Saturday, 13 February 2010

Starlings of Brighton Pier

During the middle of this week, the family decided to take an impromptu trip to the seaside. Brighton was the seaside of choice as we hadn’t been for so long and it’s convenient to get to, being only a short journey from Waterloo.

Not many people would consider venturing out to the coast during one of the coldest London winters but a primal urge was calling us to be by the sea. All Londoner’s should make an effort to be by the sea at least once a year. In winter the sea air and sea views will distress and calm your London spirit. You will leave feeling relaxed, invigorated and soothed, even if you’ve only just spent a day there.

But if you visit Brighton for no other reason than to see the natural spectacle of the Brighton Pier starlings, then this alone will make it truly worthwhile.

It was nearing dusk and we were skimming pebbles by the beach, when we noticed a few faint black clouds in the crisp winter sky. As we observed the clouds intently, further black clouds blew in and merged together to form an enormous cloud that appeared to be moving in an erratic but fluid motion. We were totally enthralled and rushed up to the East Pier to take a closer look. We soon realised, that these smoky clouds were in fact a gigantic flock of starlings. There must have been tens of thousands of starlings putting on the most beautiful sunset dance for us.

We watched and watched until the sun dipped below the sea and these amazing birds eventually took cover underneath the pier and settled in for the night. The show may have come to an end but as we walked across the pier we could still hear their noisy, chattering, bedtime conversations.


Paul said...

Oi, you lot! What are you doing twitching down south?! Since the olympics took all our birds away, you seem to be spending more time spotting all over the place. (Nice pics tho'!) Speaking of which, I haven't seen the kestrel for a few days now. Any sightings?

Leabank Square said...

Does anyone remember how the starlings used to gather in the trees in area fields? They used to fleet from tree to tree, whilst doing their incredible aerobatics in between! It's a shame that this kind of spectacle is becoming less and less common in London - lets hope that all the trees and landscaping in the olympic park encourages back all the lost and displaced wildlife.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see somewhere the starlings are flourishng. They can be a nuisance but they have a wonderful repertoire of songs and calles, really extraordinary mimics. I remember back in the days of trimphones being completely fooled by a starling imitating the ringing tone.