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Southwold starlings swarm as sun sets over Suffolk salt marshes

PUBLISHED: 16:52 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:40 12 December 2018

No one knows why starlings gather in theses clouds - called murmurations - but they can contain thousands of of birds at any one time Picture: SARAH GROVES

No one knows why starlings gather in theses clouds - called murmurations - but they can contain thousands of of birds at any one time Picture: SARAH GROVES

Archant

This was the moment one photographer caught sight of one of nature’s phenomenon - a starling murmuration.

The lucky photographer, Sarah Groves, works for Adnams in Southwold and loves to snap the wildlife on the Suffolk coast.

The shot was taken around 3.30pm on Friday, December 8, at the Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Hen Reedbeds reserve near Southwold, using a Canon EOS 5D DSLR camera.

She said: “It’s a complete natural wonder. I was walking in the reserve as I only live a few miles away and saw them as the sun was starting to lower in the sky and managed to get the camera out in time.”

Starlings are thought to gather in these impressive clouds for a number of reasons, one of which is for safety from predators.

On this occasion a bird of prey, thought to be a peregrine falcon, has caused the pictured cloud to retreat in the air.

“After the bird of prey appeared, I thought it looked like an elephant’s trunk,” added Miss Groves.

“Starling clouds are really regular here over the summer but there are clouds in habitats like this all over the country, they like to gather near coasts.”


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