Wednesday, 10 February 2021

More Common than Spotless Starlings

 Wednesday 10 February

Yesterday I had no camera and manged to record26 species including the returning Green Sandpiper, Crossbill, a trio of Blackcap and the first local Barn Swallows of the year, not to mention also both Crag and House Martin.  Today was a cloudy, calm day and forecasted rain.  therefore, raincoat worn and prepared for worse.  But the "worse" part was not the fact I experienced no rain but a poorer birding trip, albeit I did have the camera on this occasion.  Lots of Blackbirds but having recorded a score of Spotless Starlings I reached the grassy area adjacent to the Experimental Station and found a large flock of 52 Common Starlings, almost all feeding on the ground.  Turing round, I noticed a further seven in the opposite large tree.  At this point, double the number of Common to Spotless Starlings.  Then, almost at the end of the return walk, a further thirty Spotless Starlings were picked up on the wires but not enough to overtake their cousins.  Just like Bournemouth winning away to their supposed superiors at Burnley!

A few of the fifty plus Common Starling Estornino Pinto Sturnus vulgaris

Far fewer White Wagtails, Black Redstarts and Chiffchaffs than in recent visits but  good numbers of both Goldfinch and Serin along with a single Greenfinch.  The Blackbirds seemed to be gathering up in small groups and only males recorded.

Male Blackbird Mirlo Comun Turdus merula

As expected, the hidden reservoir produced the daily supply of Mediterranean along with a small number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls whilst overhead it took a while to find a few of the wintering Crag Martins, unlike the House Martins which seem to have arrived in good numbers.  But today no sign of a Barn Swallow and the wait goes on for both Sand Martin and Red-rumped Swallow.

Good to see that the Meadow Pipits are still around with the sighting of a quartet nesr the river opposite the hidden reservoir and making my way home I eventually recorded a pair of Stonechat, the pair of Hoopoe were still residing in their preferred site and despite the river ford being under more, fast flowing water I ventured across so that I could duly note the half-dozen Cattle Egret occupying the nearby sewage works, so giving a final tally of 21 species.

Male Stonechat Tarabilla Comun Saxicola torquatus

Birds seen today:

Cattle Egret, Mediterranean Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Hoopoe, Crag Martin, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Common Starling, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch.

Common Starlings Estornino Pinto Sturnus vulgaris

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