Monday, 8 December 2014

Watching Starlings at Dungeness RSPB

Dungeness RSPB December 8th including 5 Little Egrets.
Yesterday evening, at Denge Marsh, looking across the RSPB reserve, I could see a modest flock of Starlings wheeling across the sky performing a murmuration before roosting in the reed bed. So tonight, with a nice sunset predicted, I thought I'd walk along the approach track at dusk to see if the Starlings would repeat the show.
As the sun began to set, a Starling show looked promising with compact flocks of several hundred birds arriving and circling the reed bed. Looking over towards the Lade pits many more Starlings were in the sky, some thrillingly flying over me at nothing more than head height, to join the reserve roost. But just as things were looking good, the birds settled to roost quickly and the great show I'd seen the night before wasn't to be.
I looked back once again to the birds over the Lade area only to feel the whoosh of a thousand-odd Starlings leaving the RSPB reserve returning to roost there.
In the semi-darkness there were plenty of other bird activity with two fly-by Ravens, Great White and Little Egrets and a Barn Owl hunting along the approach track. Water Rail, Golden Plovers and Cetti Warblers called away in the background as I returned back to my car.