Thursday, October 14, 2010

Red-billed Starling

The word lifer always sounds so sweet to my ears. There has been a huge flock of starlings roosting near my dorm for a few weeks now. The main roosting site seems to be the tall Beppu Tower, which is just a few hundred metres away. Before flying to the tower, they always gather either in the elementary school nearby or on electric poles on the opposite side of the road. The number should be around 200-300 birds. 80 percent of the flock is, of course, the White-cheeked Starling, 19 percent is the smaller Chestnut-cheeked and another 1 percent is surprisingly the scarce Red-billed Starling (Sturnus sericeus), which is a lifer for me as well!


White-cheeked Starling (Sturnus cineraceus)
Male Chestnut-cheeked Starling (Sturnus philippensis)

Red-billed Starling (Sturnus sericeus)
I first saw 1 male Red-billed Starling in the evening of October 1st, and 2 more on the 3rd. Too bad I couldn't get any better photos of the birds than the above images. The first two show the first male bird perching along with the usual White-cheekeds. The latter two show 2 more birds among the flock of both White-cheeked and Chestnut-cheeked Starlings. The individual with a more pronounced white hood is the male and the other is the female. I searched for them again several times but couldn't find any, though the number of the Chestnut-cheeked seemed to gradually increase.

5 comments:

Stu said...

Nice one, I should look closer at the Starling flocks here too........

Chris said...

wow that's a much more beautiful one than the European one we have.... I also like when i saw the spotless starling in Morocco, but it took me a while to realise it was not the same as our... Beautiful set of pictures you got as usually!

martesorex said...

Wow Red-billed!
I don't see recently.

Phil said...

A good piece of work A in thinking to check through 300 Starlings - not many would do so. Even better to find a lifer amongst them.

Ryou said...

Interesting! Congrats on the lifer. ;)