December 9, 2013

Starling murmuration at Leighton moss nature reserve

Couple of months ago I was watching Autumn Watch, a TV show on BBC, showing Leighton Moss a nature reserve just south of Lake District NP where starlings gather during winter. Nothing special about that maybe, except that its around 50,000 of them flying in every evening to roost in the tall reeds. While looking for an appropriate roosting place they gather in large flocks, sometimes actually all of the 50,000 and do all sorts of acrobatic air-formations.
So, late November we went to Morecamber Bay to actually see this.
I have seen it earlier on TV as well, but seeing it live is really awesome.
Unfortunately we were a bit unlucky the first evening with the weather, overcast, and bad weather means they fly directly into the reeds.
But the second evening it looked a bit more promising and as predicted at first they were coming in small groups but gathered into larger and larger flocks for about a 30min. During that time showing they flight skills in all sorts of formations.
Its not easy to capture as you might already know, especially as the reed is rather tall. Also, some days when in large flocks they get attacked by march harrier and other birds of prey and form even more shapes, but nothing like that happened this evening.
Hopefully we will be go back in January to get some better pictures before they fly back to the continent. As mentioned earlier, they gather here during winter and that due to more food and milder climate.
Not to complain, but there are better areas to go to where starlings gather in greater number. Sometimes up to 2million of them, but that is about 6h drive.


No comments:

Post a Comment