The starling roost this evening was by far the most impressive roost of the the year so far, with very rough estimates of 100,000 birds perhaps even 200,000, although of course it is impossible to accurately know how many birds were present. Birds started to appear just after 3.30pm, with truly vast numbers from 3.50 till 4.20pm. There was so many that they appeared not to know where to roost and at times moved low over Ibsley Water, landing on islands and causing total panic amongst the wildfowl, lapwing and gulls.
Of course these photos don’t really do the amazing spectacle justice, you really have to come and see it for yourselves, tomorrow could potentially be just as impressive if the current calm weather conditions hold. Plus the birds could move on at anytime. The roost is best viewed looking west from the Tern Hide car park from 3.30pm.
Other birds seen on the reserve today included a smew, black-necked grebe, bittern, great white egret and a female firecrest in holly bushes along the dockens water (found by reserve volunteer and top birder Nigel).