Starling Clouds

Location: Arezzo, Italy

Every evening in the late autumn, clouds of starlings arrive over Arezzo & other cities in Italy to roost for the night. There are huge numbers of them and as they arrive, they put on the most incredible show. Gathering in ever changing groups, they swoop and swirl through the sky, forming into any number of shapes and patterns that are constantly changing. It all lasts about ten minutes at dusk, after which they are in the trees, chattering away. Each pattern lasts a fraction of a second – the killer whale shape formed momentarily from shapes in the two shots before it, and then was gone. Same with the over-balancing man.

An Italian photographer won wildlife photographer of the year a while ago for shots like these taken in Rome – ok, his had the added drama of a prowling peregrine falcon.