Thursday, 5 January 2012

Starlings murmuration - peregrine dinner

ON the last day of my break from work I trooped down to the Somerset Levels to see what was about.  I had an embarrassingly large number of layers on to stave off the cold - it just about worked, but I did look like the Michelin man.

Along with the usual overwintering ducks and waders, I was keen to catch the starling flocks and try out my camera in video mode  -  I managed to capture a few sequences (video)

It was truly amazing to see the thousands of birds - they make an astonishing whooshing noise as they fly low over your head - it honestly sends a shiver down the spine.  However the real excitement comes when the starlings are preyed on (sorry I know that this sounds mean), as their reaction is amazing.  I was surprised to see a buzzard swoop into the flock and have a pop, but was more thrilled when a peregrine did the same.  The peregrine managed to catch its dinner and flew off with the poor victim in its talons.

I just caught the moment that it dived in on video - its at about 48 seconds into the sequence.  If you watch, listen out for the sound of the birds flying over too Enjoy - if you can! 

When I was looking through my photos I realised that the peregrine had been harassing the flock earlier too.  Also a picture of the Tor (like the one above) had a marsh harrier loitering in the background.  How unobservant am I?


  1. An excellent account of the murmurations which I also been fortunate enough to witness.

    Good video clip too.

    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell

  2. to think that once, years ago people were talking about the nuisance of "Starlings"! they are just amazing!


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