18 Jun 2012

Rose-coloured Starling and Montagu's Harrier!

A wet and miserable day Saturday was compounded by the annoying squeak we couldn't trace on the Landrover developing into a full grown problem when the prop shaft universal joint gave way. Luckily I'd just made it back from a trip to Frodsham to join Frank & Mark but then spent a couple of hours lying on my back in the wet trying to resolve the problem - not! Hopefully the spares will arrive today. Frodsham was very quiet apart from the  Swifts and a sub-adult Hobby.

By contrast Sunday was a much better day and with Steve deciding on a fathers day birding trip with Thomas I jumped in to go and see the Rose-coloured Starling that had turned up at Rhos-on-Sea a mere 30 minutes west from us! I'd predicted a local one earlier in the week and I still need this bird for Cheshire. By contrast N Wales seems to have either a secret breeding colony or an in-exhaustible supply from a cage somewhere. They've had at least 7 in the past 10 years.

The Rosey Starling showed exceptionally well in the front garden of a local house - chasing House Sparrows away from its preferred fat balls and occasionally having a fly round. It was easily viewable from the opposite side of the road with no need to get any closer! Many thanks to the residents for putting up with a load of birders (and interested passers by strolling down the prom) looking directly into their front garden.

What a stonker!

With a free afternoon and the Starling safely on Thomas' list it was decided to head across the Mersey and try for the long staying adult male Montague's Harrier so after a quick trip home for lunch I met up with Steve again for the short journey to Altcar. With only an hour or so to spare we'd given up hope and had left the site, where most people had stayed waiting for it to return, when Steve suggested checking out an areas about a mile away. Out the car. First bird I saw. Distant in the heat haze but our target bird. Ringing a few mates who'd we'd just left we waited for the first to arrive before racing for home. Late but not to late.

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