Visitor numbers started to build last Autumn as the starling flock accumulated and for many visitors this has been their first time - and something they tend to agree with is that you just can’t get the full experience watching it on screen. The noise of the air flow as the birds swoop and fly overhead is something definitely best witnessed and experienced live. If it’s not already then a visit to a starling murmuration should be on every wildlife enthusiasts bucket list.
Observers oo and ah and discuss in whispered voices what shapes they can see the birds making, “It’s a fish” has been heard and fabulous photos of bird and dolphin shapes have been shared across the internet and reported by the media. All ages have been to see the spectacle from babes in arms (and high-tech off road prams) with their families to young people and parents as well as grandparents alike many with well-behaved dogs on leads in tow. Viewers can expect to see the starlings start to congregate in small groups and grow in numbers over a period of thirty to forty minutes before they spiral, swarm and drop down in unison into the reedbeds to roost. This is a spectacle to see at dusk, so Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust recommend visitors get to the Delta reed bed by 3.30pm.
Tim Sexton, Manager of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Attenborough Nature Centre stated, “We expect the starlings will start to migrate away from the reserve towards the end of January so we recommend people pop down this weekend to catch the spectacle live. Its best to come into the centre first to warm up with a cuppa and to pick up a map from reception before heading down to the delta following the signs to the grassy area where it’s been best to view them.” Tim continued,” It’s a two for one experience as well as there is a corvid roost of approximately 5,000 jackdaws that congregates in the Delta woodland once the starlings have settled in the reed beds. A second spectacle to hear as well as see as the noisy birds gather overhead as visitors walk back towards the centre and car park.”