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Rare rose-coloured starling spotted in Ipswich back garden

PUBLISHED: 09:29 05 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:34 05 June 2017

The rare rose-coloured starling spotted in Larchcroft Road, Ipswich. Picture: CHRIS COURTNEY

The rare rose-coloured starling spotted in Larchcroft Road, Ipswich. Picture: CHRIS COURTNEY

chrisc.courtney@yahoo.co.uk

Birdwatchers have been flocking to a back garden in Henley Road, Ipswich, after a rare rose-coloured starling was spotted.

The rare rose-coloured starling spotted in Larchcroft Road, Ipswich. Picture: CHRIS COURTNEYThe rare rose-coloured starling spotted in Larchcroft Road, Ipswich. Picture: CHRIS COURTNEY

RSPB Ipswich Local Group member Rosie Forest spotted the unusual bird outside her home in Henley Road when it came down to feed on dried mealworms.

She noticed it on Friday morning – it was sitting among a large flock of around 50 common starlings about two metres away from her patio doors.

The rare rose-coloured starling spotted in Larchcroft Road, Ipswich. Picture: CHRIS COURTNEYThe rare rose-coloured starling spotted in Larchcroft Road, Ipswich. Picture: CHRIS COURTNEY

The bird, which is part of a migrant species which breed in Russia and the Ukraine, also fed on suet hanging at the back of Rosie’s garden.

She said it occasionally flew up to the tops of her conifer trees. Chris Courtney, a fellow bird-watcher, said: “She (Rosie texted me at 8.35am saying she had had this amazing pink starling and went on during subsequent texts to give a perfect description of an adult rosy starling. I told her it couldn’t be anything else.

“It was most apt that our member Rosie should succeed in attracting her namesake, the bird is known colloquially by birders as a Rosy starling.

“It’s also testimony to her really dedicated efforts to feed her garden birds - she spends a small fortune buying bird food and spends hours enjoying watching them.”

Mr Courtney called Lee Woods at the Birders Information Networked Service (BINS) to alert him about the rare species.

He then spent around two hours from 7.15am on Saturday morning waiting with Rosie in her living room for the bird to reappear.

By then, a small crowd of birdwatchers had gathered at her home to see the rose-coloured starling.

Mr Courtney added: “As I was about to leave, news came through BINS that Andrew Gregory had refound the bird in a conifer visible from Larchcroft Road, so Rosie and I whizzed round the corner when after a few minutes the bird re-appeared in the same tree, much to Rosie’s delight as I think she was a little worried that without further sightings everyone might think she had dreamt the whole thing up.”

The bird was not seen again after Saturday evening.

Rose-coloured starlings also breed in small numbers in Romania – and in winter, can even be seen in the Indian sub-continent.

Did you see the rare bird at the weekend? Let us know at newsroom@archant.co.uk

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