Starlings at RSPB Ham Wall, Somerset

I had been waiting for Tuesday to come around for a couple of weeks, as I was due to meet up with Iain Green @naturebygreen wildlife photographer, author and tutor, along with Jo from @NearbyWild , in Somerset.

Our main aim was to watch and photograph the Starling murmurations and RSPB Ham Wall in one of the best places to see them.

After meeting up we walked around Shapwick Heath for a few hours, seeing birds such as The Great White Egret, Great Crested Grebes, Herons, a Kingfisher, Golden eye, Teal, Shoveler duck and we heard a Cetti’s warbler.

The weather was cold, sunny and a little overcast at times. There was only a small breeze. Perfect for Starling murmurations.

Around 4pm we started to head to Ham Wall to find the best place to see the Starlings. This is where Iain’s knowledge came in.

As the darkness slowly began to fall, small groups of Starlings started to fly over our heads, shortly followed by groups of ever increasing numbers of Starlings. As the flocks of birds got bigger, so did the noise.

One group seemed never ending, as a long path of Starling flew overhead.

As more and more Starlings arrived, the murmuration started to form. Its twists and turns moving from left to right and back again. The murmuration began to drift off to the left and Iain made the decision for us to grab all our bags, cameras and stuff, and move a few hundred metres to our left.

This put us in a perfect position to see the murmuration closer up. At one point the stream in front of us appeared to be covered in rain drops, except it wasn’t raining, it was Starling poop. One even landed on mum’s head, which is apparently lucky.

It is really hard to explain how amazing it is, to not only watch the murmurations, but to listen to them. Iain showed us the best way to listen, by cupping your hands around your ears.


I have put this one in to show the incredible movement. Every single tiny black dot is a bird! It was estimated that there were around one million Starlings.


It is hard to comprehend how many birds there are in a murmuration, how they all know which way to fly or how they don’t fly into each other, but the patterns they make are phenomenal and one of natures great wonders.

A very big thank you to Iain and Jo for a fantastic day.

Taken by mum using a Gopro

About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. I am a keen amateur photographer using a Canon SX60 HS. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild Instagram appletonwild
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2 Responses to Starlings at RSPB Ham Wall, Somerset

  1. Julie Gomez says:

    Such fun! And nice murmuration video. 🙂


  2. Pingback: Review of 2016 | Appleton Wildlife Diary by Alex White

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