Saturday, 6 December 2014

Surprising Murmurations

It's not only starlings that do it. The place to go around here has been Stoney Middleton.

But spectacular murmurations can be seen between Blacka and Ecclesall Woods. Here, it's a morning spectacle best seen in the hour before sunrise when the sky is clear, though that's not essential. I've drawn attention on this blog before to the daily migrations of jackdaws  along the route of Hathersage Road and the daring behaviour of the birds as they  duck and weave recklessly among the headlights of commuting traffic making its way towards Sheffield and the M1.

Before they set out on their westward journey there's a gathering together and skydance that is well known with starlings. I've not seen this often but it happens at least on some mornings. While jackdaws are generally more clumsy than starlings, the same display characteristics can be seen with sudden dramatic changes of direction, the flock moving as one and the pattern smooth like rehearsed choreography. In some ways it's more remarkable that it should happen with larger birds.

I hope to provide a picture soon.

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