Some of the small group of Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) that have been frequenting the garden lately are looking really delightful as their plumage seems more glossy and the iridescent colours are showing up particularly well in the winter sunlight. A male among this group is also a perfect mimic for a Green Sandpiper and more than once I’ve been fooled by the quality of his reproduction ! Some recent photos of these birds below . . .
Notice the colour at the base of the bill: blue for male, pink for female. This feature for sexing Starlings is only valid for a short period in spring / early summer for breeding birds.
Common Starling, February 2017