30 December 2014

A Starling Spectacular at Pwll, Llanelli.

 About 4.30pm yesterday afternoon (29/12/14), I chanced to look out of the south-facing kitchen window of my home at Tyrwaun (at the western end of Pwll, Llanelli), and was amazed to see the sky literally filled with starlings. Grabbing my camera, I could see that the whole southern aspect of the sky, from the c SE (at `mid Pwll`) to the SW (over Ashpits Pond, just E of Burry Port) was absolutely filled with a gyrating huge flock of starlings. It seemed that they were looking for somewhere to settle for the night, as some smaller sub-flocks would descend and one such group actually briefly landed in my neighbours` garden, as well as in nearby trees and adjacent willow carr.

However, the flock then seemed to continue flying approximately westwards and may have alighted in the Ashpits Pond area but, equally, the flock may have continued onwards to roost in Pembrey Forest or elsewhere. 
Forty-five years ago, I recall likewise large concentrations flying over my old school (Llanelli Boys` Grammar School) and these similarly huge flocks  caught the attention of the pupils (as well as the general public). Those 1970 flocks actually did roost in Pembrey Forest and the scattered concentrations of hollies and Cotoneasters that still grow under the pines there may have emanated from their droppings. 
Presumably, yesterday`s big flock (which, at a conservative estimate, was 5000+) was weather-driven from harsher conditions elsewhere in the UK or the Continent.

Above: two photos showing just part of the flock. The white speck in the top photo is the moon.

1 comment:

Barry Stewart said...

Very impressive Ian, other big roost sites around the Burry in recent years have included the reedbeds at Penclacwydd and Llangennech, though I spoke to Sandra's aunty (whose house overlooks the latter site) over Christmas and she said she'd not witnessed any very big gatherings this winter yet.