Starlings start to look a bit different at this time of year and people sometimes get confused about the birds turning up in their gardens. In late summer, adults, though still glossy with burnished purples, blues and greens if they catch the light, are also speckled with white ‘dots’. Their normally yellow beaks also turn to black over winter. Starlings living through their first winter have dark underparts but lighter grey-brown backs and heads. Their habits change too, as they tend to feed in bigger flocks ( as they build to the famous ‘murmurations’) and roost in very large, noisy groups of up to half a million birds in one roost! Our native Starlings are supplemented by birds from many other areas, including the Low Counties, Scandinavia, The Baltic States and Russia. They feed on beaches, in fields (where they get rid of many unwanted invertebrates), grass in parks and bushes covered with berries- Starlings definitely aren’t fussy!
Conditions: A still, cloudy day. Temperature: Max 16- Min 13 C.