Monday, 4 June 2018

Rose-coloured blank at Winterton and a Monty Python moment!

Since RBA was reporting yesterday's Rose-coloured Starling as still being present around the repeating station at Winterton, Linda and I took a break from gardening to have a look for it.

Despite arriving early and giving the dunes and village a good bashing, we never caught up with the target: there were lots of 'gangs' of Starlings around, but they all steadfastly refused to be pink!

It was fascinating to watch the breeding displays of the Little Terns: the males were attempting to emulate the Monty Python 'Fish Slapping Dance' with a Sandeel! (Before anyone chirps up: these birds were nowhere near the breeding colony - they were just in front of the cafĂ©.)

The Little Terns (and a few Common Terns, too) were having no trouble catching Sandeels, unlike the Scottish Puffins. I note that several newspapers are already blaming 'Global Warming' on Puffin decline, regardless of the evidence that over-fishing for Sandeels (predominantly by Danish boats) is a major factor: various journalists point to a decline in catches of Sandeels ' a result of climate change' while failing to mention that the annual catch in the northern North Sea is still half a million tonnes! Interesting to note that Puffin populations on the Atlantic coasts don't show the same recent levels of reduction...

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