Iridescent feathers

The Starlings were unusually bold today, as they foraged around the mud and debris deposit on the mud flat as the tide receded. Usually quick to utter their shrill alarm calls and take flight, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted when they allowed me to get within a few feet!

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Pulling a worm from the sticky mud
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Aaarkk!
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Wandering ever closer…

The starlings wandered closer and closer to where I was sitting, stopping frequently to turn over a rock or pick out an insect from among the seaweed. I snapped away, hardly daring to breathe for fear of sudden scaring them away.

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The starlings have now lost their speckled winter plumage, replaced with their glossy black breeding feathers which shine bright green and purple with iridescence. Their bills have also turned bright yellow, signalling their health and readiness to breed.

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Despite this bright colouring the birds appeared surprisingly camouflaged, particularly among the seaweed. In fact if this superb looking male hadn’t moved, I probably would have walked straight past him.

What a beauty!

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All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2017 ©
http://www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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