Saturday, 29 January 2011

Starling Roost....Leighton Moss

This week I paid a couple of visits to the R.S.P.B. reserve at Leighton Moss. The weather has been settled although still on the cold side. It has been bright with some good sunny spells providing good conditions for photography. My first visit on Wednesday with Mike was very quiet birdwise and it was strange to see the salt marsh pools adjoining the Allen and Morecambe pools almost devoid of birds.
We then visited the Public Hide and causeway area and again it was fairly quiet apart from numbers of coot and other associated waterfowl. We adjourned to the cafe for a warming cup of hot chocolate and then made our way along the road which overlooks Island Mere and awaited the arrival of the evening starling roost.Around 4.30pm they began to arrive in ever increasing numbers and for the next half hour or so gave us some thrilling views as they performed their aerobatics before settling down in the reedbeds.
For my second visit I was alone and had decided to try and photograph the birds from an elevated position up above the causeway.The farmer at Grisedale farm allowed me to go into his fields and hopefully I would get a different angle on the birds as they came into roost. However the starlings had different ideas and chose to roost at the opposite end of Leighton Moss near to Crag Foot. There didn't seem to be as many birds as previously but they did fly around in formation for twenty minutes or so.I was able to obtain some distant but interesting shots as the starlings performed against a backdrop of an orange sky as the sun sank rapidly in the west.
I have shown above some of the images I was able to obtain and hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did in taking them. I am not sure how much longer these displays will last but if any of my readers have not witnessed a starling roost I urge you to make the effort as you will definitely not be disappointed by this amazing show put on by Nature for our delight.