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Starling murmuration by Jim Duncan

Quick, grab your magic wand and start saying the patronus charm words.  How does it go again?  Darn, I wish I'd paid more attention to those Harry Potter books.  Oh wait a minute.  It's not Dementors at all.  It's just a 'murmuration'.  That's so much nicer.

Starling murmuration by Kevin Allison

A murmuration is one of the biggest wildlife spectacles of the autumn.  Giant flocks of Starlings gather just before dusk over reed beds, fields and wooded areas where they swirl about in the sky creating strange patterns and shapes.  It takes them a while before they get settled for the night, and during this time they swoop about in groups sometimes numbering hundreds of thousands.

Starling murmuration by Jim Duncan

The patterns they create in the sky can be quite mesmerising.  As they shape-shift around above their roost site they often look more like a cloud of wind-blown smoke than a flock of birds.  With so many of them flying at the same time the air around them literally throbs and hums, hence the name 'murmuration'.

Anyone can enjoy this display as there are large congregations of starlings in most parts of the UK.  You just need to open your eyes and look up.  Oh, and you won't need a magic wand, but it's advisable to wear a hat.

Starling murmuration by Jim Duncan

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