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Starling Murmuration

He’s behind you! Starlings form a flipping amazing dolphin in the dusky sky… being chased by an open-mouthed killer whale

11th January 2012

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2063210/Starlings-form-dolphin-skies.html#ixzz1m7hd9h1G

“When it comes to impressions, these starlings do a sterling job.

The birds’ formation resembles a dolphin being chased by a killer whale with its mouth agape. Amateur photographer Paul McGreevy caught the mesmerising scene at sunset in Gretna Green, Scotland, this week.

The 55-year-old self-employed gardener from Carlisle said the birds went on to form the shape of a squid, then an octopus, then another whale. The father of three added: ‘It wasn’t until I got my camera home and started putting the images on my computer that I saw all these shapes.

Gretna Green is famous for these ‘murmurations’, when starlings fly back en masse to their winter roost in the Scottish village after a day’s feeding.

By the looks of things, they must be  partial to seafood.

Next Mr McGreevy captured the birds morphing into an octopus as they soared above the skies.

The self-employed gardener and keen amateur photographer made the half hour trip to Gretna Green, Scotland, to capture the starlings aerial acrobatics on Wednesday afternoon at sunset.

The father-of-three said: ‘It wasn’t until I got my camera home and started putting the images on my computer that I saw all these shapes.

‘I was really surprised to see the dolphin, then what looked like a killer whale chasing it.

‘There’s an octopus too – but people can see lots of different things in the pictures. I suppose a psychiatrist could tell you a lot from what people see in the pictures.’

The birds come together every autumn to form one of nature’s most impressive spectacles as they flock together above the Scottish village.

Mr McGreevy added: ‘The starlings come to Gretna in late October and they stay until February. ”

Link to a fascinating vimeo:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/11/starling-flock/

(The middle one, titled ‘Murmuration’)

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