Starling Trail

 

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8677

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8677

Another wonderful visit to the starling roost at RSPB Ham Wall.  Beautiful sky, good friends and a stunning starling display combined to create a evening that was so wonderful.  Could this evening could ever be improved?

The Chase

The birds start to arrive in small flocks like rolling balls of birds.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8665

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8665

A harrier appeared from no where and spread the flock.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8672

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8672

It never came close.  Perhaps it was just having some fun playing chase.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8675

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8675

Settling Down?

Its early in the season and only around 50,000 birds planned to share this roost.  Soon the birds started to drop into the reedbed.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8853

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8853

Unsettled the birds repeatedly lifted back up into the sky.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8862

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8862

The launch of thousands of birds into the air is immense.  The roost swashes the reeds flat.  As they take off the reedbed flips over as one slapping the surface of the open water.  The sudden release of energy creating a wave as if they were on the coast.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8869

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8869

As more birds join the roost it gets more and more crowded.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8901

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8901

Back in the Sky

The roost decided to take to the air again.  Flying 360 degrees around our heads in every direction.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8928

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8928

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8990

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_8990

The birds came so close.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9008

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9008

The Roost

The birds finally started to settle.  Do not miss a chance to experience the roost site close-up.  It turns into a seething dark monster crushing the reeds flat.  The noise does not stop as birds continue to lift and drop hoping to take the best points.

Starling Murmuration - Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9085

Starling Murmuration – Loxtons Marsh, Ham Wall, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9085

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