This evening was my first opportunity this winter to visit the starling murmurations at Ham Wall. I did not expect many birds but the numbers had been climbing each week. So with a good weather forecast and a free evening I had to get starling season underway.
Before going to the Loxtons Marsh I stopped off to visit the Waltons Lagoon. It seems along time since a visited the starlings at Ham Wall and it was good to see everything looking so good.
The official figures for the number of starlings expected was 40,000 but after a fabulous evening there most be double that. With a cold snap expected this week those numbers should rise quickly.
The first group flew in from the south east heading for Loxtons Marsh. With the sun still in the sky the birds flew through some beautiful golden evening skies.
Each wave of birds was bigger than the previous.
Parts of Loxtons offer perfect reflections. The birds headed to their roost site just to the left of this picture, over the trees and the small path before dropping down in-front of the main reserve track between the two viewing platforms.
The starlings flew in low over the reed beds creating some classic murmuration patterns – which my still pictures do not do justice.
And sometimes their just flew in filling the sky.
I moved across to the roost site to watch the starlings fly in between the trees.
Even after the sun had set the birds were still pouring into the reserve.
This was a great evening to start my starling season.