Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to live where I do – Friday was not one of those days.
We’ve had some beautiful weather all week and on checking various Instagram hashtags I noticed a lot of uploads from one particular area, my favourite beach in Poole, Studland.
The reason why this area was getting plenty of attention online? A murmur of starlings have been roosting in the trees at the Studland and Godlingston Heath nature reserve. Every night at dusk hundreds of them swoop through the air in mesmerising movements before settling down to roost.
With so many amazing photos online, naturally I was curious to see for myself just what it was like. Checking the forecast for Friday evening it looked like gorgeous weather, so I planned to hot foot it out of work at 3pm and head to the beach.
I caught the chain ferry over from Sandbanks and arrived before sunset at Shell Bay, with the sand coloured in rainbow shades from the setting sun.
It was relieving to see so many others lining up on the banks of sand to watch the show. I was in the right place!
Beginning to wonder whether we’d get lucky after all, a small group of starlings appeared above the trees and started circling around towards the ferry and back.
Slowly the group gained more and more members for the dance.
I tried to work out which star this was with my Sky Guide app – it seemed to be the North Star but I thought that couldn’t be right because it was west, so that didn’t make sense. Never mind, it was still pretty.
All of a sudden, the sky was full of birds and there was a human murmur of “wow” (see what I did there…)
The show didn’t last for a long time but we were all totally hypnotised. I managed to get a load of shots though and still had some time just to take it in. The noise they made was extraordinary, swishing and swooping around. Before we knew it they had settled down into the reed beds and you’d never know there were hundreds of little birds nestling in the branches.
So glad I managed to get out there and get so many pictures! Such a great start to the weekend 🙂