‘Rosy’ species swaps warm Indian winter for Crawley chill

The Rosy Starling usually spends winters in India and Sri Lanka. Pictures: Dorian Mason
The Rosy Starling usually spends winters in India and Sri Lanka. Pictures: Dorian Mason

A bird that usually spends winters in India has been spotted in Crawley.

There have only been 39 previous sightings of rosy starlings in Sussex, usually in warmer weather, so this is ‘unusual’, according to an experts.

The central Asian species, also known as the Rose-coloured Starling, usually winters in the rather warmer India and Sri Lanka says Mark Mallalieu, recorder for the Sussex Ornithological Society.

“Its occurrence in Crawley may seen very odd,” said Mr Mallalieu.

“However, it is prone to irruptions and erratic movements, with birds sometimes breeding well outside their usual range and lone individuals or flocks occurring on migration well outside their expected range.”

It occurs annually in Britain there were 1,117 birds recorded and between 1958 and 2014. Very occasionally, some of these spent the winter in Crawley.

“Young birds are a rather dull, fawn-brown colour, but adults have a splendid pink and black plumage. The Crawley bird is still present and is now moulting into its adult plumage,” Mr Mallalieu added.

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