Starling Cloud by David Clarke

My earlier two shots in this series have proved quite popular, particularly the ‘Killer Whale’, so I thought I’d post another. When I took them, I was expecting just abstracts and I was surprised to find that a number of wonderful shapes emerged, some seeming to be like animals or humans. This one is more abstract, although it could be a turtle looking up into the shaft of red sunset light. The background to these shots is as follows:

Every evening in the late autumn, clouds of starlings arrive over Arezzo and 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 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.

If you would like to see some more in the series, click on this link: Starling Clouds

Canon 1DMKII with Canon 28-70mmL lens at 28mm; ISO200 f2.8 1/125. Shot as taken, no cropping.

Best viewed large!

Number of views 10/3/10 : 502

Living for partly in Italy, partly in Phuket and partly in other locations around the world – Hong Kong & Kenya when I can – I spend a lot of time photographing anything and everything. I particularly enjoy the challenge of capturing shots of wildlife large and small – from elephants to insects. A wider selection of my work can be seen on my website at

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  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...almost 6 years ago

    Fantastic capture , this is so cool

  • Thanks very much, Kathy:))

    – David Clarke

  • jesika
    jesikaalmost 6 years ago

    A wonderful sight, super capture

  • Many thanks, Jesika! :))

    – David Clarke

    JUSTARTalmost 6 years ago


  • Thanks, Justart:))

    – David Clarke

  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaalmost 6 years ago


  • Thanks, Scott!

    – David Clarke

  • LisaR
    LisaRalmost 6 years ago

    Great captures!

  • Thanks very much, Lisa:))

    – David Clarke

  • Helen Phillips
    Helen Phillipsalmost 6 years ago

    What a great series, I love the shapes these birds have created and the twilight silhouetted sky.

  • Thanks very much, Helen, I’m very pleased you like them:))

    – David Clarke

  • julayneluu
    julayneluualmost 6 years ago

    Great shot!

  • Thanks so much, Julayne:))

    – David Clarke

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonalmost 6 years ago

    This is an amazing shot, I have a family of Starlings nesting in my garden,

  • Thanks very much, Ann. If you have the starlings on site, you just need to talk to them about a show…

    – David Clarke

  • Daniel J. McCauley IV
    Daniel J. McCa...almost 6 years ago

    That’s amazing! Nature at it’s best! Fantastic capture, David!

  • Thanks very much, Daniel, much appreciated!

    – David Clarke

  • Martina Cross
    Martina Crossalmost 6 years ago

    Gosh I always waiting to see something like this! To capture it so lovely is really lucky!

  • Many thanks, Martina

    – David Clarke

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