Flocking together – Thousands of starlings produce amazing aerial display 

These birds are making waves with their flying formations over the sea.

Thousands of starlings appeared at sunset over Brighton’s famous West Pier and flew a beautiful flight pattern.

PIC BY FERGUS KENNEDY / CATERS NEWS

As their mass shape stretched and swooped over the English Channel below, they almost appeared as a vast wave above the water.

And although the starlings often appear on winter evenings, this time they played to a beautiful sunset backdrop of rich yellows, reds and blues.

The stunning footage was captured by cameraman and professional drone pilot Fergus Kennedy, from Brighton.

Fergus, 48, said: “Every evening during the winter months huge groups of starlings gather and perform an amazing aerial display before settling to roost for the night in the ruins of the West Pier.

“The display is known as a murmuration.

“This particular evening was accompanied by a spectacular sunset. I’d been working in the office all day, and planned a walk down to the beach to get some night shots of the sea front with the drone for a book I’m working on.

PIC BY FERGUS KENNEDY / CATERS NEWS

“I peered out of the window and the sky looked grey and overcast, so I wasn’t holding out much hope, but as I started walking down, it began to light up with colours.

“I had to run not to miss it. It went from yellows and oranges to pinks and then deep blues.

“The starlings started gathering as a loose flock and then gradually transformed into a denser group, swirling in unison in a mesmerising way.

“I made two flights with the drone, making sure I kept over the sea and a safe distance from the people in he beach and the birds.

PIC BY FERGUS KENNEDY / CATERS NEWS

“Occasionally they veered towards the drone, but they were able to keep their distance and take evasive action.

“Unfortunately starling numbers seem to have declined in the UK in recent years, but the reasons are still unknown.“

Fergus has a book on drone photography entitled ‘Drone Photography and Video Masterclass by Fergus Kennedy” published by Ammonite Press.