More than 150 birdwatchers flock to Norwich man’s living room

PUBLISHED: 13:02 20 October 2018 | UPDATED: 20:19 25 October 2018

The Rose-Coloured-Starling in New Costessey. Picture: Trevor Hannant/Twitter

The Rose-Coloured-Starling in New Costessey. Picture: Trevor Hannant/Twitter


A man’s living room has become a birdwatcher’s paradise after a rare starling decided to nest in his garden.

The Rose-Coloured-Starling in New Costessey. Picture: Norfolkbinder/TwitterThe Rose-Coloured-Starling in New Costessey. Picture: Norfolkbinder/Twitter

Stephen Leake, from New Costessey, has been letting bird lovers enter his home to get a look at a Rose-Coloured Starling, a bird that is rarely spotted in England.

The teacher first spotted the bird in his garden on October 7. He reported it to the RSPB and gave his postcode. Within a day he noticed groups of people outside his house trying to get a glimpse of the bird.

Since then Mr Leake has had more than 150 birdwatchers come in his home.

The Rose-Coloured Starling normally breeds in eastern Europe and Asia such as Kazakhstan and Russia.

The Rose-Coloured-Starling in New Costessey. Picture: Ricky CleverlyThe Rose-Coloured-Starling in New Costessey. Picture: Ricky Cleverly

But one has made its way to a small garden in New Costessey.

Bird watchers, also known as twitchers, have been going to the estate to get a snap of the rare bird.

Ricky Cleverly, 40, was one of many who rushed to the estate.

The window cleaner and avid twitcher said: “If you’re a bird watcher a bird that is not common or rare is an amazing sight.

“It’s the fact it has come in-land and now in a housing estate, it’s been there for at least five days, but what’s nice about it is you can rock-up and get a picture of it.

“Some of these birds can be difficult to find but this starling has been quite a blinder.”

Mr Cleverly has been bird watching ever since he moved to Norwich about 12-years ago. He is a keen visitor to the Thorpe St Andrew Marshes but he says he rarely sees a “bird of this calibre”.

The home owner allowed bird watchers who gathered outside his house to come inside and watch the starling feed in his garden.

The starling’s appearance has left the bird watchers confused.

“Why it has chosen a tiny little garden we don’t know,” Mr Cleverly added, “At some point it will probably get itself together and carry on but this is what happens when we get these crazy winds.

“Out at sea if a bird gets a little bit lost, the wind can take it across. But there are loads of starlings around he can flock with but he sticks out like a sore thumb.

“Normally you wouldn’t see this bird any further than France. It is one of those birds that really gets people out.”

During the Summer months the Rose Coloured Starling would be a bright pink with black feathers but moving into the Winter months that colour has faded.

Mr Cleverly added: “Against any other old boring starling it is quite an exciting bird to see.

“Something like this, if you are a bird watcher, gets you excited and off you go to try and get a look.”

Last year about 200 bird watchers gathered in Larchcroft Close, Ipswich, to get a picture of another Rose-coloured Starling.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press