Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Minsmere: Great shot! Photographer captures ‘striking’ image

12:56 02 March 2014

A formation of starlings at Minsmere resembling a boot kicking a ball. Photo by Tim Oakes.

A formation of starlings at Minsmere resembling a boot kicking a ball. Photo by Tim Oakes.

Tim Oakes

An amateur wildlife photographer managed to score big when he netted this astonishing image of a starling ‘murmuration’ over a Suffolk nature reserve.

shares

The amazing football formation - made up entirely of wingers - was captured at RSPB Minsmere by Tim Oakes, from Westleton.

The 47-year-old was waiting patiently in the reserve’s Bittern Hide when tens of thousands of roosting starlings burst into the sky. “I guess it was just a lucky shot,” said Mr Oakes, who has been bird-watching for most of his life. “I’d taken about 50 or 60 and only saw the shapes when I looked at my camera afterwards.”

Minsmere’s publicity officer Ian Barthorpe said: “This phenomenon really is one of the great spectacles of the natural world. It’s always popular.

“At the moment we have thirty to forty thousand starlings roosting in the reedbeds. The timing of when they gather varies from year to year. In recent years we’ve found March to be the best month to see them here.

“For the last 10 days to a fortnight, they have been gathering in small flocks from about 5pm and starting to form these great swirling clouds until it gets dark.

“We are really pleased to have such a spectacular display here this year - and there’s plenty of other wildlife and stunning sunsets to see.”

It is not certain why accumulate in such a fashion but experts say it’s most likely down to safety in numbers from predatory birds.

Most of the starlings currently at Minsmere have arrived on the Suffolk coast from parts of Europe where the climate has become too cold.

shares

3 comments

  • Photoshop!

    Report this comment

    Baron Samedi

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • No, it';s true, they do this. Look: http:www.youtube.comembed88UVJpQGi88

    Report this comment

    Boris

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • No, it';s true, they do this. Look: http:www.youtube.comembed88UVJpQGi88

    Report this comment

    Boris

    Friday, March 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The 

Woodbridge Marina Tide Mill, the area in which Suffolk Secrets is based. Picture: Mike Page.

A suspicious fire at a holiday cottage lettings agency in Woodbridge on Friday night is being investigated.

Emergency services including an air ambulance were called to the scene in Mersea Road, Colchester, close to the Strood, at 3.40pm. Pic: Alisha O’Dell Howard.

A double decker bus has crashed into a ditch in north-east Essex.

James Fairweather has been found guilty of murdering Nahid Almanea and James Attfield

The Colchester teenager convicted of murdering James Attfield and Nahid Almanea in Colchester in 2014 must serve a minimum of 27 years in jail.

Stock image of the Fiveways Roundabout in Mildenhall.

An Audi TT and a lorry were involved in a crash in west Suffolk on Friday evening.

Stock image.

Firefighters tackled a restaurant blaze in Colchester on Friday.

Joe Stilgoe, headlining this year's Ipswich School Festival of Music. Photo: Prasanna Puwanarajah

Hailed Britain’s very own Harry Connick Jr, Joe Stilgoe makes a welcome return to the Ipswich School Festival of Music this year.

West

 Appleby Rose Garden Seat presentation 
in Bury, April  1984

In 1984, the BBC was running its third series of programmes on English towns and one of those featured was Suffolk’s historical gem: Bury St Edmunds.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24