Saturday, 27 April 2013

Subalpine Warbler and Rosy Starling

Subalpine Warblers and me don't seem to go well together. I saw my first one in 1981, one of my first real rarities, when a spring male was pulled out of a net on Bardsey. It took me another 29 years and several attempts before I saw another one, this time a female/immature bird on Scilly in 2010. News that the fine male at Landguard was showing well and an Eastern to boot saw me heading down the A12 this afternoon after a morning at work. Nearing Ipswich the skies darkened, the heavens opened and gloom descended on me. Surely a usually skulky Sylvia was never going to show well in conditions like this? Thankfully the rain stopped close to Felixstowe and we headed out on to the common much more hopefully. I needn't have worried. Having located the small group of birders with the bird it immediately flew in to a small patch of brambles in front of us and popped in to view.
It was feeding very actively moving from one patch of scrub to the next usually on the outside of the bush rather than the middle and sometimes on the ground. It continued to show almost continuously, seemingly utterly oblivious to people and the machine gunning of shutters, giving ridiculously good views. At times it came too close for the long lens to focus on! Here's a photo of it next to a photographer:

I even managed what I think are some decent shots with my little Panasonic camera when it decided to pose only about 8 feet away from me just when I thought it couldn't show any better and I was thinking of heading back to the car.

A stunning bird I think you'll have to agree!

We headed home with a small diversion to Orford for the Rosy Starling. This bird was less obliging to start with as we had to wait about 20 minutes before it appeared flying from behind someones house in to a tree. It did the usual Rosy Starling thing of blobbing about on a roof or aerial with the occasional foray to a tree or hedge before we left it. Although not pink it was in better plumage than the usual autumn birds and in the sunlight it did at least have a rosy beak. Being somewhat further away than the Subalpine I left my husband to take the photos with his better camera:

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