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Common Starlings, Russia

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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 09:29   #1
andyadcock
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Common Starlings, Russia

We found a flock of 30-40 birds in St Petersburg at the weekend, they must have over wintered but it's the first time we've seen Starlings here in winter.

Lots of Fieldfares over wintered this year and had our first winter sighting of Sparrowhawk.


A

Last edited by andyadcock : Wednesday 28th February 2018 at 10:03.
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 09:43   #2
mark clements
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
We found a flock of 30-40 birds in St Petersburg at the weekend, they must have over wintered but it's the first time we've seen Starlings here in winter.

Lots of Fieldfares over wintered this year and our first winter Sparrowhawk, the latter being a first winter sighting for us.


A
That's Interesting, Andy.

It could be a pattern change due to the overall weather changes? I do not follow the climate enough to know.

But I have been wondering about starlings since moving to Norfolk 3 years ago. We have over an acre of garden and have no starlings recorded on the ground, and very few flyovers. In Cambridgeshire before the move they were the commonest in our winter garden. Less than 300 yards down the road there are flocks of 20+ in fields and 15 minutes away they get huge winter murmurations, but just here, we get very few; its the same for house or tree sparrows too. (Purple Heron may think its the local cell towers, but we get no telephone signals on any network either .)

We get Fieldfares and Redwing in numbers, and Lapwings have been grouping as if for migration last week.

Any other anomolies in North Western Russia?
Harry
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 10:18   #3
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i always saw starlings as aggressive but now i have adjusted that. they are not so much aggressive as that they ignore several cues. they seem simply not to notice other birds in the garden, self-involved to the extent that birds of all sizes from small to pigeon or jackdaw are not responded to. whereas other species seem to observe an hierarchical behaviour not always by size but too aggression in some cases. this may be that starlings require a flock to feel secure in the same manner as schooling fish. the starlings that come in to my feeder in bunches of a dozen ignore anything but overhead cues before they move. on any hawk or similar view they dive into deep cover, yet in the park just metres away they just swirl and reform. this may not be at all relevant to your case Harry but is your garden mainly bare deciduous? the smaller flock seems more inclined to find cover wheras when they congregate just metres away over the fence in park they rely on flocking behaviour.
i am new to 'birding' and interested in behaviour as much as identification, my observations are conjecture, nothing more.
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 11:41   #4
andyadcock
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That's Interesting, Andy.

It could be a pattern change due to the overall weather changes? I do not follow the climate enough to know.

But I have been wondering about starlings since moving to Norfolk 3 years ago. We have over an acre of garden and have no starlings recorded on the ground, and very few flyovers. In Cambridgeshire before the move they were the commonest in our winter garden. Less than 300 yards down the road there are flocks of 20+ in fields and 15 minutes away they get huge winter murmurations, but just here, we get very few; its the same for house or tree sparrows too. (Purple Heron may think its the local cell towers, but we get no telephone signals on any network either .)

We get Fieldfares and Redwing in numbers, and Lapwings have been grouping as if for migration last week.

Any other anomolies in North Western Russia?
Harry
Not really Harry,
we get over wintering Thrushes, mainly Fieldfares, in good Rowan berry years such as this but this year has bigger numbers than I've seen before.

Plenty of Blackbirds are here too and they are usually gone, we also had a presumed, Common Buzzard in December which should also be gone from here in winter.

Starlings are a new, winter sighting for us, they are of course common in the summer but not in the City where people really like them and actually put up nesting boxes just for Starlings.

A
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 12:03   #5
Jos Stratford
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Though exceptionally rare inland, small numbers of Starlings winter on the northern Estonian coast and, I believe, southern parts of Finland most winters. I guess this would account for an occasional winter record in St Petersburg.
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Old Wednesday 28th February 2018, 12:38   #6
andyadcock
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Though exceptionally rare inland, small numbers of Starlings winter on the northern Estonian coast and, I believe, southern parts of Finland most winters. I guess this would account for an occasional winter record in St Petersburg.
Certainly unusual here,

thanks, A
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Old Monday 19th March 2018, 03:06   #7
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Nice

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
We found a flock of 30-40 birds in St Petersburg at the weekend, they must have over wintered but it's the first time we've seen Starlings here in winter.

Lots of Fieldfares over wintered this year and had our first winter sighting of Sparrowhawk.


A
One of my dreams is to witness these massive migrations. I mean the numbers are just staggering. Imagine seeing millions of birds fly in perfect harmony from one end to another. You don't need to be a Trigonometry expert to appreciate such an event. As long as I'm not right underneath them I'll be happy.

@Andyadcock - Next time have your smartphone ready for a quick pic of Starlings. I'm sure we'll all appreciate it :)
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