The 'incredible' natural phenomenon that happens in autumn and winter and where to see it in the UK | The Sun

The 'incredible' natural phenomenon that happens in autumn and winter and where to see it in the UK | The Sun

09/20/2023

EVERY year, between autumn and winter, the UK's skies become the site of one of the most spectacular displays in the natural world.

There are places all over the country where it can be seen, with many people describing the sight as "breath-taking" and "incredible".



Starling murmurations are an amazing thing to see, with thousands of birds swooping and soaring together in massive airborne gatherings.

The starlings come together mid-air above their roosting sites and perform what the RSPB call "mass aerial stunts" for a number of different reasons.

Firstly, they do it for protection, with predators like birds of prey finding it difficult to single out individuals from among the flock.

They also do it as a way to keep warm in the colder months and to exchange information with one another, including about good places to find food.

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The birds will begin their displays in the early evenings, just before dusk, as the night begins to draw in.

One person who was lucky enough to capture their mid-air exhibition was an anonymous Tiktoker, who described the murmuration as "incredible".

They described their video as "incredible 250,000 starlings dancing in the sky".

Other people commented on the footage, describing it as "magical".

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One wrote: "Every autumn they gather and display that amazing dance as a group like they are all connected. Magical."

There are several places in the UK where you can get a good view of the murmurations, which can be spotted from the start of September, but become more frequent throughout November.

They can often last until around January or February, although some places will still have them as late as March.

Later in the year is the best time to try and spot the displays, with more birds flocking together as the weeks go on.

While the anonymous Tiktok user claimed that the murmuration in their video had 250,000 birds in it, the RSPB claim that the larger ones usually have around 100,000 in them.

Brighton is one of the most popular spots to see the birds, with people arriving en masse every year to watch them swooping and diving over the pier throughout winter.

Elsewhere, at the other end of the country, Gretna Green in Dumfries and Galloway is another hotspot for the starling shows, where wildlife photographer Jim Duncan saw them.

He told UK Safari: "It's a terrific wildlife spectacle and anyone can enjoy it, you just need to open your eyes and look up.

"I visited the area on Saturday afternoon and was treated to a display that has to be seen."

Suffolk is another area where the murmurations are frequently spotted, in particular Lackford Lakes and Redgrave & Lopham Fen, among other sites.

Meanwhile, in Wales, Aberystwyth pier is another popular spot for the birds to show off their aerial skills.

This small handful of popular spots are just some of the many places where the murmurations can be seen across the country, with this roost map highlighting the nearest places to you.

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Meanwhile, these day trips can help people in the UK see the northern lights.

And Jet2 has northern lights trips to Iceland in 2024.


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