header

header

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Starlings At Ot Moor


I think it was Ed that originally told me about the groups
of Starlings that fly over Ot Moor, just east of Oxford, England.

Fifty acres of marshy land serve as a feeding ground for the Starlings.
During the evenings of the winter months, something truly
 amazing happens and this area becomes the most incredible
display of aeronautical skill, spreading across 25 miles.

As the afternoon light begins to fade, the starlings stop feeding
and take to the air, gathering in large flocks of up to a thousand.
They start out flying in groups they've been feeding with all day
and slowly merge into ever denser and bigger flocks.
Individual birds, yet moving as a single entity and never a collision!

Their dance should be impossible!   It's mesmerizing to 
watch.  I imagine them having a bit of fun with their Creator, who
amuses them as he draws circles and lines in the sky, 
and they follow his fingertip.

I hope you'll take 3 minutes to watch. 
It's definitely worth it!




Information for this post was gathered from Dylan Winter,
a travel journalist, who has the pleasure of seeing this
from his door step every night during the winter months.
I'm so jealous!

And although it isn't a photo of my own, I'm linking up with
 I'd Rather B Birdin, because I know all those bird lovers will love this!

Click HERE to visit this week's entries.



55 comments:

  1. it is amazing to watch...we have occassionally had swarms of them like that...
    its an intricate dance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It kind of reminds me of a school of fish underwater!

      Delete
    2. We have large flocks that fly together, but nothing graceful like this.

      Delete
  2. Astonishing isn't it? When I was a young woman in my first proper job (nearly forty years ago...!) I worked in an office right in the centre of one of England's northern cities. As dusk fell in the winter months, the starlings used to fly into the city and congregate to roost on the warm buildings. They used to do exactly these kinds of dances, soaring and wheeling in huge, black flocks and chattering all the time. It was utterly mesmerising. As time's gone on, the buildings have all been protected with nets and spikes on all the ledges to prevent birds settling and making a mess, so the phenomenon just doesn't happen any more. I hope they have all flown out to the countryside instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very astonishing....I keep watching it! Love the music that was set to the video, too! Yes, I imagine your city starlings have flown to the marsh lands!

      Delete
  3. Wow, that's fascinating! I've seen videos of it before, but I'd love to see it in person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe that man can see this from his house. It would be a ritual with me....

      Delete
  4. Is amazing and beautiful Betsy!
    I.love the video!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This happens in several places in the UK, usually somewhere remote and wild. I have seen a smaller show over Bradgate Park in Leicestershire. If the video above was the main feature, then all we get is a side show!

    I have often wondered why the do this. It 's not about choosing a mate, because the mating season is usually long past. It could be they are showing off to us humans, "Look what we can do, you can't do it!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Keith, now what's all this about your hat? . . . lol

      Delete
    2. What hat? You been at the Meths again? I think you are losing your marbles. . . . .

      Delete
    3. Oh well it seems I've lost my marbles and my hat! . . . . but I still have my thinking hat. . .

      Delete
    4. You mean you still think you have your thinking hat? I don't think you should think you still think you have your thinking hat. So I think I still have all my marbles, I think.

      NB: When they released me back into the community, they gave me a certificate to prove that I'm sane. How many other people have been certified and can prove it?

      Delete
    5. If I wasn't asleep I'd think you're nuts . . . . . . hahaha

      Delete
  6. That is really amazing! It would be great to see it in person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think in person would be wonderful! And if we could get an orchestra to play music to it, that would be icing on the cake! haha.

      Delete
  7. Yes, great to see that again - no matter how many times I see it I marvel and I just love your suggestion that God amuses then with His fingertip as He draws circles for them to follow. Perhaps He is conducting them in a mighty pictorial symphony . . . . :)
    Thank you for showing that :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really gave me that impression..they seem to be following something we cannot see! And I do think God delights in his creation like that...we are just mortal and cannot see it.

      Delete
    2. I wonder whether there are any collisions by the flying starlings.

      There were about 40 of them sitting on my neighbor's roof yesterday. :)

      Delete
    3. Did you ask them to do a dance for you?

