Photos by John McCauley.

Starlings on Lough Ennell

Starlings are common throughout Ireland, and are in the top 20 list of the most widespread garden birds, according to Birdwatch Ireland.

Breeding birds are largely resident and are joined by huge numbers of birds from the continent in the winter, says Birdwatch Ireland.

They will form huge flocks in the winter, estimates of half a million birds have been claimed; huge roosts are a spectacular sight in the winter, when at dusk massive swirling flocks form prior to settling down for the night.

Roosts in urban situation such as old buildings and piers and in the countryside in reed beds, woodland and on the coast.

Mullingar photographer John McCauley has a keen eye for nature photos and when before pandemic restrictions put a stop to it, he would travel the length and breath of Ireland, and abroad, for his hobby.

But many of John's best shots are from close to home and Lough Ennell in particular.

Given the interest in the photo by James Crombie this week, the Westmeath Examiner asked John what he had on file. He was Lough Ennell yesterday and he took the image above and these.