Starlings at sunset in Blackpool
© Mediaworld Images/Alam
Mesmerising murmuration. Mesmerising murmuration
As temperatures dip here in the Northern Hemisphere, flocks of starlings – known as a murmuration - put on a dazzling show. These noisy birds can be seen as a bit of a pest, due to their bullying behaviour at the birdfeeder. But in autumn and winter months, British starling populations are swelled by millions of others seeking warmer temperatures and they gather to roost in huge flocks at sites across the country - like these ones, in Blackpool, north west England.
At dusk, the starlings take flight en masse and flock together in a hypnotising, swirling cloud of fluttering wings. It's thought it helps keep the birds warm while also warding off predators like hawks and falcons. But maybe the raptors are simply awestruck by the starlings' synchronised spectacle, just like the rest of us.