The news of an adult Rose Coloured Starling last night on Birdguides had me scampering down the A6 to Inskip this morning. Being a new bird for me, it was important to catch up with it while it was in the area.
I arrived early and there was only a handful of birders present. Chris Batty was putting food out to try an entice it into a photographable position, on the lawn on the opposite side of the road to the row of houses. There was no sign of the bird, so I positioned myself next to a tree in close proximity to the laid out apples and waited.
Eventually the bird appeared high up on a television aerial on one of the houses. Surely it would come down to apples!
It didn't, and kept disappearing further down the road, then reappearing on the house roofs once more.
People came and went, and still the bird wouldn't come close. I'd sat for 4/5 hours waiting for it to come down, and decided to stretch me legs in a bid to find the bird elsewhere.
I'd walked about 100 metres down from where everyone was, although there was even less hanging around by now when I thought I saw the bird land on a feeder in another front garden. My view was obscured by the front bush, but I was convinced that the bird landing was the Rose Coloured Starling.
It was. I walked slowly towards it, in order to try and get a record image. As I approached though, a farmer was approaching on his quad bike. As soon as he got near the front garden the Starling was in, the bird rose up and disappeared. Typical!
The farmer stopped on the road, right where I was stood. He asked whether I'd photographed it, to which I replied no!
He then asked me to join him in his house for a coffee, as the bird came regularly onto his back lawn. I couldn't believe it. I took up his offer on his condition that no one else followed us, and took me shoes off before wandering through his house, into his dining room. He opened the patio doors, and I set me camera up ready for the bird to come back.
We sat and waited, when all of a sudden the Starling landed about 20 feet away.
It couldnt get any better!
I took some record images and relaxed at the thought that at least I'd got something. The farmer said he was leaving after a time, and said I could stay in his back garden for as long as I wanted. I said that my wife was on her way, and could she come round the back, and that my good friends Mike and Jane Malpass were on their way and could they come and meet me in the garden. This was no problem to the bloke, so I sat there holding court until they arrived. Both Hazel and Mike rang me to find out where I was, and I explained that they could enter the garden, but not let the masses in. They managed to find me, and the bird showed just as it had done earlier.
I will be sending a photograph to the finder/farmer as an acknowlegement for all his help.