Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A murmuration of Starlings close to home

Here's the sounds of thousands of starlings at roost!

And here's my own running commentary of the same experience close to my home:

There's been a lot of publicity recently on the incredible starling experiences across the UK where millions of these gregarious birds form swirling shapes movements, moving through the sky as a single entity like a squidgy, amoeba changing form and size every second! It leaves those watching it for real or viewers online or watching tv with mouths wide-open, in awe at the sheer complexity, beauty and form. 

Here in Bristol, one of the most well known starling experiences is about an hour away down on the Somerset Levels. Millions on starlings roost in the reedbeds, feeding by day on the farmland across Somerset. Even more mind-boggling is that huge numbers of these birds originate from Russia and eastern Europe which is currently very much colder and frozen compared to the west of England (where it's just wet and mild!).

In the past few weeks thousands of starlings have been performing this incredible display close the second Severn Crossing on the Severn Estuary near Bristol. It's only ten minutes drive from my home and an awesome opportunity to watch such a spectacle so close by. They were swirling round above my head and so close I could even smell their compost-like scent! And once the mass drop down in the bushes, they break their silence and burst out into a cacophony of squeals, whistles and gurgles as they squabble over their roosting space!at

I captured (above) this murmuration of starlings on the Somerset Levels in February 2010.

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