Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°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.

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.

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

Breydon Water, search after reports of two bodies being seen

Police have confirmed the bodies of a man and a woman have been recovered from Breydon Water, in Great Yarmouth.

From the archives 

British Legion swimming awards in Woodbridge November  1980

And depending how significant the prize, or the emotional attachment to it, their fates can range from living out their days in a dusty draw to taking pride of place on your (or your parent’s) mantelpiece.

Waterworks Street in Ipswich.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information after a nine-year-old girl reported being approached by two men on bicycles in Ipswich.

Stock police image

Police are appealing for witnesses after a motorcyclist was injured in a collision in Saxmundham where the other vehicle failed to stop.

Police were carrying out speed checks (stock picture)

Police allegedly stopped a driver on the A14 this afternoon at Sproughton who was going at 107mph.

A 170-tonne electricity tranformer could cause traffic delays on Saturday as it slowly makes its way along the A12 in Suffolk. Photo by Liam McLoughlin, Collett & Sons Ltd

A 170-tonne electricity transformer the size of a bungalow is being transported along the A12 in Suffolk on Saturday.

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

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24