Saturday 9 October 2010

Large Starling focks displaying at Croxton flashes

I took a walk by Croxton flashes with my camera a few days ago to see if the starlings were beginning to use there winter roosts in the reed beds by the flashes they gather in there small groups of 10 to 40 birds forming into a larger group that perform a beautiful and spectacular aerial display. They gather here at the end of the day from autumn through to winter usually about 30-60 minutes before sunset so about 6pm at this time of the year. The starlings perform this display so that they can confuse predators from buzzards to sparrow hawks from targeting any individual birds and once one bird decides to land in the reed beds all the flock follows and funnels down behind the lead bird. The end of the display looks like when you take a plug out of a water filled sink and a whirlwind is formed underwater as the starlings flow down into the reed beds in a whirlwind of feathers and seem like a very large organism. The starling display is best viewed from the cattle bridge that goes from side of the canal to the other this can be reached via the farmers field next to the bridge.

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