Awesome autumn starling spectacles!
Many of you have been reporting seeing huge starling murmurations already this year. For the unitiated, murmurations are when flocks of starlings come together around dusk wheeling and turning to create amazing shapes across the early evening sky.
It looks like the weather this weekend will provide the right conditions for this behaviour so we've got together a list of the best places to spot murmurations this autumn.
Although it's impossible to perfectly predict the incidences of these murmurations, most sites will have their peak activity across late November and early December. So if you can't get out this weekend then try doing it in the next month or so.
The Somerset Levels in the south-west of England have some of the largest murmurations across the country. These will be visible from now until the end of February. RSPB Ham Wall has currently been seeing around 25,000 but expects to see about two million in December, and nearby Shapwick Heath NNR has records of over six million. Somerset Wildlife Trust's Westhay Moor has a starling murmuration hotline you can call to find out where to see them.
Last year we heard that Davidstow Moor in north Cornwall receives thousands of starlings in December.
Brighton Pier and Blackpool pier as well as Marton Mere on the south coast receive tens of thousands of starlings up until the end of December.
The Fen Drayton Lakes in Cambridgeshire have six to seven thousand starlings in murmurations which last around 25minutes. They recommend you arrive at 4pm to be sure you catch it. These will continue until mid December.
RSPB Leighton Moss in Carnforth, Lancashore is peaking now with around 110,000 starlings flocking.
RSPB Minsmere, Suffolk, is also peaking now at 15,000.
The Newport wetlands and surrounds in Wales are currently getting around 40,000 and expecting 50,000 on top of that in December.
Aberystwyth Pier in mid Wales has a spectacular roost of starlings which Chris and Kate visited for Autumnwatch last year.
Malltraeth Marsh near Anglesey is currently getting 200,000 and expecting 250,000 in the next few weeks until December.
RSPB Saltholme in Middlesborough has murmurations fo 30,000 birds but likely to have more in December.
Gretna Green in Dumfries and Galloway is expecting hundreds of thousands during their peak in December and definitely has some of the most spectacular murmurations in the north of the UK.
Belfast City Centre has flocks of around 30,000 until late December.
Share your murmuration hotspots by commenting below and watch out for some spectacular starling footage in this week's Unsprung. Of course we'd love to see your photos too so pop them into the Autumnwatch Photo group here.