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Murmuration #1

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Murmuration of starlings - this was taken yesterday of one of the largest starling murmurations seen for many years - there were perhaps as many as 3 million birds in total (this is just a small section) taken at Ham Wall in Somerset one of about six venues around the country where this happens during the winter months.

All the starlings will come originaly from Russia (I was so tempted to title the image 'JO') and will winter in our slightly warmer climate.

Numbers of starlings have been on the decrease quite dramatically over the last few years so this mass gathering was really quite heartening to see.

They gather prior to roosting (just before sundown) as they look for a communal place to spend the night. The name murmeration comes from the whispering noise they make en mass with the sounds of their wings. I have to say with this number the sounds is a bit more than a murmer!!!

The amazing swirls and aeriel ballet often seen is usually stirred up when a hunter is around (sparrow-hawk and harriers mostly).

The reasons for these amazing displays are not readily understood even today and after considerable study. It is thought to be a safety mechanism reducing the odds of beiing singled out quite simply because there are so many birds.

When they do finally settle there is a very clear hierarchy of who goes where - adult males (t'was ever thus) are right in the middle where it is safe and warm - then adult females then young males and finally on the outside young females.

I think these three shots were taken on auto - certainly with a longer lens 70 x 300 mm and handheld.

Anyway thanks for looking hope it has been of interest. I have to say if you have the chance to check one of these gatherings out - they are pretty amazing and fill up the memory banks.

Cheers

Brand:PENTAX Corporation
Camera:Pentax K10D Check out PENTAXPORTAL!
Lens:70x300
Date Taken:30 Jan 2011 - 11:30 PM
Focal Length:70mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/180sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:100
Exposure Mode:Program AE
Metering Mode:Center-weighted average
Flash:Off, Did not fire
Title:Murmuration #1
Username:ketch ketch
Uploaded:31 Jan 2011 - 8:23 PM
Tags:Birds, Flock, General, Ham wall, Jo starling, Murmuration, Rspb, Somerset levels, Sunset, Wildlife / nature
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Comments

shaver
shaver  6 England
31 Jan 2011 - 8:27 PM

brilliant, breathtaking

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norton
norton  10 United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jan 2011 - 8:28 PM

Nice image and very informative description, well captured..............

Tony.

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Glostopcat
Glostopcat e2 Member 8231 forum postsGlostopcat vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jan 2011 - 8:28 PM

What a spectacular sight this must have been to behold, well captured

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moiral
moiral e2 Member 4moiral vcard Scotland
31 Jan 2011 - 9:00 PM

3 fantastic captures. Certainly a spectacle to behold. Moira

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mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7391 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom957 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jan 2011 - 9:36 PM

A force of nature, well conveyed.
Moira

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helenlinda
helenlinda e2 Member 7337 forum postshelenlinda vcard United Kingdom21 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jan 2011 - 10:37 PM

What an amazing sight - and I bet the sound was rather special too. Helen.

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jeanmarie
jeanmarie  5 England
1 Feb 2011 - 2:30 AM

fantastic set V1 & V3 for meSmile

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DitoInacio
1 Feb 2011 - 3:17 AM

Wonderful shot!! Very impressive, a superlatif result! All versions for me, impossible to choice...
Thanks so much for share it.

regards
Dito

Last Modified By DitoInacio at 1 Feb 2011 - 3:17 AM

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CarolG
CarolG e2 Member 7128 forum postsCarolG vcard Greece16 Constructive Critique Points
1 Feb 2011 - 6:15 AM

Three amazing images, what a fantastic sight to see and capture on camera. Carol

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Aliperti
Aliperti  4 Brazil
1 Feb 2011 - 9:55 AM

Fantastic capture!

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User_Removed
3 Feb 2011 - 1:46 PM

Wonderful captures.

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Richsr
Richsr e2 Member 790 forum postsRichsr vcard England207 Constructive Critique Points
3 Feb 2011 - 4:09 PM

Three fine captures of an impressive sight. A good sky to capture them against too.
Regards Richard

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sweetpea62
sweetpea62 e2 Member 3sweetpea62 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Feb 2011 - 6:37 PM

Three great shots.Nice write up.Well done.

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andylea
andylea e2 Member 537 forum postsandylea vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Feb 2011 - 8:38 PM

v1 for me a stunning capture Wink
andy

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JouŠo
JouŠo  1056 forum posts Finland
4 Feb 2011 - 7:24 PM

Spectacular capture! V1 for me too!


Jouko

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kinfatric
kinfatric  9550 forum posts Scotland9 Constructive Critique Points
13 Feb 2011 - 11:13 AM

Great images of this event, a spectacle worth seeing too for oneself I imagine.

Last Modified By kinfatric at 13 Feb 2011 - 11:14 AM

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helenlinda
helenlinda e2 Member 7337 forum postshelenlinda vcard United Kingdom21 Constructive Critique Points
13 Feb 2011 - 11:25 PM

I can at last give this my User Award - such a wonderful moment you have captured here Robert.Smile

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ketch
ketch e2 Member 6770 forum postsketch vcard Turks and Caicos Islands50 Constructive Critique Points
14 Feb 2011 - 8:46 AM

Wow Helen - Thank you so much for your user award - and I really do like the look of it (and your new avatar) well it is a boat so fantastic.

Thanks again really appreciated.

SmileSmile

SmileSmileGrinGrin

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morpheus1955
morpheus1955 e2 Member 7morpheus1955 vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
24 Feb 2011 - 9:42 PM

Amazing set of images, very well captured and presented.

Hugh

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8748 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1575 Constructive Critique Points
7 Mar 2011 - 3:18 PM

Lovely images and interesting information to go with them. That must have been a wonderful sight, perhaps you got a video of it?

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ketch
ketch e2 Member 6770 forum postsketch vcard Turks and Caicos Islands50 Constructive Critique Points
7 Mar 2011 - 3:43 PM

I do have moving images too but only on the cinema screen in my head, I am afraid PJ. Thank you for your comments much appreciated.

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ianrobinson
ianrobinson e2 Member 41107 forum postsianrobinson vcard United Kingdom8 Constructive Critique Points
11 May 2011 - 12:55 AM

a superb capture, i tried this around our way in Strumpshaw Norfolk not easy really i know better now though so may try again this year.

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NeilWigan
NeilWigan e2 Member 4NeilWigan vcard England15 Constructive Critique Points
21 May 2011 - 9:28 PM

incredible sight ,must be awe-inspiring ,well recorded,

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acousticmist
26 May 2011 - 6:48 PM

Superb shot, I have never seen so many birds in one place. Well spotted........Martin

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photophantom
4 Oct 2011 - 10:56 AM

amazing

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rontear
rontear e2 Member 11rontear vcard England4 Constructive Critique Points
30 Oct 2011 - 1:27 PM

Fascinating nature Robert, one of the best locations in Britain for this event. Excellent.
Ron.

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