Twice a year for several weeks the Wadden Sea National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the surrounding area of Southern Jutland in Denmark is inundated by more than 14 million birds. The birds flock to the region during their migration from all across Europe. Luckily for the birds, it seems that the French Starlings have no problem effortlessly coordinating their complex movements alongside British and German Starlings. The result are massive boiling balls of Starlings that act and look very similar to massive fish bait balls in the sea.
The footage in this clip was taken in so-so weather (light rain) on October the 17th in the wetland/fielded area that sits right alongside (essentially inside) the town of Ribe. The fact that you can view this many birds directly in the heart of Ribe is definitely one of the coolest parts about the experience and makes it very convenient, especially given you only have two chances (sunrise and sunset) to see the birds congregate and swarm.
Sadly, the fact that you can only catch them in early morning or late afternoon light, combined with the weather, makes photographing them challenging…but the experience of seeing them in person was fantastic! The sound is also something unreal to behold. You’ll hear their chit-chat, but then the whoosh of their wings when they take flight or come in for a landing is…incredible.
The folks at Danhostel Ribe were incredibly helpful and have this little guide if you want more info. I also bumped into fellow Danish bloggers Shinimichi while there – you can see their beautiful photography and documentation of Denmark here.
You can see my full photo album here.