Having been feeling rather under the weather for the past week or so, a tempting sunset and the promise of starlings felt like the perfect antidote to cheer me up.
I opted to use my wide angle lens in anticipation of some impressive skies and Aberystwyth once again delivered one of it’s spectacular sunsets. The starlings too, put on quite the performance.
In all my years of watching the starlings here in Aberystwyth it’s rare to get that special combination of both a dazzling sunset and really impressive murmurations. To my delight however tonight was one of those evenings where all the elements came together and we were treated to a superb display.
The flock arrived much later than usual, perhaps keen to make the most of the fine weather and last of the daylight, but as they say good things come to those who wait.
As the sky darkened to a gradient of deep blue and flaming orange, finally the starling squadrons began to arrive, slowly at first but soon gathering size and pace. With the light fading fast however the starlings began to swoop lower and lower above pier and it looked as though the action would be over before it had even really begun.
Just as I thought the starlings would be heading into their roost the dynamic of the flock changed and the shapeshifting began. Parted by the ambush of a sparrowhawk the birds dispersed and reformed in ever changing patterns in the sky, a dazzling sight sure to confuse any predator in their midst and delight the growing crowd of birdwatchers.
The action was brief, but nonetherless breathtaking. A crystal clear sky illuminated the scene perfectly as the starlings danced above the imposing silhouette of the pier.
A timelapse of this evening’s drama…
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All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © 2021
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