Breathtaking bird migration caught on camera

Updated / Friday, 10 Nov 2017 08:09
Please view this article on rte.ie to see the featured video.

These amazing videos, including some by Irish people abroad, and pictures capture the ultimate sign of the changing seasons all over the world: starling murmurations.

Flocks of hundreds or even thousands of birds can be seen swooping and soaring in movements which looked like highly choreographed aerial ballet. The Strictly judges would surely be giving these birds 10's.

The spectacles have been described as nature’s answer to the Red Arrows or the roar of a Harry Potter Dementor.

The murmurations take place at dusk, giving the starlings’ movements a picturesque backdrop of hazy pinks and watercolour blues.

Starling Murmuration

The flock might start as a small group but gradually more and more birds will join the display before they settle down to roost. And for those lucky enough to see the sight, it’s an extra special moment.

England
Tom Blacker spotted a murmuration above Southwaite Services when he was en route to Carlisle in Cumbria.

"I came outside (the services) and there was a woman with a child outside pointing up to the sky. They were directly above us at that point and I couldn’t get the video to work for some reason. I was just transfixed, the vid doesn’t really do it justice. Mesmerising is the word!"

Tom Blacker: "Mini murmuration in a gale this afternoon - none at all then two come along at once"

Italy
David Lynch was rushing to catch a train in Milan when he caught sight of a murmuration.

David Lynch: "Starlings Murmuration in Milan #travel #Milan"

Starlings Murmuration in Milan. #travel #milan: https://t.co/4sTGP5jz03 via @YouTube

— David Lynch📷 (@gribers) October 25, 2017

The Irish Abroad
Marie Lindsay was also in Italy when she spotted the murmurations above Rome.

"I was with a group of pilgrims from Ireland who had spent time in the Basilica of St Bartholomew on the Tiber Island. We were just leaving the Basilica to return to our coach when this amazing spectacle appeared in the sky," she said.

"The whole group, of all ages, stood with other tourists and locals spellbound by the symphony in the sky. As it continued I took out my phone and recorded part of it.

"It continued even as we walked over the little bridge across the Tiber back to our bus! Amazing sight."

Maria G Lindsay: "A spellbinding #Starling #murmuration above the #Tiber in #Rome reminding us of the wonder of creation @JP2Award @hixannie @thompson_emmet"

A spellbinding #Starling #murmuration above the #Tiber in #Rome reminding us of the wonder of creation @JP2Award @hixannie @thompson_emmet pic.twitter.com/K7rBOz4FUZ

— Maria G Lindsay (@mariemccolgan) October 30, 2017

RSPB Burton Mere captured this murmuration on its doorstep, in Cheshire.

Burton Mere Wetlands: "Small but perfectly formed #starling #murmuration this eve, also water rail & ringtail hen harrier from Marsh Covert hide @RSPB_N_England"

Small but perfectly formed #starling #murmuration this eve, also water rail & ringtail hen harrier from Marsh Covert hide @RSPB_N_England pic.twitter.com/dhx7JRfjyj

— Burton Mere Wetlands (@RSPB_BurtonMere) November 5, 2017

France
Twitter user @ALepple was in Gaillac, Tarn, France, when the birds started their murmuration.

"The starlings are obviously roosting in the group of pine trees on the roundabout. I was amazed to see how indifferent they were towards traffic but having said that they made quite a bit of ‘noise’ themselves: on the video they’re a lot more audible than the traffic!

"I used to live on the shores of Lough Carra in the West of Ireland and there the murmurations were something else again. Seeing the ones in Gaillac brought back happy memories of another life, couldn’t resist, had to jump out of the car and make the little video."

Annette Lepple: "#murmuration on my way home #birds #wildlife"

#murmuration on my way home #birds #wildlife 😊 pic.twitter.com/tSDS235jTW

— Annette Lepple (@ALepple) October 30, 2017

Natalie Johnson photographed the birds swooping above Brighton.

"It’s well known that the starlings do this as the sun starts to set so I purposely went down to watch," she said. "Living here I’m fortunate to see it often, and it is really beautiful. Particularly with the Brighton West Pier as the landmark, and the sun setting behind it.

"Lots of people head to the beach at this time of day to see the starlings in their murmurations. It’s fantastic to witness – it’s like they are dancing. Very serene."

Natalie Johnson: "Brighton delivering all the goods with tonight’s sunset, and the starlings murmurations"

Brighton delivering all the goods with tonight’s sunset, and the starlings murmurations 🌅 pic.twitter.com/hiQg0k9zLT

— Natalie Johnson (@phrasee_nat) November 5, 2017