Monday, 15 February 2016

Redditch Starlings

The first groups assemble around church green east above the Church
The flock builds
Building numbers
Early flyover 
Murmuration gathers pace
Starlings over Redditch
Impressive view
Park anywhere near the Town Hall
Bridge camera video
Phone video
Following a tip off via the wife's Facebook I took the five minute journey into Redditch town centre to see if the reported Starling murmuration was true. Arriving at 4.45pm there was already a handful of wildlife fans awaiting the spectacular event. The best place to view the birds is from anywhere near the town hall, higher the better. The multi storey car park was a perfect spot.

It was brilliant to see just a small flock of around 30 birds build to approximately 5,000. There could well of been many more as counting proved very difficult. The birds started to assemble around Church Green East before edging closer to the Town Hall before dropping in the Leylandii trees to roost. 

I would warn anybody going that the security from the shopping centre did try and move people on unsuccessfully however there are many places to view the birds but obviously the best place is on top of the car park.

Starling murmurations occur when many individual birds gather together and fly as a group to form swirling aerial patterns in the sky. Sometimes called 'the ballet of the skies', this biological phenomenon is very poorly understood.
Starling numbers have declined alarmingly - since the mid-1970s the UK population has fallen by 66%. The starling is now red listed in the UK as a bird of immediate conservation concern. The cause of the starling decline is thought to link to habitat loss and reduction in food, but much is unknown.
In 2014, the Royal Society of Biology and the University of Gloucestershire teamed up to try to answer some of the many questions surrounding the mystery of starling murmurations. Over 1,600 sightings revealed some interesting results about location and duration of murmurations. This autumn they are calling on the public to send in more specific information in order to discover more. (Royal Society of Biology) 

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