The weather is starting to turn very cold, the leaves scattered on the ground are crystallised in frost and the birds are desperately searching the trees for ruby red berries. On Sunday I heard news of a immature Rose-Coloured Starling that had been visiting a garden for around 3 weeks but the news had only just come out. Luckily for me where it had been sighted was only literally up the road so, a 4 minute drive later, I was there.
After getting parked up, I had checked all the trees and where the main group of starlings were gathering. Unfortunately, the other 7 or 8 birders and I couldn't find it anywhere. However I was determined to find it, so as my mum returned to the relative warmth of the car, I carried on looking. About an hour later I joined a few birders as we checked the trees of gardens on the roadside. None of them could find it but to my surprise I looked through my binoculars and it was perched right in front of my eyes!
As I snapped away with my camera, I looked behind me and everyone had managed to find out and see it, followed by a series of well dones to me for finding it again!
I was quite pleased with the photo that I got and even more pleased that it featured in the rare bird alert weekly round-up which you can find here: http://bit.ly/2fBRBDM
That afternoon I was off to Knepp Estate for a roost bird ringing session. We were hoping to catch a few Redwings as there had been quite a group of Thrushes in amongst the scrub. As I met up with fellow birder James (http://www.jiainmac.wordpress.com) we scanned across the sun set skyline for any sign of bird life. A Red Kite soured in the distance and a Kestrel was silhouetted on a tree close to the pond. Now the nets had been set, it was just about waiting until it became dark...
After a couple of net rounds we had caught quite a few Redwings plus a Goldcrest. It now become very dark and I was struggling to see where I was going! It was quite an experience for me as I had never rung in the dark, but something that I am probably going to have to get used to!The nets had become unfortunately empty so we began to take them down. It was great to hear two or three Tawny owls, which however didn't go in the net but hopefully we can try again next time for them!