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The starling roost: a very British spectacle

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Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 11:25 UK time, Tuesday, 16 November 2010

For most months of the year, the starling wouldn't make it into anyone's top five bird list. During autumn, however, this highly intelligent, iridescent bird comes into its own with its famous and spectacular aerial displays (as this clip from Nature of Britain shows).

 

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Starlings gather in large flocks (or murmurations to give them the proper name) of up to a million birds. The flocks wheel and turn and create amazing shapes across the early evening sky. 

But why? The most convincing explanation is to ward off predators such as hawks and peregrine falcons attracted to the area by the huge number starlings roosting. 

Ringing studies have shown that the Scandinavian birds tend to winter in the north of Britain while those from Germany and the Netherlands tend to winter in the south of England.

Sadly since the mid-1960s, breeding populations in Europe have been in decline, probably due to modern farming practices and loss of habitat.

Best seat in the house

Although it's pretty hard to predict exactly where these displays will occur each year, there are places where they've been seen year after year.

The Somerset Levels attracts the largest murmurations of starlings in the country. Displays here can contain more than a million individuals.  The Levels are an attractive place for the starling flocks as they offer large reed beds which are the perfect feeding ground for hungry starlings.

Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve is particularly good. In 1999/2000 it attracted an estimated flock of over 6 million starlings.  Other locations in the county include RSPB Ham Wall and Westhay Moor.


If you are fancy heading to the Somerset Levels to watch the spectacle then phone the very handy RSPB Starling Hotline before you leave on 07866 554142 or send them an email to make sure you visit at the best time.

If Somerset's too far there are several RSPB reserves that attract flocking starlings: Fen Drayton Lakes in Cambridgeshire, Leighton Moss in Lancashire, Saltholme near Middlesbrough, Newport Wetlands in Newport, and Snape in Suffolk.

WWT reserves to try include Slimbridge in Gloucestershire and Martin Mere in Lancashire.

Or there's Aberystwyth pier in Wales (where Chris and Kate went for Thursday's show), Blackpool pier, Gretna Green in Dumfries and Galloway and Brighton Pier in Sussex.

From your comments on the messageboard it seems this very British spectacle is a big favourite with many of you. So do you have any starling stories? Where's your favourite starling flocking location? Tell us by posting a comment below.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    My birthday treat in January is always a stay in Aberystwyth so that we can watch the starlings coming into roost ( after an afternoon at the red kite feeding centre just up at the road at Nant Y Arian ). It really is an amazing sight and well worth the trip!

  • Comment number 2.

    Witnessed both the kites feeding at Bwlch yr Arian and the starlings flocking at the pier at Aberystwyth only yesterday -magical, just magical...

  • Comment number 3.

    Get yourselves down to Brighton sea front, about 4.30, buy a portion of chips & enjoy the starling show. I love how the birds flock around the wreck of West Pier. Looks fantastic especially when combined with a good firey-winter sunset.

  • Comment number 4.

    I once saw this spectacle, if on a smaller scale, while sat in a popular fast food chain at Cleethorpes! My mates didn't seem to care about the swirling mass of birds behind them, but i thought it was brilliant, and all from the the warm indoors with a burger and chips in hand!
    Billy Clapham (Age: 17)

  • Comment number 5.

    My local watch is at Gretna Green; go and watch maybe 4 or 5 times a week if at all possible, and never tire of watching.
    The pesky birds have just moved away from a perfect viewing site today !

  • Comment number 6.

    Hardly ever mentioned, yet a wonderful site for watching giant starling flocks through the winter months, is the RSPB's Otmoor Reserve in Oxfordshire.

  • Comment number 7.

    By far one of the best places to see Starlings is Gretna near the M74. There was a picture of them in the newspaper this week in the shape of a bears head. The magical thing about this place is there is never just one roost of them there are often 3 to 4 one after the other.
    They really are one of nature's wonders just a bit tricky to watch as they usually go over your car as you are driving :-)

  • Comment number 8.

    Evening Springhare.
    Very interested in your post about RSPB Otmoor. Not too far away from there and would just love to witness this spectacle for myself. Is this a particularly good time to visit?
    Thanks for the info.
    jo

  • Comment number 9.

    Does anyone know where starling flocks can be seen in Essex or Herts? Thank you.

  • Comment number 10.

