Starlings at Sutton Benger bring evening sky to life

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Starlings swirl spectacularly over Sutton Benger Starlings swirl spectacularly over Sutton Benger

A striking display of swirling starlings could be a once in a decade spectacle, according to bird experts.

For a fortnight the flock’s rippling patterns were seen moving over Sutton Benger like a tornado during the early evening. They are thought to have been making their way to Scandinavia.

Stuart Dobson, of Wiltshire Ornithological Society, said: “I think the phenomena this year is just because of one of those colder winters. The purpose of the roosting is for them to share warmth, just to be a few degrees warmer than the surrounding area.”

Sutton Benger resident Kay Taylor said since the Hercules planes left RAF Lyneham a couple of years ago, the skies had been quiet.

She said: “The displays were incredible. We have been in Sutton Benger for 35 years and had never seen them here like this before.”

Every evening at about 5.45pm the sky over the village rooftops would fill with starlings gathering in huge numbers.

Mrs Taylor said: “After nearly an hour of wheeling across the sky the birds settled down for the night in the hedgerows to the south and west of the village.”

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