"Happier of happy though I be, like them I cannot take possession of the sky, mount with a thoughtless impulse, and wheel there, one of a mighty multitude whose way and motion is a harmony and dance magnificent." William Wordsworth
This was my first experience of watching Starlings come into roost, producing these wonderful murmurations. In order to avoid predation and stay safe, each bird tries to remain as close as possible to its neighbour, copying each and every change in speed and direction. Thus, every tiny adjustment by a single bird is magnified and distorted by those surrounding it, creating these amazing, rippling, swirling patterns. The wonder of it is its dynamics: movement and pattern are key to the spectacle. However, below is a selection of snapshots, moments frozen in time, which hopefully, when seen together, give a flavour of the experience. At one point, a Sparrowhawk flew through the centre of the mass of Starlings, hoping for an evening meal. I didn't see whether it was successful but it was still on watch when I left the reservoir.
Below are 17 photographs of the murmurations and a couple of shots of the sunset over Startop's End reservoir, taken as I made my way back to the car afterwards.
A magical evening and an experience echoing the Wordsworth quote I use on my site. Each Starling really is "...one of a mighty multitude whose way and motion is a harmony and dance magnificent."