Wednesday, 02 December 2015

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Starlings put on amazing flying display in skies over Carlisle's Botcherby

Botcherby in Carlisle may not be the first place you think of when it comes to bird watching but residents there are being treated to a spectacular nightly flying display by thousands of starlings.

Starlings photo
Starlings over Carlisle

For more than an hour last night, this huge starling flock – known as murmuration – filled the sky.

Many of the birds will have sought refuge in the UK from colder climates in places such as Russia and Scandinavia.

But few of the residents who gathered to watch their display last night had ever seen so many starlings in Botcherby.

“They’re beautiful, especially when they all fly together,” said Broadoaks Court resident Zreen Naveed, 25, watching the birds with son Hamza, eight.

He added: “It’s like every bird in the world has suddenly come to here. They’re like tiny jets when you see them from a distance.”

Neighbour Mary Miller, 65, said: “I’ve never seen that many birds all together before. I have to keep the bedroom window shut because they start singing at 4am.

“I think they’re a bit frightening, to be honest. At times, the sky can look black with them because there are so many flying overhead.”

Her husband Alex, 66, said: “Normally, they go over the Solway, but something must have happened this year.”

Further along the street, the Macrae family – Kirsty, 23, Scott, 23, and toddler son Kaiden – took time out to watch the murmuration.

Kirsty said: “They’ve come here this year for the first time. I get up for work at 4.30am and they’re out there, singing away. It’s a bit scary when it’s dark and they start flying over you.”


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