    Hullo to all! -

    We witnessed a wonderful murmuration of starlings whilst staying at the North Terminal at Gatwick airport a couple of Christmasses ago and will never forget this magical dusk display. It seemed to last for about an hour and was truly mesmerising in the fading winter light. We could almost feel the air movement from the starlings' wings, the multiple flocks came in so low, and the sound of the thousands of birds forming and re-forming, swirling repeatedly over our heads before suddenly all dropping like lead weights into the trees to roost was astounding - what glorious sounds!! I don't know if such behaviour is a feature near UK airports generally but presumably Gatwick's location on the leafy, field-strewn Surrey-Sussex borders is ideal. It was not something we had expected as part of our festive countryside walks and was a wonderful natural gift! Other than this, we have only witnessed such a display from a hotel in Utrecht, Holland about ten years ago - we were staying on a high floor at the hotel and watched for ages as the birds formed endless patterns in the distant dusk sky. Sorry, unfortunately no photos of either of these events!

    Other "news" - we currently still have a young grey cygnet on an adjacent dock basin, still with its two parents. It is about two-thirds the size of the adult birds and truly beautiful. Excuse my probably appalling ignorance, but is this late for a swan to be still immature and with its parents? We have also, throughout this autumn, heard what sound to be baby birds calling from the trees and bushes around this "pond" - again, this seems very late in the year for song or other birds (pigeon? moorhen?) to still have young dependant on them, but maybe this is normal if the weather etc allows?? Meanwhile (and maybe relatedly re weather/resources/predation etc), the single coot couple on this pond this year tried repeatedly, right throughout the year, to raise young, but without a single success. It was rather heart-breaking to watch the couples' devoted but ultimately futile industry, time after time - we never saw even a single egg. In contrast, last year we enjoyed a multitude of both coot and moorhen babies, and also wagtail families (both grey and pied) in several watery habitats surrounding us. Maybe this coot couple were just inexperienced "parents"? - although we do have grey heron around the pond on occasion (less this year than in other years as the pond hasn't been re-stocked with fish since it was drained for maintenance for many months recently), and we have even witnessed - shocking but awe-inspiringly - a sparrowhawk hunting over the water, once successfully but once coming up empty-beaked (this time, one of the adult wagtails was agile enough to elude its captor - on the previous occasion, an unfortunate LBJ disappeared at immense speed right in front of us!).

    On a similar note, is it late for bees etc to still be about? About two weeks' ago we were still witnessing the occasional flying or foraging bee around the area, some even "buzzing" our balcony green space - although nothing for the last week or so. I also have an outstanding query about "murders" of crows - is there a term for when corvids suddenly congregate, seemingly out of nowhere, and then spend half an hour or more, presumably communcating information (both vocally and visually??), before dispersing, again seemingly into the ether, leaving only the residual resident territorial birds, now with their precisely exchanged information? Also, is such behaviour common in urban environments (maybe the birds don't need to make such banal distinctions ..?!) This time I do have photos of such an event (which happened early one morning on a tall office block across the water from our home some weeks ago), but unfortunately these are only of a very poor quality (and anyway, I've already filled my limit for today's Flickr group upload!).

    Well, I'd best leave any more on this for another time (if I - and others! - manage to find enough ...) - and also, my joyful news on both the return this week of our cripple-legged but extremely doughty female blackbird (Marge, sorry folks! - with us for about five years now ...), and also concerning, only yesterday, the first visit to our tiny little outside wilderness of a magical jay - result!!! (This gloriously beautiful, clever - and extremely sensitive/street-wise - bird spotted either Marge, newly feeding, and/or the three little acorns I rescued from the pond and stuck, hopefully - and clearly enticingly! - in a hanging plant pot on our miniscule balcony a week or so ago!) Again, sadly no photos of any visits from this year - but what visual and audio treats!!!

    As ever, thanks to anyone who reads all this! - I hope it's of interest to others ... I'd best finally post it now as it will soon be time for the latest AW/US bonanza - even spread over eight weeks, this latest series (and indeed, autumn itself - always my favourite month!) is speeding by far, far too fast ...!! There is always so much to see, hear - and, hopefully, record!!

    All the best to all, TB/RB.

  • Comment number 11.

    We have watched the starlings for the past three years in Yeovil, every year it keeps getting bigger! People 'flock' to ASDA in Yeovil. Somerset and watch hundreds of thousands of them, a better display than Westhay Moor.

  • Comment number 12.

    Have been loving the early evening display over our village of Alderton in North Wiltshire, apparently they have not been seen here for many years, residents in their 70's can remember them but not our local farmer who is in his 40's. Melissa

  • Comment number 13.

