News of Our Group, and Relevant News for Our Members

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Don't miss the Otmoor Starlings

Trees against a sunset with Starlings above

Starling murmurations were voted the second greatest UK wildlife spectacle.  Treat yourself.

Starling murmuration over flat landscape

Around 50,000 Starlings head for Otmoor each evening.  Arrival time depends on how bright the afternoon is, they arrive later on bright days, as late as 3:45. They swirl around in massive groups, then dropping lower and passing over the watching enthusiasts.  Then diving into the reeds and skimming at reed-top height to their roost for the night.  By 4:15 it is all over.  If it is too windy then there may be little or no murmuration - Starlings going straight into the reeds.


Starlings en mass

The car park can become full, so arrive early.  Pass the time looking for the Bittern at the furthest bird screen.  There are two recommended Starling viewing areas, these photos were taken from the one by the first bird screen.  It will take you at least 20 minutes to walk here from the car park, along the muddy path.  If you stay until it is too dark to see the Starlings then you may need a torch to get back.

Enthusiasts looking over the water and reeds

Photographers probably need to start at ISO 800 and will end at 6,400 or above.

Starlings over the trees

Don't put your visit off too long - Starling numbers are at their peak at this time of year and may soon begin to decline.  Worth going just for the sound of 100,000 wings!