Wednesday 22 November 2017

See the awesome aerial ballet of murmurations caught on camera

People are “spellbound by the symphony in the sky” which occurs as the seasons change.

Starling murmuration
Starling murmuration

By Nicola Irwin

These amazing videos and pictures capture the ultimate sign of the changing seasons: starling murmurations.

Flocks of hundreds or even thousands of birds can be seen swooping and soaring in movements which looked like highly choreographed aerial ballet.

The Strictly judges would surely be giving these birds 10s.

The spectacles have been described as nature’s answer to the Red Arrows or the roar of a Harry Potter Dementor.

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Starling murmuration

The murmurations take place at dusk, giving the starlings’ movements a picturesque backdrop of hazy pinks and watercolour blues.

The flock might start as a small group but gradually more and more birds will join the display before they settle down to roost.

And for those lucky enough to see the sight, it’s an extra special moment.

Tom Blacker spotted a murmuration above Southwaite Services when he was en route to Carlisle.

“I came outside (the services) and there was a woman with a child outside pointing up to the sky. They were directly above us at that point and I couldn’t get the video to work for some reason. I was just transfixed, the vid doesn’t really do it justice. Mesmerising is the word!”

David Lynch was rushing to catch a train in Milan when he caught sight of a murmuration.

Marie Lindsay was also in Italy when she spotted the murmurations above Rome.

“I was with a group of pilgrims from Ireland who had spent time in the Basilica of St Bartholomew on the Tiber Island. We were just leaving the Basilica to return to our coach when this amazing spectacle appeared in the sky,” she said.

“The whole group, of all ages, stood with other tourists and locals spellbound by the symphony in the sky. As it continued I took out my phone and recorded part of it.

“It continued even as we walked over the little bridge across the Tiber back to our bus! Amazing sight.”

RSPB Burton Mere captured this murmuration on its doorstep, in Cheshire.

Twitter user @ALepple was in Gaillac, Tarn, France, when the birds started their murmuration.

“The starlings are obviously roosting in the group of pine trees on the roundabout. I was amazed to see how indifferent they were towards traffic but having said that they made quite a bit of ‘noise’ themselves: on the video they’re a lot more audible than the traffic!

“I used to live on the shores of Lough Carra in the West of Ireland and there the murmurations were something else again. Seeing the ones in Gaillac brought back happy memories of another life, couldn’t resist, had to jump out of the car and make the little video.”

Natalie Johnson photographed the birds swooping above Brighton.

“It’s well known that the starlings do this as the sun starts to set so I purposely went down to watch,” she said. “Living here I’m fortunate to see it often, and it is really beautiful. Particularly with the Brighton West Pier as the landmark, and the sun setting behind it.

“Lots of people head to the beach at this time of day to see the starlings in their murmurations. It’s fantastic to witness – it’s like they are dancing. Very serene.”

The birds “perform” above Gretna

Press Association

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