Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°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 vandals tore through Bury St Edmunds

A drunken “night of madness” saw vandals rack up over £5,000 of damage to cars, pubs and property as they roamed the streets of Bury St Edmunds.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral overlooking colourful displays in the Abbey Gardens

Suffolk’s most important religious building has been awarded a £300,000 Government grant to pay for urgent roof repairs.

Josephine Murphy

An 86-year-old woman who had gone missing from Clacton has been found safe and well

Aftermath of a barn fire in Holton.

A television antiques expert has appealed for help rebuilding his eco-friendly arts centre in Suffolk after a major blaze destroyed the historic sawmill that was to be its showroom and workshops.

Tim Yeo

An outgoing Suffolk MP has denied reports he stands to make more than £500,000 from the sale of his second home, which was part-subsidised by the taxpayer – saying he plans to keep the London property.

Stansted Airport

Aircraft pilots were targeted with lasers around Stansted Airport 45 times last year.

Darsham Nurseries head chef Lola DeMille and chef Tom Eagle in the cafe where they are donating money from one of the dishes to the World Land Trust.

An international conservation charity based in Suffolk is one of three organisations to benefit from a new campaign raising awareness about the impact of meat production on health, welfare and the environment.

Suffolk County Council's base at Endeavour House

Up to 23 jobs could go in a major shake-up of Suffolk County Council’s education services.

Latitude Festival, at the Henham Estate near Southwold

Suffolk poet Luke Wright has seen the Latitude festival grow from a modest boutique gathering in 2006 to one of Britain’s biggest music and arts events.

Last year's Colchester Half Marathon.

Thousands of people will be pounding the streets of Colchester tomorrow as the town’s half marathon event returns.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages