Starling Watch

Starling Murmuration - Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_4885

Starling Murmuration – Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_4885

It has been a good week down at Ham Wall.  With several days of fine weather even just 30,000 starlings managed to fill the sky.

Saturday

The clouds had disappeared and the moon came out on a cold evening.  Before the sun drops below the horizon the marsh is illuminated in some golden light.  Now would be a good time for the starlings to arrive – but no they prefer to wait for the sun to disappear.

Loxtons Marsh - Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5287

Loxtons Marsh – Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5287

Flying the Line

The first few starlings arrived after flying around deep in the reserve.

Starling Murmuration - Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5380

Starling Murmuration – Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5380

For about quarter of an hour I was getting worried that I had picked the wrong spot.  The birds were circulating around far away.

Relief as they gradually moved towards the crowds and dropped into the reeds.  The picture below shows a classic starling drop manoeuvre.  The birds flying level over the reeds as the lower edge pours vertically into the reeds.  Gradually the whole group disappears into the roost.  The last few birds dropping like a wave.

Starling Murmuration - Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5380

Starling Murmuration – Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5380

Instead of filling the sky lines of birds streamed into the Loxtons Marsh.

Starling Murmuration - Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5456

Starling Murmuration – Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5456

The clear weather created warm pink colours in the sky.

Starling Murmuration - Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5494

Starling Murmuration – Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5494

More and more birds arrived, but they did not put on their best display.  They repeatedly streamed in and dropped.

Starling Murmuration - Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5523

Starling Murmuration – Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5523

And Finally…

I do like a sunset.

Sunset - Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5300H

Sunset – Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_5300H

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