    Thought you may like to know about the stunning starling flocks that are guaranteed to be seen on Davidstow Moor here in North Cornwall

  • Comment number 14.

    Last year, I enjoyed the spectacle of the starlings and their aerial dispays over the Great Northern Terrace area of Lincoln. It was breath-taking!

    Then they would suddenly all descend into their roost, a row of huge conifers in the middle of the factory complex.

    Sadly, this year there has been no sign of them. :-(

  • Comment number 15.

    Never really knew about the murmurations of the starlings. However had the eerie pleasure of the experience in Sennybridge.

    In the woods on a training excercise I felt a sudden rush of wind (more normally felt in the jungle before the rain), the sound and smell were overpowering and as it was dawn the light kept disappearing and reappearing. Lasted for over 10min before they moved off.

    Will never forget the sensation.

  • Comment number 16.

    Blackpool Promenade is a great place to see the spectacular show put on by starlings around North Pier. Unusually, this afternoon and yesterday - about 3.30 - huge flocks flew over the main A585 road. They came from the direction of the fells on the edge of Trough of Bowland and flew towards Blackpool.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi are there any Starlings roosting at Gretna Green this year as this is the nearest for me to watch them

  • Comment number 18.

    The Otmoors near Oxford is an amazing fairly new RSPB reserve. The Sterlings are amazing as I see them many a time gathering at Charlton On Otmoor, but there is so mych more to see at the Otmoor reserve. Strongly recommend a visit

  • Comment number 19.

    I've seen small groups of starlings gathering in various places on Anglesey. They eventually meet up and settle in the reeds of the Malltraeth Marsh. We may find them attractive but the people of Rome had to play distress calls to disperse them, after pavements and cars became covered in droppings from millions of starlings, roosting in the trees of the avenues of the city.

  • Comment number 20.

    The Kincardine on Forth Bridge is a great roosting place for 1000's of starlings and you can see them swirling around for ages at dusk

  • Comment number 21.

    Is there is anywhere in North Norfolk to see starlings roosting. We are going there the week after next and would love to see them.

  • Comment number 22.

    In the early 90s there was an amazing starling roost on the Runcorn-Widnes road bridge. Does anyone know if it's still in use as a major roost site? It was a brilliant location, frequented by at least one peregrine every evening.
    Thanks

  • Comment number 23.

    can anyone tell me a good place to watch the starlings I live between Doncaster and Lincoln

  • Comment number 24.

    I travel from Cumbernauld to Gretna on a regular basis. The starlings there are fantastic. In answer to Mel Ord - yes they are back. Been twice and both times roosted in different places so it's a case of suck it and see I think.
    Cumbernauld Town Centre has a miniscule roost of about 200. :-(
    I do hope the web team are going to compile a list of roosts from this blog.

  • Comment number 25.

    Mentioning the Otmoor at Oxford again there is a great utube film from 2007, look for "starlings on Otmoor" but also look at the magnificent views to spend a few hours watching the wildlife.

  • Comment number 26.

    Georgie Boy - Where is the best place to view the starlings on the bridge?

  • Comment number 27.

    Does anyone know of a good place to watch Starlings in North East England?

  • Comment number 28.

    In answer to Grace, anywhere on the bridge or at either end from the pavement or on the approaches if in a car.

  • Comment number 29.

    Yes Chris WS - Runcorn bridge is spectacular, better than autumn watch - you see them coming from many directions, alot of bridge to roost on - performance lasts for sometime. Highly recommended spot.

  • Comment number 30.

    I mentioned in a previous comment Ottmoor just a couple of miles outside Oxford to the east is great for watching Starlings. It is a RSPB wetland nature reserve and the Starlings come in there thousands to nest on the reed beds. I go every year about this time & I haven't been disapointed yet, in fact I went last Saturday!

  • Comment number 31.

    The Tay Estuary, near Newburgh, Fife, is well worth visiting to watch the swirling starlings.

  • Comment number 32.

    Thanks for the heads-up Geordie Boy, for the Central Scotland location. Does anyone know of any Starling roosts in the Edinburgh area, please? I was once told that there was a roost on the Forth Bridge; but I've been down 3 times, several years ago, and failed to spot more than an occasional passing vagrant. Please help a desperate Birder. Thank you, in anticipation.

  • Comment number 33.

