THE skies above Somerset get somewhat cloudier than usual at this time of year, but it has nothing to do with weather...

Thousands and thousands of starlings take to the skies causing 'murmurations', which create a dazzling spectacle for Somerset residents - and particularly photographers.

The RSPB says murmurations, which see thousands of starlings swooping and meandering across the skies in unison, are 'basically a mass aerial stunt.

"We think that starlings do it for many reasons," said a spokesman.

"Grouping together offers safety in numbers – predators such as peregrine falcons find it hard to target one bird in the middle of a hypnotising flock of thousands.

"They also gather to keep warm at night and to exchange information, such as good feeding areas.

"They gather over their roosting site, and perform their wheeling stunts before they roost for the night."

A popular spot to witness murmurations is at the Ham Wall Nature Reserve.

Members of the Somerset Camera Club have been out in force, capturing the displays in stunning photographs.

Here are nine spectacular pictures of murmurations in Somerset...


ON TOR: A murmuration in front of the Glastonbury Tor, from Ham Wall, by Samuel Folland


OUTING: Paul Nicholls was at Ham Wall


EN MASSE: By Jessie Shedden


NEW YEAR BURST: By Brian Scowcroft at Ham Wall on New Years Eve


ALL AT SEA: By Patsy Coles


A BLUR: By Julie Anne


FLYING BY: At Ham Wall, by Mark Bell


MOVING IN NUMBERS: At Ham Wall, by Paul Nicholls


LOW FLYING STARLINGS: At Ham Wall, by Julie Anne