A number of people have been in touch to ask about the best place to see Starling murmurations in Northamptonshire. At present there appears to be only two sites – Titchmarsh LNR at Thrapston Gravel Pits, where one is currently building, and Summer Leys LNR, which produced a huge, swirling mass yesterday evening. Simon Hales’ video, below, captures the Titchmarsh birds nicely and the Summer Leys flock, videoed by Matt Hazleton, can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1HmtQYo Access to Titchmarsh via the track from the small car park at Aldwincle TL006814 and at Summer Leys view from main car park SP885634. Visit https://t.co/IRwvGXZTNs to complete Starling survey.
Leucistic juvenile Starling revisited
More from Phil Jackman on the ‘leucistic’ juvenile Starling in his Kettering garden. It – or one like it – is back, this time having moulted much more of its juvenile plumage during the intervening three weeks and, as suggested in the previous post on the topic, it appears that the bird’s ‘leucism’ may be/is age-related.
Leucistic juvenile Starling
Phil Jackman forwarded these images of a leucistic juvenile Starling present in his Kettering garden this weekend. While generally uncommon, leucism (really a lower concentration of melanin) in juvenile Starlings has been recorded on numerous occasions and invites confusion with juvenile Rose-coloured Starling which, however, has a largely yellow bill (especially at the base) and pale lores.
Also, this individual has already begun its post-juvenile moult, which commences with the wing feathers – in this case all the juvenile greater coverts, except the outer two, have been replaced.
This feather tract is again different to the equivalent plainer feathers of Rose-coloured. It’s interesting that these first-winter feathers are apparently normal, suggesting the bird’s leucism (lack of melanin) is age-related.
Many thanks to Phil for the images of this interesting bird.