    I was thrilled to see the shots of the starlings under the pier at night especially as we had spent Sunday afternoon watching their aerobatics and roosting under the Albert Bridge in the centre of Belfast. A spectacular sight! Incidentally, there is a Starling Spectacle on 27 November at 3.30pm meeting on the Lagan walkway!!

  • Comment number 34.

    great Starling display at Brighton Pier. Also somewhere a bit nearer to me Eastbourne Pier.

  • Comment number 35.

    Where is a great spot in Derbyshire?

  • Comment number 36.

    I live in Crewe Cheshire, we had a starling roost near the station where it was a fantastic spectacle, where the starlings actually roosted in a row of conifers, unfortunately, lots of complaints re guano on cars etc so trees were dug up. Can anyone advise of another starling roost locally? Your help would be most appreciated. CM

  • Comment number 37.

    Several of the Flashes around Wigan have large roosts of starlings. Sometimes unpredictable which roost will be used on any particular night.

  • Comment number 38.

    I do love watching the starling displays and we have a small roost a few hundred yards away in some conifers, but, I'm sorry, Kate, I can't find any love for them, especially at my bird feeders. I grew up in Glasgow, where every visit to the city centre was like visiting a war zone, with hundreds of starlings dive-bombing you with pooh!! If you got home "unmarked", it was the exception rather than the rule. I'm afraid I'll probably continue to shoo those dozens of bully boys away from my feeders!

  • Comment number 39.

    Couple that haven't been mentioned. Studland at the ferry car park and North Warren RSPB reserve in Suffolk.

  • Comment number 40.

    Our favourite starling roost is Runcorn bridge in Cheshire. Probably more than a million roost there during the winter. You can stand below the bridge and when they fly above you in tight formation the sound of their wings is a beautiful murmurring and you get covered in plop so take an old umbrella! Just magical!

  • Comment number 41.

    I've just been to the RSPB Otmoor site having read the thread below and there is a guided starling roost walk next Sunday 28th, I'll definitely be going along. I've always wanted to see the dance of the starlings but had visions of going all the way to Somerset and being in the wrong place at the wrong time so a local guided walk is perfect!

  • Comment number 42.

    Does anyone know of a good site to watch starlings in North Devon/ North Cornwall? I've seen lots flying over the A30 from Dartmoor near Okehampton to the north or north-east and lots flying over the A3072 between Bude and hatherleigh also heading N or NE but have no idea where they end up. I used to live near Otmoor and miss going there to see the fab displays...

  • Comment number 43.

    I saw a very intersting report of a Starling roost on the Hertsbirding message board of about 400 birds at Springwell Reedbed near Maple Cross, Rickmansworth on the evening of the 19th. The birds were being buzzed by three Sparrowhawks, two males an a female when a Peregrine appeared and caught the male Sparrowhawk and flew off with it. It was not seen by me personally but it gives a flavour of what can happen at these gatherings.

  • Comment number 44.

    For the past month Starlings have been returning in increasing numbers to Market Drayton NE Shropshire and the usual gang that collect for a daily gossiping in a big Sycamore on the western side of town had 150+ at lunchtime today. This Winter gathering used to be vast with stunning evening and morning displays as they used enormous conifers surrounding a local factory as their nightly roost. Since the trees were cut right down about 4 years ago the Starlings had disappeared too. I am wondering if the conifers have regrown sufficiently to be considered a safe roost once again. The surrounding countryside provides good feeding so I do hope we will have our 'murmuration' treat restored.

  • Comment number 45.

    Re no.10 above - "Less so (/fewer)" - oops, sorry!!

    Maybe not for a grand swirling/roosting spectacular, but folks could do worse than visit our local site at the Tower of London to enjoy the ridiculous whistling, hissing and other amusing mimicry sounds of our local starling gang with their wonderfully silly, strutting (Beefeater-mocking?!) walks and runs, their sharp, purposeful beaks, shimmering colours and beady little eyes! The combination of the ideally bespoke royal roost (loads of cosy holes and safe ledges etc!) and an endless supply of obliging tourists has made this place a top location for starlings for many years (the birds have also been advancing fairly steadily eastwards) - and you can also enjoy feeding the many cheeky little sparrows which compete to snatch bits from all the other, far larger, contenders (several gull types and pigeons mainly!). Of course, the setting is wonderful in its own right - and the watery backdrop provides also cormorants, moorhens and coots, Canada geese, swans, grey and pied wagtails, hunting heron, the occasional grebe or kingfisher etc, etc, etc. Plus, you may even be lucky enough (as we have been!) to see and hear kestrels, sparrowhawks and peregrine falcons in the vicinity (all living in the wild, ie not rescued raptors used for visitor education) ... (Clearly a fat and fecund food supply for prey birds here too - such is the circling and recyling of life in the great natural food chain! (literally, "fast food" for birds ..!) Enjoy!!

