Sunday, 20 December 2015

Slebech reedbed Starling roost

A dryish afternoon, with a hint of blue sky and some sunshine for a change, encouraged us to venture out to see if starlings were still roosting at Slebech reedbed. As has been the case on our other previous encounters this winter, the birds gradually arrived, dropping into the reedbed with no murmurations. It was nice to bump into Richard and Giselle from Skokholm who had also come along to see the roost.

The birds, initially at least, settled into three separate locations. As the last very large flock came in from the east, skimming over the reeds for several seconds, we pondered on numbers present this evening - in the order of 100,000 or so?

A buzzard and peregrine were noted, but no obvious predators appeared to be chasing starlings. Small numbers of thrushes (redwings, song thrushes and blackbirds) came in to roost in the Rhododendrons etc and Richard heard a firecrest. It looks like they are still wintering here.