June 18, 2018


Starlings. They are everywhere - Orkney certainly has a large number, and when I was a child Dad considered them to be a pest. 

Their songs are a raucous rendition of various imitations of other birds (and phones, car alarms, etc!) as well as their own odd chattering.

However, recording them has proved challenging, as the times they are most active coincide with the ferries and cars starting up in the morning and they tend to move around a lot!







I set up the microphone in a few of the starlings' favourite places for three mornings, and hit it lucky a few times. 

They have a nest underneath the edge of the tiles on my roof next to the chimney, and the first brood have just fledged. 

'My' starlings imitate, among other things, ducks, geese, curlews, lapwings, oystercatchers, plovers and sparrows!



Starlings in Orkney nest absolutely anywhere, and notoriously cause a few fires each year by building their nest underneath car bonnets - which is why you'll see cars with bonnets propped open all over the Isles in springtime. 



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