    TB/EB

    PS - Skylarksue at no.9 - Re my earlier message - I wouldn't be surprised if you could witness a starling spectacular similar to that enjoyed by us at Gatwick if you went to Stansted airport (similar surroundings, county border with abundant trees and fields - and a ready supply of human food to supplement the birds' natural diet!). We will always treasure this unique and unforgettable wildlife encounter.

    PPS - Sojabhoy at no.15 - Wow, I'd love to feel that pre-rain rush of air ... 'though I could never match your admirable bravery (I'm presuming that you were with the army somewhere in the Tropics? - so, thank you hugely for all that you noble service people do for others). The smell, sound and feel of tropical rain is one of the most wonderfully evocative of our travel experiences - but I don't recall smelling "our" starling flocks ... However, I bet CP must have been in poo heaven with all that Welsh guano - a true "End of the Pier(or Pooer?!)" experience ..!!!

    And for C Moore at no.36 - Tragic, on so many fronts ... Great name for wildlife watcher 'tho'!! Rgds.

  • Comment number 46.

    Terrible starling joke!

    I overheard this exchange many years ago- watching starlings while we should have been working
    Old Mike - "I always think starlings look like oily birds"
    Quick as a flash, young Mike replies-
    "Its the oily boyd that gets the woim"

  • Comment number 47.

    I live in South Somerset and we are surrounded by fields, every morning we see flocks of starlings going over to their feeding destination for the day with some flocks stopping in the fields below us to feed beside the cows and sheep.
    We then see flocks again in the evening going back home to roost.

    I do know there are a few flocks who roost in some tall evergreen trees opposite the Asda supermarket in Yeovil which they have done for many years.!

    Regards
    Dr Rob.

  • Comment number 48.

    Two days ago, I saw crows "flocking" just like starlings. It was an amawzing sight. The patterns were incredible. Is this unusual?

  • Comment number 49.

    Hi the starling filming was amazing!! this is probbably the wrong place but did your team hear about this?
    The RSPB have today offered a £1000 reward for information in connection with the shooting of an Osprey leading to the conviction.

    The juvenile bird, which had been tagged in Sweden in June was found near a fish farm at Hundon Manor, Caister in North Lincolnshire on 2 October. Veterinary analysis shows that it had been shot twice with a shotgun.

    This is the third confirmed shooting of an osprey this autumn in the UK: the first was discovered in Sussex in September when a similar reward was offered. Another bird, missing part of it’s wing was seen in flight over Spurn Point in East Yorkshire in October.

    Apalling!! Maybe a mention on Autumn Watch may help catch the culprit!!

  • Comment number 50.

    I was up in Norfolk last year at the end of December we went to watch starlings coming to roost but for the life of us we cannot remember where we went The only thing we can remember we parked near a small railway station can anyone help please
    Eddy

  • Comment number 51.

    C Moore wrote on the 19 Nov asking if anyone knows where the Starling murmuration has moved to. Nantwich!,and like the good people of crewe, we removed the favourate roost, a line of conifers, last year. I'm pleased to say they are back and there are more than ever. They are still noisy, messy and smell, but for about half an hour every evening the sky is filled (Centred on Wellington Rd) with the jaw dropping beauty of their aerial performance. The BBC should visit here Runcorn Bridge.

  • Comment number 52.

    Does anyone know of a Starling roost in North Yorkshire, the nearest that I know of is at Gretna, quite a trip, surely there must be one nearer.

  • Comment number 53.

    We have a rather wonderful view of the starlings and twenty or so visit us if we have plentiful food, but they all roost in the forest at the bottom of the hill which is a very mixed forest as some of it is manadged and coppiced because of the pheasents and the deer there.

  • Comment number 54.

    I am very excited to report that I saw a smaller version of a murmuration of starlings where we live, near the northern edge of Bognor Regis in West Sussex! I first spotted a larger than usual flock, & then spotted 3 more large flocks all very near each other. I stood open-mouthed as I watched each flock soar & morph before gradually forming two much larger flocks, which soon became one. Almost as soon as this happened the united flock, which must have been a thousand or more birds, soared once more into the sky & dropped down as one & then disappeared from view. I'm only guessing, but I think they may roost in a large stand of trees between the local hospital & the nearby cemetary. My husband regularly sees the murmuration at Brighton Pier, but I cannot tell you how wonderful this was on even a smallish scale!

