Tuesday 18 December 2012, 16:31
Starling murmurations, where thousands of birds flock together, swirling in the sky at dawn and dusk, are one of the ultimate winter spectacles. During the colder months, up and down the country, hundreds of thousands of starlings darken the sky with these incredible, acrobatic displays on their way to or from their roosts.
We've been lucky enough to film them in the past, such as this display by Aberystwyth pier. As ever, we've love to see your sightings. Please share your links below or to the Winterwatch Flickr Group.
So where is your best chance of spotting this spectacle?
The County Bird Recorders and the RSPB regional and county teams have kindly put together a list of sites that are either currently known to have starling roosts or those where there is a high probability before the winter is over. There is no guarantee of a spectacular sight as the birds can move around from roost to roost and the display can depend on timing, the number of birds and the presence of predators.
Anglesey: Malltreath Marsh RSPB Reserve
Aberdeenshire: Near Collieston north of Aberdeen
Antrim: Albert Bridge in Belfast
Cambridgeshire: Maxey Pits near Peterborough
Cambridgeshire: Paxton Pits Nature Reserve (Hayling Pit)
Cambridgeshire: RSPB Fen Drayton Reserve
Cheshire: Rostherne Mere
Conwy: RSPB Conwy
Devon: Okehampton Camp
Dorset: Poole (Sterte)
Dumfries and Galloway: Gretna Green
East Glamorgan: Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve
East Sussex: Between Brighton Marina and the Royal Pier
Hampshire: Northing reported
Herefordshire: Wellington gravel-pits SO505475
Lancashire: RSPB Leighton Moss
Lincolnshire: Far Ings Nature Reserve
Lincolnshire: Kirkby on Bain pits Wildlife Trust reserve
Lancashire: Blackpool Pier
Lothians: Nivensknowe South of Edinburgh
Norfolk: Strumpshaw Fen
Northumberland: Holy Island (peak numbers in autumn)
North Lincolnshire: Barton-on-Humber nature reserve
Pembrokeshire: Plumstone Mountain Grid ref SM914233
Perth and Kinross: Loch Leven NNR (likely NE shore)
Radnorshire: Fronddyrys and Pie Corner area ca.SO 165600 and SO140605
Shropshire: Nothing reported
Staffordshire: Aqualate Meer National Nature Reserve
Suffolk: North Warren (Near Thorpeness)
Teeside: RSPB Saltholme
Warwickshire: Brand Marsh Nature Reserve
Wiltshire: West Lavington
Thanks for all your tips in the comments below. And here's just a few of your replies via Twitter.
You missed one! Cardiff Bay at the moment. I photographed this last week. http://www.landscapesuncovered.com/cardiff-bay-murmuration/ …
iain green @naturebygreen
You missed Somerset Levels! (Shapwick/Ham Wall) In my top 3 wildlife spectacles enjoyed in 15 yrs as wildlife photographer
potteric carr has at the moment which is impressive
Mike Collins @MikeyC74
you can often see them near to Swindon station at dusk; a wonderful sight
Henry Tamblin @HenryTamblin
Marazion marsh in Cornwall can be great, Cornwall's biggest reed bed, spectacular sunsets that far west too!
Kate Harris @Bo74
saw amazing ones at lizard point in Cornwall
From my garden! They come to roost on the pylons every night this time of year but not large enough numbers possibly
Derek & Suzy@DerekSuzy
Gretna green and RSPB Saltholme
Gavin Vella Also add Newport Wetlands to that list
Jenny Heath The Albert Bridge and also the Queens Bridge in Belfast. Spectacular!
Steve Webb Aberystwyrh Pier is a great place to see starling murmurations
Charlie Brown Portsmouth harbour station at around 4pm about 500 birds
Deborah Marland Watched one at Leighton Moss a few weeks back it was spectacular.
Angie Hill There's a nice one building up in Worcester at the moment. Not a startling number of starlings ... but approx 1000 which is good for starters!
Pete Clark Theres one near me around the English, Welsh border at Pulford/Rossett, admittedly the murmuration normally form over the fields about a mile away some we often get a dozen or so flood the garden cleaning out the bird tables and fat balls!
John Walsh Brighton Marina is the place to be now that the old West Pier no longer allows them a roost at night.
Frances Palmer Starlings put on a good show over the pier at Eastbourne. I've often seen them and it is spectacular!
Clare Checkley Aberystwyth pier is a fantastic place to see the starlings... either watch from the prom or if you're feeling brave (and don't mind bird droppings!) actually on the pier end itself, where you can fully immerse yourself in a murmuration - an awesome experience!
Have we missed any? Drop your tips in below please!
Join the discussion...
Monday 17 December 2012, 14:45
Wednesday 19 December 2012, 18:09