, about half way out. As it flew a bit closer it seems to be dragging some fishing line off its feet, and it didnt look too well, sitting with eyes closed for long periods. Things dont bode well for this visitor.
And that was about it really, a short stop at Warkworth Wier where again there were no Bewick ( or Whooper) Swans made me the only person in Christenden not to have seen the two birds around here for the last month. I pass the place twice a day!
I might try for the Starling this week from work, but it seems that the Christmas doldrums have already kicked in...meh.
|Click on this and you can see something behind the trailing foot. That is weed on fine line.|
|A big bird, dwarfing a cormorant ( prob female) nearby. You can see compared to the swan, its a big chunk of fowl.|