I never used to particularly like Starlings, with their swaggery brashness but I have completely changed my mind now that I know more about them which is lucky because there was a group of many hundreds of them on the meadows today, poking the ground for leather jackets and bathing in the pond
Luckily, I had already set up the Peanut Cam camera for the day and so I got a photo of them on that too:
What is going on here is that these birds are getting ready to migrate back across the North Sea to Scandinavia. They are winter visitors to the UK, escaping the harsh Scandinavian winter – these are some of the birds that will have been performing breathtaking murmurating dances as thousands of birds gather to roost at dusk in the Somerset Levels, at Brighton Pier and elsewhere throughout our winter.
Whilst we have an awful lot of visiting starlings here in the winter, the number of British Passport holding starlings who live and breed here in the Summer has plummeted dramatically recently and no one really knows why. Certainly we don’t really see Starlings in the meadows in the Summer sadly.
These birds today are not going to stay here much longer – they will be off, but before they go we will continue to enjoy them while we can: