This Christmas, give your self the gift of a nature wow moment .
The pre-dusk skies of winter form a great backdrop for one of nature’s finest performances, a murmuration of starlings. Hundreds, thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of starlings take to the skies in a mesmeric swirl. They gather to confuse predators and exchange information, before snuggling up to roost. For us, it’s a seasonal spectacle we’re all hoping to see over the festive break. Here's a little sneaky snippet of the Spring 2018 issue of Nature's Home that we hope will get you in the mood for a Festive season full of wildlife.
Here are the five great RSPB reserves where you can witness the spectacle. Check the reserve pages for the latest starling news.
1. Loch Leven, Perth & KinrossWait by reedbeds in this National Nature Reserve to see starlings swirl. Plan your visit to this loch-side reserve here.
2. Minsmere, SuffolkAnother reedbed roost, the Bittern and Island Mere hides are good places to wait. Join a weekend walk or plan your own visit here.
3. Fen Drayton, CambridgeshireA bright afternoon offers a chance to view the swirling starlings over the reedbeds. Late afternoon is the best time to visit. Plan your trip here.
4. Saltholme, TeessideA shapeshifting cloud throngs over the reedbeds here. Look out for a passing peregrine on the hunt for its dinner. Find out more here.
5. Conwy, North WalesAround 30,000 birds tumble above the estuary, preparing for their nigh-time roost. A soft blanket of snow makes this winter wonderland a truly festive experience. Click here to plan your trip.
Seen a starling murmuration? Let us know in the comments below.
There's more on starlings and lots more wildlife-watching tips in Nature's Home magazine. If you are an RSPB member, your Spring issue will be with you at the end of the month. Enjoy!
That's very helpful to know. Hopefully starling roosts will build up as during January and the reserve pages will carry any hot starling news and updates!
We haven't yet got a murmuration at Minsmere, sadly. We do have one over the Morrison's car park in Felixstowe, though - what a fantastic sight to liven up shopping!