September 22, 2023

WATCH: Dazzling air display by thousands of birds at play in county Kilkenny

A phenomenal and rare site has been occurring over the hills of south Kilkenny over the last few weeks, thrilling all who get to witness it.

Every evening, just before dusk over the village of Tullahought, small birds leave their perches and come together in one of nature’s true dazzling displays – a murmation of starlings.

Local photographer Lena Power has been out almost every evening capturing the almost hypnotic movement of the murtmation.

“I was about six weeks ago that I first noticed them. It is the first time I have ever seen then up here in Tullahought, so it is extra special.

“I have heard that the numbers of Starlings had been in decline for a long time but more recently they have been making a comeback. I can honestly say there were thousands upon thousands of the birds her the other evening.

For those who have never witnessed a murtmation, and in reality most of us haven’t, it’s essentially a mass of thousands of birds swooping and whirling in the sky in unison.

It is inderstood that Starling murmations happen for a number of reasons such as offering safety in numbers from  predators such as peregrine falcons and other raptors, as the birds of prey find it hard to target one starling in the middle of a flock of thousands. Experts also believe the starlings gather to keep warm at night and to exchange information, such as good feeding areas.

Lena told “Here in Tullaghought they gather around dusk and do their murmations for at least a half an hour before they roost for the night.

“More and more people have been coming to see it. I don’t know how long it will last for as I never witnessed it before.

“It’s absolutely magical to watch. You’d never forget it,” Lena concluded.

Videos courtesy of Lena Power Photography

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