Starlings swoosh into Brockholes

2 Jan 2019 10:30

More than 20,000 starlings are creating astonishing displays at a Lancashire nature reserve.

The murmurations, believed to be the biggest in the North West so far this winter, have been happening at dusk at Brockholes, The Lancashire Wildlife Trust reserve off the M6 in Preston.

And experts believe that the swooshing exhibition of birds is likely to grow over the next week.

Tim Burrows, Brockholes General Manager, said visitors are arriving daily on the reserve to watch this wildlife spectacle.

He said: "Brockholes is one of the best spots in Lancashire to see starling murmurations but, this year, numbers have dramatically increased to more than 20,000. This puts the reserve in the top three places in the North West to see murmurations.

"These displays are breathtaking and the sheer numbers involved are incredible. You really need to come along and see one of the great wonders of the natural world.

"Why watch this on TV when you can come to Brockholes at 3:30pm every day see it live?"

Scientists believe that murmurations offer safety in numbers for the starlings; protection from predators attracted by the sheer number of birds. Experts still aren't completely sure how each starling knows which way to turn without bumping into its murmuration-mates.

Murmurations always form over the birds' communal roosting site. As the number of starlings reaches its peak and the last of the daylight begins to fade, the starlings funnel into roosts in nearby trees and woods.

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