Photographer captures perfect starling formation

Steve Houghton took this picture of a starling murmuration in the shape of a bird on the shores of Rutland Water. Photo: Fourwings Wildlife Imaging. EMN-151203-111429001
Steve Houghton took this picture of a starling murmuration in the shape of a bird on the shores of Rutland Water. Photo: Fourwings Wildlife Imaging. EMN-151203-111429001
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A starling murmuration is usually a spectacular sight on its own, but reader Steve Houghton managed to snap the perfect picture while out in Rutland recently.

Steve was photographing the huge flock dance through the sky from the shores of Rutland Water earlier this month. But it was only when he checked his camera afterwards that he realised what he had captured.

He said: “For several days now a huge flock of starlings has been gathering in the area to roost and before doing this the flock flies around often generating incredible shapes. This is known as a murmuration.

“I have photographed this flock twice now and took a large sequence of images that evening. On getting home and beginning to process the photos I came across this image; basically thousands of flying starlings doing an almost perfect impression of one giant flying Starling.

“This is pretty staggering and is a once-in-a-lifetime image. I have been photographing wildlife for over 25 years and have never seen or indeed heard of anything like this before.

“This shape only lasted for a second or two but thankfully the speed at which the camera is able to take images enabled me to capture it perfectly.”

Mr Houghton, whose photos can be seen at fourwings.zenfolio.com, said the photo was “100 per cent genuine” and had not been altered in any way.

Have you captured any natural phenomenon on camera? Send your pictures to the newsdesk.