  • Comment number 55.

    Thanks Lee. Can confirm Nantwich display, spectacular or what. Two or three swirling clouds, finally coming down in Hillfield Gardens area.

  • Comment number 56.

    Hi, Everyone,

    Just thought you would like to know, There is a large murmuration in Taunton at the moment.
    The best location to see the birds is from Parmin Way in Taunton which is in the Holway area of the town.
    Hope this information is useful and enjoy.

  • Comment number 57.

    It's interesting how one animal can be so harmless in one place and so destructive in another. Here in America the starling is an invasive species and you can kill as many of them as you like. They aggressively compete with native birds and damage trees like our palms when they swarm onto them. That said, It's still pretty amazing to watch them flying.

  • Comment number 58.

    Murmuration of starlings
    Can anyone living around west glamorgan area or nearest! recommend any places to view Starligs roosting,its something I must see!thanks nick

  • Comment number 59.

    Just seen a murmuration of starlings in Swindon - what a sight!

  • Comment number 60.

    I have had an increased number of starlings flying around at the bottom of my garden and an unbelievable number roost in the Leylandi at the bottom of my garden. It is like a sponge absorbing maybe a thousand birds every evening, the rest roosting in trees on the other side of the railway line. It is true small birds of prey chase them as we regularly see them. If any body wants a front seat come to the Sterte area of poole around 16:30 hrs in winter - later in summer as they roost at twilight. I never cease to enjoy their aerial acrobatics even if the cars do suffer from bird poo splodges!

  • Comment number 61.

    I work just off junction 11 of the M4, in Reading and since the beginning of December we have been treated to an ever-increasing size of murmuration! Tonight I saw the largest yet, with three biggish groups joining up together (I love the way they do that, so seamlessly!) and then a huge group swooped in .. after that they disappeared from view, over the other side of the offices. But a few weeks ago I was outside when they gathered and the noise of their wings was incredible! So if anyone in this area want to witness this wonderful spectacle, Worton Grange is the place to be, from about 3.45 onwards!

  • Comment number 62.

    Poole, Dorset- in addition to mdd37's roosting site in Sterte, there is a small one near Fisherman's Dock, Poole Quay and also a well known one near Asda, so that's 3 roosts all within a mile of each other, maybe there are more. There used to be one at South Haven Point, Studland- anybody know if that's still there?
    There was a roost of about 3,000 in a stand of bamboo near our home in Corfe mullen last year. We filmed them, photographed them and marvelled at them until residents decided to cut down their roost in the middle of a particularly cold spell, mid-winter! Despite efforts to protect the site, at least until March, nothing could be done as roosting sites have no legal protection. Imagine coming home from work on a cold winter's evening and finding yours and your neighbour's houses no longer exist!! Like many local people, I was horrified, although I would like to think that the starling's intelligence and resourcefulness would have got them through somehow.

  • Comment number 63.

    My colleagues an i have been enjoying watching the starling murmuration every morning and evening for the last week we literally have thousands roosting in the trees at the back of our work in Quedgeley Gloucestershire!

    its a joy to watch i have only ever seen this on tv never thought i would see anything like this in virtually my own back yard!

  • Comment number 64.

    hi everybody although i havent seen any gatherings locally yet, two years ago i took a video of a murmaration in the Pewsey vale in Wiltshire in January and ive got to admit it was the most impressive spectacle i have ever seen, i also believe its a lot to do with predators as when my starlings had finished showing off, two hawks were seen to be the only things left flying around!

  • Comment number 65.

    Since the New Year we have been treated to a murmaration over Eastern Oswestry, on a couple of occassions we have seen a bird of prey in the sky at the same time.

  • Comment number 66.

    I have seen a regular starling murmuration in our area over Little Stoke Playing fields since the New Year - extremely fascinating to watch. At the moment it occurs around 4.30 pm on a good day - obviously this will occur later as the evenings get lighter.

  • Comment number 67.

    The starlings seen over Eastern Oswestry are roosting in conifer trees surrounding a factory site alongside the Unicorn Road near the junction with the Whittington Road.

  • Comment number 68.

    Hi,

    any idea where to spot them this year in Scotland? based in Edinburgh but driving is not a problem...

    Thank you,

    bazancik

 

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