March 2013 is really really cold; the coldest March since 1962. By this time in 2012 the migratory starlings were already on their way back to their summer places, northern Europe and Russia. But now they are staying put for the time being, hanging out with their English cousins until the wind changes and eases their passage on the long journey north, a warm south westerly ruffling their rainbow sheen feathers.
Last week we made the journey to see them fly in to the massive night time roost on Bodmin Moor. At sundown the birds just keep coming and coming, a million plus. This time we saw birds of prey, possibly a hen harrier and a merlin, going in for their supper.
The murmuration of starlings did a bit of their aerial dancing at the beginning which was amazing but I was absorbed enough to miss capturing it on camera. As it turned out they didn’t do any more.
I’ve posted this link before, it is such a lovely short film of the starlings doing their thing – breathtaking and sweet. Enjoy!
And this is the direction most of the starlings come from.
Also, if you’re into birds and the need for good habitat in general, this is an amazing blog post from Wolf Tree Farm, a farm not far from here, in which she describes their valley over decades.