Today I followed the advice of a friend and watched the starlings on the Avalon Marshes in Somerset from a bench on the far side of Waltons (Heath) east. This evening turned out to be one of frantic restless starlings and beautiful skies.
The First Group
The first small group of starlings flew passed.
Then a pause. This is always an anxious time waiting to see if they will turn and will more arrive. Will this be the day they move to another part of the reserve?
Luckily a huge group of birds appears through the sunset.
Dropping into Waltons West
As the evening got darker and darker wave after wave of birds dropped into the reeds in Waltons next to the Tor View hide.
The Starlings Have Landed
After 20mins most of the birds had roosted. But a few are still arriving as the sky takes on its deepest colours. In the distance you can see the birds dropping into the reeds.
A brief distraction to watch the sunset. Even without starlings the sky and its reflections were beautiful.
Surprisingly more birds arrive. In this multi-coloured and textured sky they were hard to see.
The Jump to Loxtons
The birds formed a long black mass smothering the reeds. They were restless, and suddenly a large group of birds flew up and jumped over into the neighbouring Loxtons Marsh.
By now I was watching by myself and group after group of birds flew directly over my head.
The chattering of the birds, and beating of their wings, could be heard for hundreds of metres.
Gradually, the birds settled down for the night. It became too dark to take pictures. This is the time to pack up the camera, stand still and just listen.
Stay safe, see you in the morning!
Now, the short walk back to the car park with hundreds of pictures in my camera and a million small memories in my head.