Thursday, 29 January 2009
We were told that there were huge flocks of starlings gathering over the woods beside Rough Tor on Bodmin Moor to roost at this time of year.
When we visited, we were not disappointed. As we arrived, some time before dusk, groups of starlings were streaming into the area, settling on the fields or in the trees, then taking off again and swooping around once more. We headed into the woods and it was an amazing sight. They chatter loudly, but only once they have settled in the trees, never in flight, it seems. The sound when they are flying is of their wings. It is advised to avoid having one's mouth open when looking straight up at them!
The image shown above is not mine, but is similar to what we saw. We did not see them performing high in the sky, the swoops and swirls of the flock working as one being we witnessed in the programme 'Swarm' recently. We may have been too close, or it may have been that the birds were just seeking rest and did not bother with all that display stuff! There was a brief 'The Birds' moment when it felt as though thousands of starlings were swooping at me, but of course they were not. It would be amazing to see them leave, presumably around dawn, but dawn is not my time of day...