July 31 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, July 5, 2014
The arrival of a starling does not sound like news to ruffle the feathers of ornithologists.
But an exotic cousin of the noisy birds seen regularly in our parks and gardens has caused a real flap among keen twitchers after winging its way to the east coast.
The rose-coloured starling is more commonly found in Asia and south-eastern Europe and the species has only been recorded on 12 occasions in the Waveney area since 1833.
But now one of the migratory birds seems to have set up home in Lowestoft after being spotted a number of times over the past three weeks in gardens and by the harbour.
The arrival of the adult starling has caused a stir among members of the Lounge Lizards local birdwatching group and, rather appropriately, the sighting was announced on Twitter.
As news quickly spread that the bird had been seen in the Pinewood Avenue and Breydon Way area, dozens of birdwatchers headed out to try and capture it on camera.
One of those who managed to photograph the foreign visitor was Lounge Lizards stalwart Andrew Easton.
Mr Easton said: “Local birdwatchers first heard about the rose-coloured starling when a message came around Twitter that one had been seen in Pinewood Avenue and Breydon Way.
“Since then, it has spent each day wandering between gardens in the Pinewood Avenue area and at night it roosts at Lowestoft harbour with other starlings.”
The rose-coloured starling – which owes its name to its distinctive pink and black plumage – was first spotted on Sunday, June 15 and was last reported on the Lounge Lizards’ website as having been seen flying over Marine Parade on Tuesday evening.
It remains unclear how or why it ended up in Lowestoft, although it may have become disorientated during its spring migration.
Clive Naunton, of Pinewood Avenue, was lucky enough to see and photograph the starling.
He said: “It has spent much time in our garden. It has been busy chasing other starlings and blackbirds for food.”
David Borderick, of Heritage Green, Kessingland, also photographed the starling.
Rose-coloured starlings – latin name Pastor roseus – normally breed in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Iran Afghanistan and China.
Occasionally, they have been known to breed in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy.
The species is not globally threatened and breeding colonies can contain tens of thousands of the distinctive birds.