Starlings at Strumpshaw Fen (November 2017)

I had heard that large flocks of starlings have been seen most afternoons at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk and they had been murmarating in fairly large numbers to the delight of enthusiastic crowds – so we had to make the trek and have a look for ourselves.

For those unfamiliar with the term ‘starling murmuration’ – it is basically when large numbers of starlings gather together to roost and fly around in a strange pulsating rhythm. No one is completely sure why they do it but it’s probably because it offers them several advantages, such as safety in numbers, warmth and companionship (starlings are noisy and communicative birds.)

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It’s hard to know how many birds classify as a murmaration (at Strumpshaw recently they’ve seen several thousands to 21,000) but it’s possible to get millions.

I managed to get a short video:

Starling flock & murmaration

Sorry for the poor quality – I don’t think me and my new camera are quite sympatico yet!

A few shots of the setting sun first of all:

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The reedbed outside reception hide. Note the cormorant spreading its wings.

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The first starlings begin to arrive.

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The flock thickens

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A marsh harrier in the distance spots the spectacle and hopes to catch a bite. A sparrowhawk also got in on the action later.

7 Replies to “Starlings at Strumpshaw Fen (November 2017)”

  1. Starlings are invasive here, sometimes considered pests, but I still love watching their flocks soar around as if of one mind. Its incredible! Your photos are beautiful :)

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