At first, all seemed quiet, with just a few dabbling mute swans and moorhens picking at the wind swept grass. But, as we ventured further, the unmistakable sound of whistling wigeon and the contented honks of conversational greylags reached our ears.
To our left and right, were the incoming formations of greylag geese ready to join their kin on the marsh for the evening. Ahead, were the dark specks of what looked like inverted snow, but were actually a mixed flock of corvids making their way in for their roosting spectacular. To our left was what was building to be a huge starling murumuration; moving as one dark and mysterious superorganism against the sky.
The numbers of rooks and jackdaws swelled as they coalesced in a huge mushroom shaped stand of trees, weighing down it's uppermost branches with their dark forms. Others aggregated on telephone wires before joining the host tree, each new set of arrivals aggravating those already there. When some unknown critical mass was reached, all took off as one, visibly darkening the sky as they headed for the roost site.
What an unforgettable way to end 2017!