On Friday I saw three Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) on the lawn west of the Pond. This rather grainy out of focus image taken from quite a distance away shows one of them feeding on recently mown grass. These are the first Starlings I have seen on the ground in the Botanics since June 2004 – they really are rare visitors to the Botanics now although years ago, when we had open rubbish bins beside every bench, both Starlings and House Sparrows could be seen everywhere in the Garden. Now, sparrows and particularly Starlings visit the Garden very rarely. Last year, almost to the day, one was seen flying over the Garden by one of the Garden Guides, Cathy Bell, but it’s nine years since I last saw one feeding on the Garden. — PS Today (21 May) there was one on the lawn to the north of the Pond. Two records in less than a week! — PPS (29 May) The Starling ‘invasion’ continues, now seen on five days in May, always in the same area around the west and north of the Pond.