On Saturday 12th November I had a text message from Elaine, Rod my husband’s niece telling me she had been to see the Starlings come in to roost at RSPB Ham Wall that evening and what a fantastic time she had. She mentioned that she might go and watch them leave in the morning. I thought about it but not too long, that perhaps if she went I would like to meet her there.
I quickly checked timings and they would start leaving the roost a half and hour before sunrise which was about 7.20am so we would need to meet at the car park at around 6.45am to get to where they had roosted. This meant I had to leave home by 5.30am, it was a good journey with minimal traffic on a Sunday morning and I reached Ham Wall in plenty of time, closely followed by Elaine. The weather was a bit overcast so we wouldn’t get some really good light but it would challenge me to get some photos!
As always click a picture for a bigger view.
Because Elaine had watched them roost the previous evening we knew exactly where they would come up so we were ready and waiting with just a few other people. Sure enough around the half hour before sunrise you could her the chatter of the Starlings, the sound is just as exciting as the sight of them in the reeds and then they started to rise what an amazing sight, large groups taking off out of the reeds, some going one way and then the other, when they rose and flew over our heads it was really amazing. I heard that were around 100,000 Starlings there at that time, it was probably around 20 minutes before the last of them went, really worth getting up early for!
I did take one or two pictures but then I decided to record a movie, not usually something I do which you will probably realise when you watch it! There are a couple of Marsh Harriers in there. In one section I’ve slowed the movie down and you can see a Marsh Harrier in amongst the Starlings, not much chance of him catching anything in all the confusion!
We hope to get up there in the New Year and for me I hope to see them coming to roost and leaving in the morning. An amazing experience which is worth seeing.