Wednesday, 2 February 2011
A new month had arrived and with it some slightly better weather. The gloomy foggy weather of previous days had been replaced with milder weather following overnight rain. I decided on another trip up to Leighton Moss to witness the starling spectacular. I took my time and went via Pilling and Cockerham which can be good at this time of the year as more and more geese begin to assemble prior to their departure for Iceland in the early Spring
There were lots of pink footed geese in evidence feeding in the fields around Eagland Hill and I understand that rarer geese have also been present with the pinks. I didn't look in detail at the goose flocks but I was more interested in some flight shots as they came in to feed on the wet and still frozen fields. A good number of whooper swans were also present in the area. As I drove into Pilling a large flock of pink footed geese came into land at Taylor's Lane in the centre of the village and provided more opportunities for some action shots.
I then made my way up to Leighton Moss to see if the starlings were still using the reedbeds there for roosting. After a warming hot chocolate in the RSPB cafe I was in position at the south western end which currently seems to be their favourite roosting area. A few small parties of birds trickled through and seemed to be heading to the far end of Leighton Moss. I decided to follow them but the appearance of a large flock near to the level crossing saw me staying put. I was joined by a few more observers and for the next twenty minutes or so we were treated to some nice displays as the birds settled for the night in the reedbeds close to Crag Foot. Again the starlings had performed well and hopefully I will return again this month for more encounters with the flocks of starlings. As usual I have shown a few images from the day of the geese and starlings but these cannot do it justice and it is something to be experienced first hand to really appreciate the great spectacle of these vast flocks of birds.