      The man that does the videoing, Dylan Winter, says he's never seen a collision after watching them for years from his house!

      Delete
    4. They said there were not enough there to make an interesting group dance or a line dance.
      Quite amazing they never seem to collide - I am certain there is something profound behind this in some way!

      Delete
    5. Found an interesting article to do with migrating starlings coming here from Scandinavia with millions roosting after their aerobatics:
      http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/expert/previous/starlingmigration.aspx

      Delete
  8. The things they can make
    And not crash as they partake
    Skill by the ton
    Sure all your cats would love to watch them block out the sun lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That cats would all gather
      and give that fake bird chatter
      as they watched on the ground below,
      trying to say hello.
      haha.

      Delete
  9. Did my comment get eaten up?
    Left one but blogger must have had a hiccup

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops there I see
      Just had to leave another to see me

      Delete
    2. I think blogger has been giving everyone fits
      as we go around doing comment tricks.

      Delete
    3. Blogger caused me lots of grief
      By stealing my comments like a thief
      A had to send and send
      Before it appeared at their end.

      Delete
    4. Yep, gives me error 502 and error 503
      Many a time at my sea

      Delete
    5. It was not as polite as that
      It stole my words, just like that
      It never bothered to report an error
      It was so dumb and not that clever
      I used to send the comment right away
      And now it tries it's game to place
      The comment goes to hyperspace
      And it the box not a trace
      Nor where I want to send it
      So I had to type again to mend it
      And cut and paste to try again
      And pull out my hair try to refrain
      And then with any luck
      The comment on the blog did 'stuck'

      'Ruddy' Blogger I do say
      I wish this problem would go away.

      lol

      Delete
    6. I wonder why blogger is picking on you
      You picked the short straw, I think it is true!

      Delete
    7. I suppose it could have been a lot worse
      Poor Keith could not publish a single verse
      For he could not comment for weeks at all
      As we know and was alone by himself at his stall
      sob sob

      Delete
  10. It reminds me of a sand painting... but in the sky. Truly amazing and mesmerizing. Although I enjoyed the music with it, I would love to hear just the birds as they soared through their terpsichorean (I love that word!) routine. I bet the sound is quite incredible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the suggested clips at the end there are several others to choose from. There was more than one that had bird chatter instead of music....very fun to watch and listen to!

      Delete
  11. Isn't this amazing. Oh if only I were rich and could actually travel to witness this phenomenon!!!

    Thank you for linking up at I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend. Always appreciated!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Truly incredible to watch.
    I wish you and yours a happy Sunday, Betsy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Makes me want a big marshy field so they would come to it!

      Delete
  13. Starlings are astonishing aren't they? We used to have loads where I used to live (not very far from current home) but not any more. On the plus side we have many more jays and green woodpeckers and wrens. So I guess you win some, you lose some. And I'm in Switzerland today… a pied wagtail just walked past my window and there is a black redstart nesting somewhere nearby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're in Switzerland...now that sounds wonderful!

      Delete
  14. That is amazing! I love the picture you painted of their Creator, "Their dance should be impossible! It's mesmerizing to
    watch. I imagine them having a bit of fun with their Creator, who amuses them as he draws circles and lines in the sky,
    and they follow his fingertip." Thanks. That made my day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stephanie! Isn't that a neat thought? That's just what I see when I watch that video. I bet things like that happen all the time and we don't realize it. Makes me want to go see it in person!

      Delete
  15. The murmurations are just amazing to watch aren't they. I have never seen one in real life, but have seen them on TV and always marvelled at them. We sometimes get large numbers of starlings in our garden, but nothing like these numbers!! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll get a group of 150 or so maybe once a year and they'll swoop down in the yard and march along together picking things out of the grass but I've never seen them dance in the sky like that!

      Delete
  16. Unbelievable. So much more impressive than any special effect I've ever seen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep....I agree. The fact that it's part of nature makes it all the neater!

      Delete
  17. I came back to show Garry this, it is amazing

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow! Such an amazing sight to see!

    ReplyDelete

I'm serving coffee! Stay and chat!
And no awards, please! Your comments are my awards!