Belfast Telegraph

Starlings ‘like fireworks’ as they produce aerial displays across Ireland

The murmurations have attracted onlookers as the flocks perform manoeuvres before sunset.

A murmuration of starlings in Nobber, Co. Meath.
A murmuration of starlings in Nobber, Co. Meath.

Tens of thousands of birds have been mesmerising people with their acrobatic displays across the island of Ireland.

Spectacular murmurations of starlings have been impressing young and old alike with their magical formations in the dusky skies.

The fields around Nobber in Co Meath were filled with people waiting to catch a glimpse of a display on Wednesday, despite rainy conditions.

Flocks of starlings gathered together filling the skies before sunset.

They swooped and soared in tandem for about 20 minutes until they roosted in the trees below.

A murmuration of starlings (Brian Lawless/PA)

It is believed they group together in such formations for safety in numbers, to swap information and to keep warm at night.

Sisters-in-law Geraldine Murphy and Bernadette Mullen made a day trip out of watching one of nature’s greatest winter spectacles.

Ms Murphy travelled more than 100 kilometres from Druids Glen in Co Wicklow, while Ms Mullen came from nearby Bettystown, Co Meath.

Ms Murphy said: “I remember seeing it about 25 years ago coming from from the west of Ireland and it was such a spectacular sight…I wanted to see it again.

Spectators travelled to watch the murmuration (Brian Lawless/PA)

As the birds started moving in gentle formation she said: “It’s like fireworks.”

Helen Kehoe from Dublin also took a gamble on seeing the starlings and travelled to Nobber after witnessing a similar murmuration last year in west Cork.

“I just think it’s so amazing, just the fact that they can do this is just incredible,” she said.

The poor weather didn’t dampen the experience for Ms Kehoe: “It was fabulous, if it had been a bit drier they probably would have stayed doing their acrobatics for a bit longer.”

Another view of the murumuration (Brian Lawless/PA)

An avian aerial show has also been wowing commuters in Belfast again this winter.

Drivers stuck in post work traffic jams are regularly treated to a spectacular murmuration above the Albert Bridge on the edge of the city centre.

Countless thousands of birds swoop and soar in unison against the city scape at sunset.

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Pedestrians again paused on busy bridge as Wednesday afternoon turned to evening to watch the dynamic display, which lasted around 30 minutes.

As darkness fell, the starlings dived under the bridge to roost for the night under the busy city thoroughfare, making plenty of noise before settling down for a well earned rest.

Press Association


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