The murmuration and the plane

Sezgin Ismail

A murmuration is the collective noun for starlings. This particular murmuration was huge. I imagine it was composed of tens of thousands of starlings which suddenly appeared in the evening sky over a lake near Northwich, called Neumann's flashes. They wheeled about in the sky, swooping down and then flying high, breaking up into smaller groups flying in different directions, performing a spectacular aerial dance. This went on for about ten minutes. Then they came down to feed among the tall grasses at the edge of the lake.

I was not expecting this spectacle, but luckily I had the telephoto lens on and was thus able to capture this magnificent display. I did not have a tripod with me, and as it was dark, some of the pictures are disappointing. I particularly like this one, showing a juxtaposition of nature with the man made. The actual sunset was much more vivid than seen here, but the photo is really about the birds rather than the sunset. So I have left it straight off the camera, unedited in any way.

Subsequently, I was deeply saddened to read that starlings are seriously endangered and that populations have been plummeting.

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