Oh dear, what a dilemma. I am in the lucky position of having three blog posts lined up. It’s not that any one of them is time critical, it’s the excitement in the anticipation of writing them. I suppose the first thing I should say that although the post title is Starlings, the photo is absolutely nothing to do with the story. Which is, for the most part about starlings.
There are several areas around where large flocks off starlings roost, one of the main ones is underneath Portsmouth Railway station which a pier reaching out over the water. If you are travelling on the ferry, you can hear them fussing around.
Another favourite spot to see them, especially if you want to see murmurations, is the old gasometer behind Asda’s. I have no idea how many gather there, but it’s a lot.
It looks like, to me, the larger flocks break up in to smaller scavenger groups. It’s one of those groups which visits the garden. I always enjoy watching them and I’m glad that even if only in a small way, I’m helping them to live.
This morning I went out to load up the bird table, it was the last in the batch of mixed food (birdseed, mealworms, suet pellets & peanuts) I had prepared earlier in the week so just piled on what was left. I tend to only do it once a day, sometimes twice. That’s why (I’m willing to bet) the main group only visit once per day.
Anyhow, I had to return to the shed at about 0930 to get something. As I was in the shed I heard the characteristic shouting and arguing that typifies a squad of hungry starlings. Frustratingly, I couldn’t see the table from where I was in the shed and I didn’t want to move in case I frightened them away. Every few seconds something would spook them, and they would take off towards next doors roof. Only to return a few seconds later. At best guess, I’d say there was at least 50+ of them. Notwithstanding the lack of view of the bird table, to be this close to them (5 – 6 feet) was absolutely brilliant. Very nice indeed.