**Seeing StarLINGs!**

This Tuesday the sun was shining and it was glorious to be out if you could avoid being in the shade. The first outing of the day took me to a housing estate in Holyhead where Ken was looking for a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling. We approached the garden where the bird had been sighted from a playing field behind and my ears were ringing with Starling calls coming from all directions. We had several lovely views of the stunning birds in all their irredescent glory singing from atop aerials, however no sign of the rosy. As we neared the garden it was as though there were a few dozen smaller Starlings but it turned out that the bright midday sun was fooling my eyes and turned House Sparrows into irredescent silouettes! We moved on from here and Ken returned the following morning to have stunning views of the bird just metres away from him 🙂

After a quick sandwich (outside of my newly cleaned car) we went to check out Cors Goch, a North Wales Wildlife Trust reserve. We donned our wellies and squelched our way along one of the reserves paths, it was a bit of an adventure into the unknown because I’d never been there before and we didn’t really know what we expected to see. Luckily we weren’t disapointed and saw plenty of Fieldfare and Blackbirds plus a couple of Mistle Thrush and a Snipe flapping around overhead.

Have you heard of Pishing? I’m not really sure if that’s how it should be spelt, but it’s phonetically correct! It’s basically a call you can emit that is unfamiliar to any of our birds. Ken showed me “pishing” in action at Cors Goch – we saw a Goldcrest flitting around in a bush and Ken stood alongside it and made a nigh on continuous “pish” and miraculously the tiny bird (Britain’s smallest breeding bird) crept out from inside the bush to look at what could be making such an unusual sound. I grinned from ear to ear.

On our way back to the car I spotted a female Reed Bunting in a tree ahead and she was soon joined by her male counterpart.

We headed west across the island (directly into the sun – not a good idea) to see if we could find some Short-eared Owls which Ken had watched on previous afternoons. As soon as we arrived at our destination Ken spotted an Owl quartering over the common. It was huge! I didn’t need binoculars. I drove on further down the road and had to stop my car as two Owls tussled in the air right above my windscreen, wow!! Phenomenal views!

We were losing light and so headed on to Llyn Coron to see if I could catch up with the interesting Geese that had been dropping in. In a matter of minutes I clocked three new species for my life list: Short-eared Owl, Eurasian White-fronted Goose and Bean Goose. Fabulous end to the day!

Yesterday afternoon I tried once more to catch up with the Starling roost at Malltraeth, and far from seeing Starlings we think they’d already gone to bed! I was working off-island and was blissfully unaware that the afternoon had been pretty miserable on the island. The bad weather had probably persuaded the Starlings to retire early and we missed the spectacle. Ah well, don’t want to be greedy. Note to self – pay more attention to the weather!

Kathy x

About nature.bites.admin

Kathy is a wildlife enthusiast who loves nothing more than to inspire people about nature. She is the Trust Development Officer for the West Wales Rivers Trust, a researcher at Aden Productions and offers guided wildlife tours on Anglesey with the amazing Ken Croft. Outside of work, Kathy arranges Anglesey Marine Week in order to promote engagement in conservation. Please see the 'Wildlife Tours' page of the website for more details of how to join a tour.

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