Starling murmurations at Avalon Marshes

The RSPB welcome back visitors to observe the starling murmurations which are a true wonder of the natural world. Avalon Marshes host this amazing wildlife spectacle every year, but were forced to close their doors to visitors in 2020.

When is the best time to come and see the murmurations?

Many of the starlings are migrants from the colder areas of Northern Europe, with large numbers of birds gathering from October right through until the start of March.

  • During weekends and over the Christmas period, we usually experience the highest number of visitors. Consider visiting outside of peak times such as weekdays, or in the morning when the birds fly up spectacularly from the reedbeds.
  • The starlings leave the marshes during the day and go off to feed, some up to 20 miles away. They return in the afternoon and the murmurations can start an hour or so before sunset.
  • Arriving before 3.30pm will ensure that you catch the spectacle but the starlings tend to return earlier when it is cloudy but stay out longer when it brighter to take advantage of extra feeding time.
  • The starlings can be just as spectacular when they leave their roost in the morning as tens of thousands of birds erupt out of the reeds all at once. This usually happens about half an hour before sunrise, so 7.30am tends to be a good time to see this stunning show.
  • If you’d like to visit the reserve in the daytime instead, we also have some fantastic other wildlife to see such as bitternsmarsh harriers and majestic great white egrets.

How do I know where the starlings will be?

  • The starling roost shifts on a regular basis. Call the starling hotline on 07866 554142 to find out which reserve the birds were roosting on the night before.
  • Please note this is an automated line and we are unable to reply to messages.

When is the best time to come and see the murmurations?

Many of the starlings are migrants from the colder areas of Northern Europe, with large numbers of birds gathering from October right through until the start of March.

  • During weekends and over the Christmas period, we usually experience the highest number of visitors. Consider visiting outside of peak times such as weekdays, or in the morning when the birds fly up spectacularly from the reedbeds.
  • The starlings leave the marshes during the day and go off to feed, some up to 20 miles away. They return in the afternoon and the murmurations can start an hour or so before sunset.
  • Arriving before 3.30pm will ensure that you catch the spectacle but the starlings tend to return earlier when it is cloudy but stay out longer when it brighter to take advantage of extra feeding time.
  • The starlings can be just as spectacular when they leave their roost in the morning as tens of thousands of birds erupt out of the reeds all at once. This usually happens about half an hour before sunrise, so 7.30am tends to be a good time to see this stunning show.
  • If you’d like to visit the reserve in the daytime instead, we also have some fantastic other wildlife to see such as bitternsmarsh harriers and majestic great white egrets.

How do I know where the starlings will be?

  • The starling roost shifts on a regular basis. Call the starling hotline on 07866 554142 to find out which reserve the birds were roosting on the night before.
  • Please note this is an automated line and we are unable to reply to messages.

Find out more here.