Starling murmurations at Otmoor

It was 3.15pm, we had been walking around Otmoor for the past two hours. The weather was cold and windy, the ground a mixture of ice and squelching mud. Even with 3 pairs of socks on each step I took was beginning to hurt as my feet were numb with cold.

We had spent the past 10 minutes in the Wetland watch hide trying to warm up and decide whether we were going to stay to watch the starlings or start the walk back to the car park.

In the end we decided to head back out to the Starling viewing point. We joined tens of people heading the same way. Couples, birdwatchers, photographers, families with small children, all hoping to see the amazing aerial display put on by the Starlings.

Along the path, small bird shaped signs pointed out facts about the starlings or many of the other birds, such as Marsh harriers or Gold crests that can be seen on the reserve.

As we walked, small  clusters of starlings flew overhead, the sun began to set and the clouds cleared.

Groups of Starlings started to join together, some coming in small batches, while others poured in long dark tornado looking  masses. They moved from left to right in undulating waves. With each passing wave the cloud of Starlings grew bigger and darker.

Then the shapes started to appear.

This one was my favourite – it looks like Mary Poppins with her umbrella.

Looks like Mary Poppins - starling murmuration



The photo below is just a small section of the starling murmuration. I’ve put a grid over the photo to enable me to count how many starlings there were.

The middle square has roughly 50 starlings in it.

There are 70 squares which makes roughly 3500 starlings in this photo – and that was just a small section of the whole murmuration!

starlings with grid


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
This entry was posted in birds, Citizen science, nature, Nature reserve, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, RSPB, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography, winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Starling murmurations at Otmoor

  1. Hi Alex,

    Loved this post, very interesting, We also saw something similar but didn’t know what it was called.
    thanks for info!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s