by Kathy James

Starling Murmurations

With one week to go until our guided walk around Malltraeth Marsh, Ken and I went to see what the starlings had in store for us… It was a quiet start which gave us a chance to spot Little Egrets and Whooper Swans amongst the flooded reed beds. Ravens escorted us along the path as they headed to their evening roost.

A small group of around thirty starlings appeared from somewhere over the A55. Then the odd individual appeared in dribs and drabs before tens of flocks containing thousands of birds made their way to this central point from all directions. Black slicks of birds snaked through the sky; dancing their way across the landscape like Chinese dragons. Some flocks impressed more with their sheer size as they passed directly over our heads wings beating audibly in unison.

The photo below shows David watching a distant flock of birds approach.

 

Over in their destination (some fields above the reed beds) the Starlings collected in black mass. No two occasions are the same when watching the performance of a collection of Starlings as they go in to roost, you never know quite know whether the show will be direct and short or whether there’ll be a spectacular encore. Tonight, we had the most fabulous display. Much to the surprise of the sheep in the field, the mass of Starlings took off, swirled and contorted around above the reeds. What is so impressive to me is that the shapes created by the birds are not flat, opaque images but stunning three-dimensional structures with light a pivotal part of the overall effect.

As I’ve mentioned, you can come and see this amazing spectacle for yourself… join Ken and I next Sunday (November 11th) for a guided walk of Malltraeth Marsh between 3:30pm and 5pm (adults £10/ children free). Call 07790431078 or email Kathy@naturebites.co.uk if you want to know more or to book your place (booking essential).

Photographers also extremely welcome as the phone snapshot I have included goes no way to expressing the magnitude of the event unfolding!

Be great to share this wonder of the natural world with you…

Kathy x

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