I squeezed in 20 minutes of birding (after work) and during the only blast of sunlight we have had all day illuminated the marsh. Soon after the early evening gloom closed the day away and we trudged to the bright lights of Christmas shopping.
It was immediately obvious as we walked along the track on No.5 tank that the swirling mass of black in the distance was several Starling murmurations. Flocks of them were streaming in from several directions and the appearance of a young male Marsh Harrier and later a Merlin sent them into an impressive series of pulsating clouds of predator evading birds. This spectacle doesn’t occur every evening and mostly the birds enter the reed beds without too much ado, but when the weather conditions are right they linger in large flocks long enough to create impressive performances.
The flocks streamed through with several thousand gathering into a down pipe and drop en masse into their chosen reed bed roost for the night.
Today I would say there were 50,000 birds and I’ll be here at dusk tomorrow evening if you want to catch up and (perhaps) enjoy it for yourself?
Close by a Cetti’s Warbler was singing away while a Chiffchaff was calling alongside the path we were watching from.
Observers: Sparky & WSM (all images).