Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sunday 31st October

I've been paying special attention to Starling flocks of late, partly as a result of scanning for Rose-coloured individuals (well sandy-coloured individuals) on my recent holiday to Cornwall, but also because they might materialise into Waxwings, especially after this weeks countrywide influx.  So a quick sortie out from Barming to East Farleigh Bridge and back had me scanning and checking every Starlings.  To be honest there wasn't all that about to check out - no winter thrushes in the South Street orchards and only a few Goldcrests calling from the Court Lodge Yews (South Street) and Rectory Lane Holm Oaks. However my diligence eventually paid off, not in the form of a Rosie or even a Waxwing but with three leucistic (albino) starlings.  Albinism in birds is a rare occurrence, wikipedia citing the probability at 1 in 1800, but I had three albinos sitting on the wires above the orchard just east of Farleigh Lane/Rectory Lane junction amongst a flock of just 38 normal birds - what's the chances of that!  Perhaps I ought to start doing the lottery again ;-)  I managed a few poor shots (compact held against the eyepiece of my 8x 42 bins) but I think it shows what needs to be shown!

The trouble is with the breeding statistics you can never be 100%  certain what the resultant progeny will turn out like - check out my second offspring below:


Warren Baker said...

yep! you sure have got some wierd genes there Adam :-)

Phil said...

That's the first time i've ever seen more than one albino at any one time Adam. Flipping amazing!

Adam said...

Cheers Warren - I'm blaming the missus!!!


Kingsdowner said...

Those albinos are extraordinary - don't you have any sparrowhawks around to take advantage?

I think you crossed the line with the photo of your son..... he'll get his own back, you know.

Bob Bushell said...

An albino Starlings, well, I'm flabbergasted.

Greenie said...

Adam ,
Incredible shot of the three albinos .
Take no notice of Warren , he's just jealous of that head of hair your son's got .

Adam said...

Hi Kingsdowner, yep plenty of Sparrowhawks around here, daily sighting but don't seem to get the albinos - I had 2 last winter in a nearby orchard (presumably 2 of the 3 seen today). On the research station I've also had an albino Wood Pigeon for the last 4 weeks that refuses to fly! How has that survived the foxes let alone the Sparrowhawks!!


Derek Faulkner said...

White Starlings, white Wood Pigeons, Warren also had a white squirrel the other day, is something odd going on in your part of Kent.
Will you have white strawberries next?
I presume that Cornwall was as good as usual.

Adam said...

Hi Derek

Yep we've already got white strawberries, Ill post a pic later! Report on Cornwall to follow.