Dark Clouds Brighten the Winter
Flocks of starlings, known as murmurations, are one of the UK's most impressive winter highlights and can be seen now across the country. They can involve hundreds of thousands of starlings gathering noisily together at dusk and sweeping across the sky in a huge dark cloud of synchronised flight.
Bryan Bland, RSPB's Head of visitor experience, says "Watching thousands of starlings move across the sky as one is such an unforgettable experience. It starts with just small groups of birds that gradually join together and become one swarming mass twisting and turning overhead, before plunging down into their roosting spot to settle down for the night. It's quite overwhelming, and definitely one of the most magnificent natural sights.
Each year the UK's starling numbers are boosted by starlings arriving from continental Europe to spend the winter here, and it is these large numbers of birds that create such an impressive spectacle. But, there is evidence of a decline in the number of starlings visiting the UK in winter, and this could be linked to the birds' decline elsewhere in Europe. Figures show that 40 million starlings have disappeared from the European Union, including the UK, since 1980.
Bryan continued; "Starlings are still a plentiful bird but their numbers are falling alarmingly. They are such lively, chirpy birds, and are among the species that are regularly seen in gardens up and down the country, but to see a murmuration as dusk falls is a real treat."
Murmuration sites can vary each year, but good sites for them in previous years have included;
RSPB Loch of Strathbeg in Aberdeenshire
RSPB Fen Drayton, Cambridgeshire
RSPB Marazion Marsh, Cornwall
RSPB Mersehead in Dumfries and Galloway
Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway
Brighton Pier, East Sussex
RSPB Leighton Moss in Lancashire
Aberystwyth Pier, Mid Wales
Loch Spynie in Moray
RSPB Conwy, North Wales
Newport Wetlands, South Wales
RSPB Minsmere, North Warren, Snape and Dingle Marshes all in Suffolk
RSPB Saltholme, Teesside
Find out more at:
Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Christmas or Birthdays
Is your house already bulging at the seams with toys that the children refuse to be parted with? Then how about giving one of these great non-toy gifts this Christmas (or for a birthday idea).
Celebrity Mum - Sarah Beeny Raring2go! Q & A
Raring2go! meets Sarah Beeny, who is best known for her hugely successful Channel 4 prime time show, 'Property Ladder'. She lives with her husband Graham and four young sons, Rafferty, Charlie, Billy and Laurie in homes in South London and Yorkshire.
What are they and why use them? Sensory Treasures talks to Raring2go!
Family Bushcraft - find out what’s so great about the great outdoors!
What’s so great about the great outdoors?
Go Ape Competition
Join the Adventure - Imagine going into school and telling your class you have just won them ALL a trip to Go Ape! What a great treat for 2017 that would be. We have teamed up with the lovely people over at award winning Go Ape to give 4 classes the chance of winning a class trip to a Go Ape venue. Live Life more adventuously - our challenge to you
Write for Raring2go!
Do you want to have your voice heard, do you have something to say, be it funny, serious or helpful hints and tips? We love having contributors articles and blogs online. If you think Raring2go! is the right place for your work to be seen we would love to hear from you. You can read more about what we are looking for in our article by clicking here