For those of you intrigued by such things, you might like to know that the scale of the Starling flock murmurating into the reed bed at the Broad Lane balancing pond in Cottenham has increased by an order of magnitude since I last took a look.
On my first visit this year, I estimated 3-4 flocks of 200-300 birds. This evening just as the sunset, there were 3-4 much bigger flocks each of three times those number and several smaller flocks of 100+ thereafter. Estimate the total number of birds roosting there at 2000-3000 at the moment, which is about 1000-1500 fewer than the peak last winter. More will arrive from Europe as winter chills come on I suspect.
At the moment, they’re bedding down in quick succession. If there were raptors around, mainly Peregrine falcons or perhaps owls, they’d murmurate longer before going to roost to avoid being taken on the wing or caught just before hitting their reed bed.