Driving home from shopping in Carlisle I spotted this great flock of starlings over a small place called Rigg, close to Gretna. In late autumn and winter starlings form what are called murmurations, moving like shoals of fish in the sky. You see this in the evening just before dark falls, after which they swoop down to roost in a small wood here. Their formation here does look like the shape of a turtle, don't you think? I have found other (much better) photos on the BBC Scotland news website. There are videos on Youtube too.I took this with my pocket Panosonic Lumix hence the 'noise' due to faling light. But even without the best equipment this was a fabulous thing to experience.
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batalay (34109) 2013-12-13 17:39
This is a well-timed shot. Initially, I tried to figure out the source of the shadows in the sky, before I read your informative note.
Have a good weekend, and a Happy Holiday Season,
gojo (1635) 2013-12-14 1:34
Wow! Extremely unusual and what a catch! I wonder what the UFO-fanatics would think of it.
In addition, the little white building is very attractive in the almost surrealistic image.
arnie (1408) 2013-12-14 3:45
A stunning capture of one natures great spectacles.
PaulVDV (19395) 2013-12-14 5:34
A hallucinating picture of a giant sea turtle flying over the fields!
Well taken at the precise moment.
Best regards, Paul
saxo042 (35814) 2013-12-14 9:01
With enough imagination you can make this "flying object" look like nearly anything. Just looking at the thumbprint, I thought this was an aeroplane, with wings and a cockpit. In the full picture, it looks like a flying dog with long ears. I have never seen such a formation of so many birds, this must be an extraordinary experience. A very interesting note!
holmertz (34669) 2013-12-14 11:08
I agree with Gunnar that this looks like almost anything, maybe a flying seal or an almost invisible jet fighter made to go undetected by radars. Never mind the noise. Who cares about technical perfection when seeing something as amazing as this? Strangely enough one or two of the BBC pictures looked very similar to this.
Royaldevon (24342) 2013-12-15 3:04
I have experienced something similar near Ambleside. It is amazing!
The outstretched arms of some creature are certainly visible in the sky. I see it more as a walrus because of the heavy moustache.
Photographs like this will have to be cherished for there is no doubt that starlings are on the wane. We see so few of them in our garden, now, though they used to be the most common birds.
Have a lovely Sunday,
tyro (17254) 2013-12-17 8:58
A fascinating note you have written - and with some interesting links - and what a remarkable photograph!
This huge flock of starlings actually looks quite scary to me - it looks like a huge Stealth Bomber creeping up on you, especially with those big electricity pylons there as well. Some shades of Hitchcock in there too, I fancy - just a wee bit spooky.
Interestingly, I see that one of the pictures on the BBC website looks as though it has been taken from the very same viewpoint where you were standing when you took this one.
This really is a wonderful nature shot and very well taken. Have you tried sending pictures to the BBC for publication on their website? I have, but never got anything shown on the website and never received any acknowledgement or thanks either.
CLODO (27690) 2014-01-15 2:11
Even if the quality is not at the top, I appreciate the picture with the huge flock of birds creating a moving black cloud.