Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Starling murmuration at Gretna

So yesterday I slipped across the border to see the starlings dance at Gretna.  The position of the roost varies each winter and more often.  At present it is south of Rigg about 3km west of Gretna.  The starlings start grouping in trees and on wires around sunset.

They seem to have a particular liking for this pylon.

Then all at once they fly off to begin the dance.  Thousands more fly in to join the group.

It begins as a sinuous back and forth cigar shaped movement which goes on as the light fades.

Eventually the shapes get more and more complex.

At last they dive down into the roost in almost complete darkness an hour after sunset.

Then it is back to the car to try to thaw out my fingers.


  1. Hi great photos. We saw the starlings in Rigg these last 2 years a and went today but had no luck in finding them. Could you possibly offer a little more advice on their location. Should we park in Rigg or is there a better side road we need to be down? Many thanks

    1. I think they are in a different place every year Simon, and perhaps more often than that. These photos are from just over a year ago. I haven't been this winter as the weather has been so bad but from what I have read the best place might be south of Gretna on the small road immediately alongside the motorway heading towards the iron bridge. I'm still hoping to get over and have a look if the weather improves.