Tuesday 22 August 2017

Yorkshire Rosy

Yesterday's Yellow Warbler was considerate enough to wait until my family holiday in Yorkshire was over before appearing in Dorset - we got back on Saturday after an enjoyable week in God's Own County. While birding wasn't really the main objective of the trip north so much as enjoying the varied landscapes and loafing on sofas and cinema seats to indulge our shared family passion for Marvel and DC Comics movies, a few opportunities to enjoy the birdlife of the area were inevitably worked into the itinerary. A couple of trips to the seabird colony at Bempton were among them (more on those later), and there was even time to shoehorn in a mini-twitch when a Rose-Coloured Starling was conveniently discovered in a Scarborough garden when we were just a few miles away. My ever tolerant family agreed to wait in the car while I squeezed into the small suburban front yard to which the homeowner had kindly allowed birders access so they could view the Starling at the rear of the property. After a short wait and it gave a couple of extended views - the smartest adult I think I have seen of this species in Britain. Pictures and a few other highlights of the trip north below.
Rose-coloured Starling, Scarborough, 13th August
The bird was attracted to feeders in the backyards of the town
An appropriate perch for a bird
Rose-coloured Starling breeds in the eastern-most parts of Europe and across Southern Asia
An attractive bird in a typical setting for the species in Britain
On the subject of colourful birds, a two mile detour off the M1 on our way north was all it took to catch up with the East Midlands celebrated flock of Bee-eaters, which, following an unsuccessful breeding attempt in neighbouring Notts, had skipped across the border to Leicestershire to further extended their stay. A shame they weren't able to produce any young successfully, though with another continental European visitor associated with warmer climes, the Black-winged Stilt, making a good fist of colonising the UK this year, it seems likely there will be further attempts by the Bee-eater to do so.
The Bee-eaters were a bit distant but telescope views were very good
Here one comes in to land after a feeding sally
All seven birds can be seen in this picture (click to enlarge)
I was just about within range to hear their 'blooping' calls
A riot of colour in flight.

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