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Watch as hundreds of thousands of starlings form murmurations above Swaffham

PUBLISHED: 15:41 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 March 2017

Starlings over Swaffham. Picture: Natalie Richards

Starlings over Swaffham. Picture: Natalie Richards

Natalie Richards

It is one of the most extraordinary sights that nature bestows.

Starlings over Swaffham. Picture: Natalie Richards Starlings over Swaffham. Picture: Natalie Richards

A murmuration of starlings, swooping and diving, with thousands of birds coming together in whirling formations.

And such a stunning spectacle has been causing a stir in the market town of Swaffham where the migratory birds have been performing their acrobatics for the last month.

Susan Ashby took this video at the weekend of the starlings on their daily display, which takes place every evening just before dusk.

“I have never seen anything like it in my life,” she said.

“I have lived in Swaffham for 28 years and have never seen such numbers before.”

The birds are roosting in the trees behind the houses in The Paddocks and it is estimated there could be around 600,000 birds in total.

“They are really beautiful but they make quite a racket when they take to the air until about 8pm,” said Mrs Ashby. “Then they go quiet at night. They don’t wake us up with a dawn chorus either, it is just in the evenings.

“Lots of people have been coming out to watch them and I’ve been told the ladies in the old people’s home enjoy watching them from their windows.

“The only problem is the mess they make so I have to cover up my car or it is covered in white in the morning!”

Despite the guano Mrs Ashby, who works as a volunteer at the Escape Project in Swaffham, is delighted by her new neighbours although understands their time in the town is now limited as they will soon be off to warmer climes to breed.

* Have you seen the starlings of Swaffham? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk

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