Moon from RSPB Otmoor

2016 starling murmuration, RSPB Otmoor, Oxfordshire

I hadn’t planned to write about our latest visit to RSPB Otmoor. I’ve already written about our previous trips to watch the starling murmuration here and here. Added to this I have loads of half-drafted blog posts which I really need to finish! Yet an estimated 50,000 starlings and an almost supermoon changed my mind.

This way to the starlings, RSPB Otmoor
This way to the starlings, RSPB Otmoor

Starling murmuration

Our previous trips to watch the Otmoor starling murmuration were memorable for the wrong reasons. We turned up way too early the first time, and although we had a great view of the murmuration we were almost frozen to the spot. The second time we decided to visit later so that we didn’t have to hang around. But we were too late. Never mind, at least we saw a good sunset.

Starling murmuration at RSPB Otmoor
Starling murmuration at RSPB Otmoor

Our timing, and the weather, were spot on this year. It wasn’t all perfect though; so many people come to watch the murmuration that the small car park gets very busy. We were fortunate to get a space but do car share if you plan to visit, otherwise you may have a long walk down from the village.

Starling murmuration at RSPB Otmoor
Starling murmuration at RSPB Otmoor

Back to the all important timing. We left the car park at 3.30pm, and took about 20 minutes to walk to the starling viewpoint. We passed several serious looking bird watchers heading the opposite way so I worried we were too late. I needn’t have been. An RSPB warden at the hide informed us the starlings would arrive in 10 minutes.

Moon from RSPB Otmoor
Moon from RSPB Otmoor

The warden must have had a direct line to the starlings as they flew in almost to the predicted minute (which strangely was later than the previous time, when we missed them). Flocks started arriving from all directions. Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any starlings left elsewhere in Oxfordshire another flock would swoop and swirl in. And then another. And another. All settling down into the reedbeds for the night. Not that I think they’ll have got much sleep given the noise they were making.

Moon from RSPB Otmoor
Moon from RSPB Otmoor

Supermoon

Almost as spectacular as the starlings was the rising moon. We visited the day before the supposed ‘supermoon’ (which was a non-event in Oxfordshire due to cloud). There were no clouds to spoil our view that night at Otmoor. Simply a huge illuminated ball rising above the flat plain. Absolutely breathtaking. The perfect accompaniment for our walk back to the car park.

More info

  • The RSPB website has travel directions and further information on visiting Otmoor. Please park responsibly!

Linking up with:

Untold Morsels
Share this:

8 thoughts on “2016 starling murmuration, RSPB Otmoor, Oxfordshire”

  1. Nature is just incredible isn’t it? Beautiful photos of such an amazing phenomenon. Thanks for sharing this experience with us on #FarawayFiles. I would never have thought to try this kind of bird watching but now I am quite obsessed. Looks amazing

  2. This must have been amazing to see! And you got the moon too (we were clouded over here in Nottingham too sadly). I never knew there was a word for this event, murma-something. #youlearnsomethingneweveryday
    #farawayflies

  3. For those of us outside the UK – what does RSPB stand for? Royal somethin’ I suspect? There is a huge starling murmuration on the west coast of Denmark that is supposed to be epic like this – they call it the “Black Sun” – we have yet to make it over there – but you’ve inspired me to seek it out again! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles – cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

  4. Hi Christine, how amazing is nature? And a better timekeeper than I! We used to get a murmuration of starlings over the fields where I grew up. It was quite amazing to watch and hear. I bet what you saw was so much better than that.

    Your photos of the almost-supermoon are very atmospheric, bet it was beautiful to see for real.

    xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *