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by Pete Jones 12 Dec 2014, 11:32
I was on my top balcony yesterday checking for damage after all the rain + I happened to look over towards Yesilkent + saw one of these mumurations,I wonder what type of birds they are ?
by joshelen 22 Dec 2014, 20:01
Can't identify the birds to species from these pictures. If they are sparrow sized they are likely to be a mix of House and Spanish Sparrows. Spanish Sparrows and House sparrows flock together overnight to roost and can often be seen in big flocks at evening time. I've seen both species in and around Yesilkent but have never visited in the winter so don't have any info re numbers at this time of year. Spanish Sparrow are predominantly Summer visitors but some over-winter. I've seen biggish mixed sparrow flocks during the spring/autumn but never that big. The other most likely possibility for sparrow sized birds are greenfinches.

I've seen both Common Starling and Rose coloured starlings around Yesilkent. Rose Coloured mid summer generally on passage in flight (biggest flock around 150), common starling late autumn in smaller flocks but again generally on passage.

It is possible that they are common starling that are in for the winter. I've just checked my Birds of Turkey (Kirwan et al 2008) and winter roosting flocks of 50,000- 100,000 are described as frequently encountered. An exceptional flock of 500,000 on the Buyuk Menderes Delta was reported in 1972.

So size wise if they are slightly smaller that a black bird they are likely to be common starling. They do look as if they are bigger than sparrows so my guess would be wintering Starling

by Juco 22 Dec 2014, 20:58
Apparently starlings in the UK have declined by over 80% since 1970 and are now on a critical endangered species list.
Only when I read this did I realise you dont see as many as years ago.

by joshelen 22 Dec 2014, 21:50
The world population is around 310 million. There are 140 million in the USA where it was introduced by Europeans. I've a small flock that eat a fat block a day in my garden in Wales. Many of the winter UK birds are eastern European/Russian. It's a small world to a bird.

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