Thursday, 16 July 2009

Starlings On Seaweed.

Almost as English as Ice Cream and Kiss me Quick hats. I didn't bother researching either of those two examples so if the French invented either please leave your comments correcting me below, only if you you can do it without Google of course. They do seem to almost epitomise the English at the seaside, cocky to the point of arrogance, wandering the beach as if they owned it. Having a bit of a barney with the foreigners and diving into the litter bins, obviously the only difference in the latter example being that we seem to need 16 pints before getting into the waste.

Whilst looking through BBi last night researching nectar drinking Starlings I came across a note or letter referring to this 'feeding on seaweed' on the Isle of Scilly circa 1970 (it must have been a very quiet Autumn that year). Now it doesn't claim to be the first recorded instance of Starlings using this feeding technique but for it to be noteworthy only 40 years ago I find surprising.
After all it seems like they all do it now. Find a beach with seaweed and your almost guaranteed to have some swaggering Stashies picking their way through it often mixed in with Turnstones and the odd Dunlin.

The other reason for this post is I just love the way the colours and textures of seaweed come out when you photograph it, so expect more birds on seaweed as I manage to pick them off. Might even have to consider a 'Birds Seen Feeding on Seaweed' List, just so it feels like proper birding.
Oh and if Brian tells you I was eating Ice Cream wearing a Kiss Me Quick hat whilst I took these don't believe a word, the Ice Cream van hadn't arrived at that point.


Stewart said...

Alan did you see the nectar drinking Rose coloured Starling at Seahouses a few years back?...In the grounds of the Bamburgh Castle Hotel on Red Hot Pokers...

Alan Tilmouth said...

No, tried for it and dipped it.

shirl said...

Hi there Alan... just spotted you as new member on UKNHB.

Love the blog title... and the starling shots with seaweed... I'll have to look out for that. Great colours with the two. Must try to get some of this half spotted look from the ones that visit my garden... an average background will be expected. Now... I could get creative with PhotoShop. If I do get any shots I'll link to your posting. Great writing style too :-D

It looked a bit cool for ice cream... perhaps next time :-D

Northumbrian Birding said...

There was a note in BB I think of Turnstones feeding on human corpse, so keep your eyes open ,I'm sure Starlings of today would be there too!!