As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Stunning murmuration of starlings above Gretna captured on film

murmuration of starlings
Whale of a time: A murmuration of starlings put on an a display over the town of Gretna (Picture: PA)

The spectacular display, known as a murmuration, is seen when the birds visit south-west Scotland twice a year in February and November.

Starlings congregate for added security and to share warmth and their numbers are boosted by migrant birds from Europe, the RSPB reports.

This group appeared just before dusk on Saturday in Gretna.

The RSPB said while there are only up to 300,000 breeding pairs of starlings in the summer around Gretna, in the winter that number increases to three million.

'When the breeding cycle is over for the year, starlings come to Britain from the continent because it is so cold on mainland Europe,' said Neil O'Donnell, of the RSPB in south and west Scotland.

'They form these special flocks in the sky if predators are around. The birds are better off being in a massive flock, as this confuses the predators and also there are more eyes to look out for danger.'

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