How many starlings are there in this shot? Tens of thousands. They are just as dense below the skyline, I've recovered a little detail from the shadows to give an impression of just how many there are. They are so dense that they are blotting out the detail of the tree architecture on both sides of the tower.
I had tried for a photo from here last night, but there was no coalescence of the incoming flocks, they simply dropped into the reedbeds. So this was a better performance tonight, albeit that they were not above the skyline for long and there was no pulsing and gyrating that can make murmurations so spectacular.
Though this was less visually arresting than some, I was closer to the roost than I have been previously, and the main assault on the senses was sonic. The birds took a while to settle, they were lifting and shifting rightwards, and the beating of a hundred thousand wings sounded like the wind blasting, with a constant underscoring of their chattering calls. Peering into the reedbeds through binoculars in the dim light, as they settle, they form a thick black strand line.
Thank you for all the stars, hearts and comments on the last two blips, I'm afraid I've fallen behind with my comments, but I can say how much I appreciate them.