On Friday at Minsmere about 1700 hrs whilst walking around the reed loop, several hundred Starling were flocking quiet a site, then out of the blue came a Marsh Harrier trying to get himself a meal on the wing, he tried in vain (see photo)
I've heard a few reports of up to 2000 starlings gathering towards dusk. Not sure if they are actually roosting here or gathering here before heading north to roost at Hen Reedbed. Either way, marsh harriers regularly pick off the odd starling - that may be one of the reasons why the flocks desert one site and move to another one instead.
Sadly it seems that the starling roost has already disappeared. None were seen for the second night running. The only consolation for those looking was a stunning sunset. I'll elt you know when I find out where any other roosts are (assume they are still at Hen Reedbed)
Hello, do you have any Starling murmurations at the moment? I'm down in Essex and was thinking about coming up to Minsmere for the day and I've read the reserve is usually a good place for them, but not so recently recently from the comments on the forum! Thank you!
We still don't have any starlings roosting at Minsmere. There is a roost at North Warren, best viewed from the reedbed viewpoint along the old railway line. Often seen gathering over Thorpeness first. Maximum count reported so far is 10k. I'm not aware of any other large roosts in Suffolk other than in Lowestoft Docks - no idea what numbers are like there though. Only sizeable roost I know of at the moment is at Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk/
Hope this helps
Hi Ian, thank you so much for replying so quickly. I've read about North Warren and will have a look there! Best wishes.
AS I leaving Minsmere tonight I was surprised to see an impressive flock of probably 10k starling swirlingaround over the North Wall. Assume they were going to roost in the reedbed somewhere - probably North Marsh. At least one marsh harrier was hassling them. As I was only watching from the car park I can't be sure how many, or where they roosted, but it will be worth checking in the next few evenings.
I can now confirm that we do have a starling roost at Minsmere again. About 10k birds have been swirling over the western end of the reedbed on several evenings recently, before settling to roost in the reedbed. They are best seen from Island Mere, but should also be visible from the Whin Hill Watchpoint
I am looking forward to going to Minsmere in the better weather. I understand it has good disabled access.
Latest update: there are still about 10k starlings roosting in the west end of the reedbed. They can be watched from Island Mere Hide, Whin Hill Watchpoint, or Eastbridge