Starlings

Are there starlings at Fen Drayton still? Doing their thing?
  • Hi Richard.

    There have been some small flocks over the Holywell reedbed area recently, but no sizable murmurations. They tend to tail off by the end of December at Fen Drayton Lakes.

    Tim

  • In reply to Tim Fisher - FDL Warden:

    There's now a pretty substantial murmuration going on.  Tipped off by a friend who saw a show on Friday, we had a great display on Saturday and a belter on Sunday (with added birds of prey - sparrowhawk and kestrel, we were told).

    I can't find the map which used to be on here and I've never known any of the lake names, so bear with me.  Saturday and Sunday's best vantage point was on the busway cycle path, a couple of hundred metres west of the FDL busway stop (near the new viewing area by the lake to the south of the busway), and the eventual roost was in the reeds in that lake.  First murmurating was well south, towards Fen Drayton (but don't be fooled, they'll be back), and there was lengthy indecision on roosting over the lake to the north (where the car park is).  Main show starts around 16:45, final roosting around 17:15, but come early to see the small flocklets arrive (from Tesco, perhaps) to join in, or earlier still to see the short-eared owls near the entrance road (no joy for us, but very probably we were far too late Sat/Sun).

    No promises!

  • In reply to AndyI:

    Thank you!

  • In reply to Dirk B:

    Thanks, Dirk.

    So now I can confirm - epicentre near junction of Holywell, Oxholme and Elney Lakes, roosting in Elney!

    (fingers crossed they come back!)

  • In reply to AndyI:

    We saw them on 16th and 18th this week - our first two murmurations, so can't really comment on size or quality but we were very impressed and it was a fantastic sight, so - thanks! We stood near the Busway stop in the centre of the reserve, the action began just after 5.00pm, both evenings were cold and clear and on both nights the birds roosted on Holywell lake. Hope others are lucky too.

  • In reply to Peter F:

    Last week's murmuration conclusion (Sunday 14th) - Holywell Lake at 17:37 (a clear day - gloomy days means they generally decide to roost earlier - and factor in advancing sunset times too).  Viewed from the RSPB car park.

    https://youtu.be/7YLhKoe9pbc (3:07)

    Bit blowy for the short-eared owls today, perhaps, after a great show last week..  Or have they moved on?  No show anyway.

  • In reply to AndyI:

    Very nice Andy. Thanks for sharing.

  • Resurrecting this thread for anyone still interesting in starlings at Fen Drayton Lakes.

    Yesterday (19/11/19) there was a pretty good size starling murmuration over Holywell reedbed of probably 1000+ birds. Small groups started coming in at around 15:45 and continued to build up over the next half hour. They could be easily watched from the picnic tables at the Welcome Shelter at the reserve car park, looking out over the reedbed. At one point a sparrowhawk shot in and snagged itself some dinner, splintering the murmuration into several small groups before they all merged back together. 

    Other sightings whilst watching the starlings included two muntjac deer, a Cetti's warbler and a group of 9 snipe flying over.