Watch thousands of starlings fill the skies around Hartlepool

The starling  murmuration over Saltholme. Photograph courtesy of the RSPB
The starling murmuration over Saltholme. Photograph courtesy of the RSPB

The amazing sight of thousands of starlings in full flight is filling the skies around Hartlepool.

And you can enjoy it all at the RSPB Saltholme site.

The wildlife reserve and discovery park is inviting people to join them for Soup and Starlings evenings, starting on November 7.

Staff will show visitors the best place to see the birds and soup will be on offer to keep everyone warm whilst they sit back and enjoy the show.

Lydia Tague, Visitor Experience Officer at RSPB Saltholme said: “You might have seen the spectacular starling murmurations on wildlife programmes on TV, but nothing beats seeing them in person. Wrapping up and going to see a starling murmuration is well worth the effort. Nothing can describe the sight and sound of so many birds all moving together.”

Murmurations take place at roosting sites, and the reed beds at RSPB Saltholme provide the perfect overnight roost for starlings.

The birds arrive in small groups, slowly at first, and build up to a swirling, pulsing group that shifts with a fluid motion - a cloud of birds moving as one, before dropping into the roost, just as darkness falls.

Grouping together in such huge numbers is thought to be important for exchanging information, for example where the best feeding grounds are.

It also provides warmth and safety in numbers.

Lydia added: “The Soup and Starlings evenings are the perfect way to see this amazing, awe-inspiring sight. This is the perfect example of how we can all enjoy the wildlife that is all around us.”

RSPB Saltholme will be running Soup and Starling evenings fon Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays throughout November and December from 3pm to 5pm.

Advanced booking is essential. For further information, call the visitor centre on (01642) 546625.