Offbeat Video

By Bethany Gleave

This is the incredible moment a photographer found himself surrounded by thousands of starlings as they swooped down just inches from his head.

Jonathan Woodland, 49, was engulfed by the starling murmuration on February 2nd and admits he couldn’t believe that the birds got so close.


In the video shot in a car park in Swaffham, Norfolk, the birds can be seen dive-bombing towards Jonathan before passing over and surrounding him.

Jonathan said: “I have never been so close to the starlings. I was so surprised that they even got so close to me, they normally stay a good distance away.

“It was just by chance that I managed to capture this amazing moment. I did go out to specifically capture the murmuration but I wasn’t expecting this.

“It felt really weird actually. You couldn’t just see the birds you could hear and feel them.

“There was a huge breeze and you could hear all the wings beating, the sound was absolutely incredible.

“Most people capture the amazing shapes they make from a distance so this was a whole new experience for me.

“They were just inches away from me, I could easily reach up and touch them.

“There are around 70,000 birds in the whole flock but I don’t think there was that many that morning.

“I really enjoy watching the starling murmurations. It’s a real spectacle and an amazing part of nature.


“It’s great watching the videos online but if you see it face to face it really is something else.”

GP Jonathan posted the video in a wildlife group on social media and said he received an incredible response.

Jonathan said: “I posted the video to social media and I wasn’t expecting to get such a good response.

“Everyone loved the video, which is unusual as most people only like the murmuration videos from a distance.

“The starlings were pretty much in my back yard so I’m glad I managed to capture them.

“I often do the night shift at work so I use them as an escape as I manage to catch them as I am on my way home from work early in the morning.”