Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
No Google Adds here.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Starling roost at Willen Lake

I got there today, about 3:15 p.m., and waited. The sun slowly sinking in the west, and my eyes were skywards, to the north. A few gulls began coming in, as the light started to fade. The minutes ticked by, but no sign yet.
A Sparrowhawk lazily circled overhead, looking around. 'If he’s about, then I must be in the right spot', I thought to myself.
3:45 p.m., and still nothing.
Just as I began to wonder if it was going to happen, a small group flew in overhead.
‘Is that it?’ I thought to myself.

No. A few more appeared, then a few more. A group flew in from the west, and another appeared in the east. Two or three groups slowly became one, as more and more flew in to join them. The sun was sinking, the sky turning ever so slightly red through the cloud, and the Starlings were performing their aerial ballet.
Amazing, and it was all free!

I took some pictures and some video, but it just does not do the spectacle justice.
It may not be the biggest roost in the country, but certainly worth watching.
They circle around, groups joining groups, and groups leaving the main group; and an endless stream of birds, as more and more appear from nowhere to join them. How do they not collide?

Then suddenly they drop; down into the reeds, or trees in the distance.
How do they know when to stop circling round, and all stop together?

I walked along the edge of the lake, to a spot where the last remaining stragglers were settling for the night. A lady walking her dog had stopped to watch too, and we were both spellbound. A Sparrowhawk made a quick dash over the reeds, but left empty clawed.

Just amazing










37 comments:

  1. Wow. . now that's so cool. How wonderful to be a witness to this event. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh I remember this when I was in France... This is just superb to see how coordinate they are! Thanks for reminding me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hilary, it really is fantastic to watch. The pictures and video really do not do justice to it all. I was amazed by the whole thing.

    Chris it is one of natures marvels isn't it. It left me speechless.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great images and that video is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks Paul. I've only ever seen this before on tv programmes; to actually witness it, is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Its quite an amazing spectacle Keith, never tire of watching it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Brilliant Keith glad they came in for you. Always amazing how they all go down to roost without any major collisions, A stunning example of organised chaos!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fantastic, Keith! The best part was the end of the video when they just settled down all at once. wump.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks Roy. I could watch it over and over.

    Bob, thanks. The choreography is amazing; better than a west end show.

    Thank you Wilma. I couldn't get over how they just drop like stones at the end, and know exactly where to go.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great to watch, I wonder if they do it to confuse predators.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Safety in numbers maybe, Adrian. I'm not sure why they do it; and I think it's only this time of year they perform like this.
    One of natures true spectacles.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Brilliant description, stills and video Keith. Must be quite a spectacle to see in the flesh.

    I wonder if you saw last night's Autumnwatch with the under pier Starling roost, especially the night time filming.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Keith...sorry I didn't get to this post yesterday to much going on in one day!!
    This is a beautiful post in words and pictures !!
    Amazing the picture of them in that big cluster with the odd shape. I can see how exciting that must have been for you!!
    Wonderful!!
    Don't forget Mum's party and do have a good time!! : }

    ReplyDelete
  14. John, it really is amazing to see. The sight and sound is unlike anything I've ever seen before.
    I did watch Autumn watch, on BBC i-player earlier. Fascinating to see inside the actual roost.

    Thank you Sarah. It's something I'll always remember.

    Grammie, it was amazing. Left me speechless for a change. lol

    ReplyDelete
  15. It really is an amazing sight Keith, I have seen it here and it is breathtaking. I think you captured it very well!

    I was going to recommend Autumnwatch on i-player but see you have already watched it. As you said in your reply to John it was fascinating to see inside the roost.

    I think your photo before the video is brilliant!

    Have a great weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you Jan. Breathtaking is the word. It's something I'll always remember.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great spectacle indeed Keith. I will never forger the one I saw at Slimbridge 40-50 thousand birds..pure magic.

    ReplyDelete
  18. A great spectacle and you describe it perfectly. I was fortunate to witness such a gathering a couple of years ago and it is truly an amazing experience. Something that everyone should witness at least once in their lifetime whether a nature lover or not.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I LOVE THIS! WOW that 3rd photo with the circle detail is amazing! What a scene-
    Great Stuff Keith!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great photos, HM. The starlings swarm like that here, too, and I've wondered all the same things. How do they orchestrate their dance?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Trevor, magic is certainly the word.

    woodpecker couldn't agree more, it is something that everyone should witness at least once in their lifetime.

    Dixxe, thanks. It really is amazing to witness.

    JoLynne, I doubt we'll ever know the real answers to those questions.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Well done! I especially like the third photo of a huge ball of birds.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Harold, thank you. I'd like to try and get down there again this evening. Such a thrill to witness it all.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow - all those birds in the sky - like feathered lanterns. Superb shots!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ladyfi, thank you for stopping by, and your comment. Appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wonderful photos! Congrats on POTW mention, so well deserved!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you for stopping by, and your comment Jane. Appreciate it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am amazed at the formation they follow across the fields around here and never collide. I like when they make the round clouds and swirl.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Out on the prairie, thank you for stopping by, and commenting.
    They are one of natures amazing spectacles aren't they.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I watched some starlings yesterday and was amazed. I'm glad I'm not the only one!
    Congrats on your POTW.

    ReplyDelete
  31. kcinnova, thank you for stopping by, and commenting. They really are amazing to watch, aren't they.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh wow, that´s magic! Worth to stand up early in the morning. Hugs from Luzia.

    ReplyDelete
  33. 3:15 p.m. is not realy early in the morning;-) Sorry, my english coul be better...

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for your comment Lucy.
    And your English is perfect. Even I get mixed up at times. ;)
    Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Well, I added you to my bookmarked blogs as soon as I saw your header photo. wow.

    Will spend some time reading here... such glory

    (congrats on the POTW from Hilary. no doubt deserved)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Deb, thank you. Appreciate your stopping by, and commenting.
    Hope you enjoy your visits. :)

    ReplyDelete