Thousands of starlings surround a lone bird of prey which had swooped down to pick off a straggler. "Starlings have a very particular way of defending themselves from their predators like falcons and harriers. They form a large tightly packed flock and mob their enemy, scaring it off, frequently expanding and contracting and changing shape."
Common Starling / Sturnus Vulgaris. Common indeed but still a beautiful bird and all the more impressive when seen flying in their thousands (known as murmuratuons). Photo by Estornino Pinto Santiago M. C
Just one of the birds in decline in the UK. Starlings hit an all time low in the 2013 #birdwatch with their numbers sinking by a further 16 per cent from 2012. Do you expect to see starlings during your #birdwatch this weekend?
This is one of the clouds of Starlings that were surrounding me on the Somerset Levels during a recent visit. The million or so birds roost overnight in the reed beds. If you have never seen this awesome Winter roost it's worth the trip where ever you live. I just kept my finger on the shutter button and I'm amazed at the shapes I have captured as the flocks constantly change shape in a slow, fluid motion. Canon 5D, 70-200 f2.8