Saturday, 3 January 2015

A Murmuration of Starlings


Happy New Year!





This is my sixteenth year of living in Oxford.  I am constantly discovering something new about the city and the surrounding areas.  The most recent addition to the list is the winter starling murmurations at Otmoor.  I made a short film (above) on my newly acquired video camera (thanks dad).  It probably looks its best in full screen mode. 

Starling flocks roost in the reed beds from November until February (approximately).   We have been twice to see them, so far.  They gather at dusk and perform their beautiful acrobatics, before settling down in the reed beds.  It gives me great joy to see an extraordinary wildlife spectacle, so close to home.

We are lucky indeed, particularly as starling numbers are a fraction of what they used to be.  According to the RSPB http://www.rspb.org.uk website, the starling population has crashed by over  70%.   They are on the critical list of birds most at risk in the UK.

So, I propose a toast to the starlings.
Long may you murmurate ... cheers, astounding birds!

Andrew made a comic about this  http://invisibules.org/comic/2014-12-25-yes-starling





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