Monday, 18 February 2013

Aylesbury murmuration

In previous years the huge aerial display by Starlings arriving to roost in the reedbeds on Otmoor has been a major highlight of our winter wildlife calender. However, they have not performed in the same numbers this year, possibly due to a significant drop in their population which has been recorded by the BTO and other bodies, but maybe also changes in water levels at sites such as Otmoor following the unusual weather pattern over the past 12 months.
A flock of Eurasian starlings,
However, no need to travel to other surviving Starling hotspots such as Brighton, Aberwystyth or the Somerset Levels to enjoy murmurations. Just pop in to Aylesbury before sunset, walk or drive into the open car park off Exchange Street (next to the new cinema) and take up a position at the top of this site, facing east i.e. towards Tring. On most days since Christmas, Starlings have performed in the skies above the canal, Tring Road and the theatre, currently ( 18th February) from about 5pm. You may also spot another large group performing further out towards the eastern edge of the town. Maybe not the numbers that we enjoyed at Otmoor but a super display with all the swirls, twists, shapes and 'dark' moments that we associate their pre-roost displays! Their sudden dive en masse into trees around Walton Street and sometimes the large conifers just by the vehicle entrance into this car park is awesome.

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