We called in to watch the Starling roost from the west banks of No.6 tank this evening.
There were again plenty of Shoveler, Mallard, Common Pochard being the most numerous and obvious species on show but we didn’t have time to sift through them. A gaggle of c80 Greylag flew over aimlessly wandering the area for somewhere to pitch for the night.
Standing on the banks waiting a Chiffchaff was calling from deep in the reed beds while a Cetti’s Warbler occasionally gave a brief snatch of song on both No.6 & 5 tanks.
Three Marsh Harrier were drifting over the distant banks and both a Kestrel and a Merlin were in the area.
It has become apparent during the last week or so that the Starling flocks are leaving it later and later to enter the area. The first signs of the Starling arrival involves a single bird circling the reed beds before it is joined by a few others. It usually takes an age but eventually the first big flocks begin to emerge which in turn connect with huge clouds of these birds spotted in the distance beyond the Growhow works.
Typically the first flocks waste no time and they immediately enter the reed bed roost making little chirpy calls to draw in other flocks. This evening the presence of the lingering harriers caused several thousand to form some pulsating murmurations before they braved the potential dangers and crashed into the roost. It takes about half an hour before the spectacle is over for another night.
Roost video here: https://vimeo.com/244553210
The evening sun setting behind the local fertiliser plant at Kamira GrowHow plant.
Observers: Mike & Mandy Turton, Sparky & WSM (video and images).