Sunday, 8 November 2015

Slebech reedbed - the starling roost this evening

After another wet and stormy day, a short break in the rain enabled us to get some late exercise and fresh air in the gloom of dusk at Minwear, overlooking the Eastern Cleddau and Slebech reedbed.

When we got there pretty well all the starlings were already in the reedbed and starting to roost. Earlier weather conditions were too poor for us to have considered viewing any pre-roost murmurations this evening. Most of the birds were in the middle section of the reedbed, affording quite reasonable views of the roost extent. A quite solid black mass of them extended over approximately 3/4 of a hectare (measured when we got home from a photo in GIS). Maybe 1/4 million birds, perhaps more? The reedbed is starting to look a bit flattened in places, most likely due to the density and weight of birds using the roost.

Part of the starling roost. It was really a bit too dark and gloomy for any half decent pictures.
In addition, at least one firecrest went to roost (probably in the rhododendrons). They seem to be quite regular here at this time of year, usually being recorded when we go to view the starling roost.

Thrushes also came into roost before we left, including at least 30-50 redwings possibly more. During the last week or so they have been quite numerous in the general area, mainly in scattered small flocks, as have fieldfares of late but no particularly large flocks have been noted.

To finish off, a woodcock flew over the road on our way back to Martletwy.