Sunday 12 October 2014

Memory Lane, Portland

According to my dog-eared birdspotters logbook (volume 1) it was 16th October 2000 when I saw my first Rose-coloured Starling, a juvenile on a rooftop in a Portland housing estate - 14 years ago, almost to the day. At the time I was living in Kent and was en route to the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for the first of many October visits, a trip on which I added Red-eyed Vireo, Solitary Sandpiper and Swainson's Thrush to my British list, the last two on a day trip via Scillonian III.

The birds were great, of course, but one of my abiding memories was driving from Portland, past Abbotsbury towards Bridport along the coast road with a strong south westerly flattening the lush grass and stunted hawthorns, and looking back at the majesty of Chesil Bank and Portland jutting out into the English Channel against foaming seas and azure skies. A magical image, of which I was reminded today as I returned to Portland for another Rosy Starling, on another rooftop, on another housing estate. Not quite as poetic as the coast road, but a happy memory anyway!
Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling
The bird was below a high wall feeding on breadcrumbs when I arrived...
...but eventually did the decent thing and perched up on a photogenic shed
Starling for comparison