Maybe not the best of photos to illustrate the spectacular murmuration of starlings I watched a few days ago as dusk was falling, but it shows it is authentically dusk and there is a whopping great black cloud of starlings shaped like a huge ethereal bird hovering over the line of trees.
Of course, it was more magical and wonderful than the photo can ever show – a murmuration has to be seen and experienced for the real “wow” factor. What was so amazing was that it went on for around 35 minutes as one after another smaller groups of starlings came to join the main group and seamlessly blended into the group.The murmuration swooped and swirled, bunched up into a large, dense black blob then fanned out, swirled again and headed off in another new direction to form more new fluid shapes. Memerising. As the birds flew close to the hide at the Martin Mere WWT reserve I was watching this from, I could hear the gentle whoosh of thousands of wings.
At one stage a marsh harrier appeared, intent on grabbing a starling or two for supper, but was unsuccessful. Seeing the harrier aim for the group added a frisson of excitement to the spectacle, but I was rather pleased that all the starlings lived to roost at the end of their superb fly-pasts.