BIRD boffins say now is the best time of year to see the spectacular starlings’ aerial displays on Brighton seafront.

The RSPB has said the starling murmurations are “not-to-be missed” and the Palace Pier is one of the best places in the country to witness the swooping flock.

The murmurations can involve hundreds of thousands of starlings gathering noisily together at dusk before performing an extraordinary wheeling and swooping in unison.

At this time of year the starling numbers are boosted by migrating arrivals from continental Europe to spend the winter months here.

Richard James, RSPB wildlife expert, said: “Watching thousands of starlings sweeping across the sky in unison is one of nature’s unforgettable experiences.

“It starts with just a small group of birds before building into a swarming mass twisting and turning overhead, before plunging into their roosting spot to settle down for the night.

“They are very lively, chirpy birds, and surprisingly they are the same birds we see in our gardens each day. But to see a murmuration as dusk falls is a real treat.”

But the starling breeding population has been in decline for the past four decades and has dropped by 81% since 1970, according to the State of UK Birds report.

The birds are now on the critical list of birds most at risk in the country.

Mr James added: “Starlings put on a show like no other bird, but their decline in the UK has been alarming over the past 40 years.

“The RSPB has been carrying out research into this but there are simple things that everyone can do to help starlings and other birds throughout winter.”

The charity encourages people to keep bird tables stocked with seed, suet balls and nibbles to give birds a reliable food source in winter.

To find out more about starling murmurations visit