Starling Watch

Winter Evening - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_7626

Winter Evening – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_7626

It is looking like the weather is about to change so I was keen to squeeze a visit to Ham Wall between my day job and yoga.

Starlings and the Sparrow Hawk

Things started to look promising as the first flock was floating around in the sky.  Most days the birds simply fly in and drop straight into the reeds.  So watching this murmuration float about was a joy.  It was then we noticed a sparrow hawk coming in to enjoy a chase.

The sparrowhawk splits the pack but got no where near any of the starlings.

Starling Murmuration and Sparrow Hawk - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_7651

Starling Murmuration and Sparrow Hawk – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_7651

The flocks made some interesting wave shapes  as  the birds descended.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_7804

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_7804

The key to good shapes is the overlap when the flock twists around.  This creates dark patches in the murmuration.  By now it was getting very dark.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_7809

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_7809

And Finally…

The late comers decided to go for the classic starling rain as the cloud shaped flock drifted above the roost site.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_7832

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 826_7832

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