Brighton and Hove News »Night vision camera under Palace Pier shows starlings roosting


lr Marc Abraham OBE, Caroline Lucas MP, Anne Ackord, Chief Executive, The Brighton Pier Group PLC

A star observation post with a night vision camera under the Palace Pier was opened by Caroline Lucas MP last night.

The pier is already known as the place to watch the murmur of the starlings – where giant flocks spin and spin at dusk before sleeping under the pier.

The new observation point, called StarlingsRoost, has a darkened camera under the pier so visitors can now see what they’re up to after they settle down for the night.

The live feed can also be viewed on the pier’s website here.

Murmaration-themed artwork by local photographers has also been installed, along with information panels about starlings, including how we can best protect their natural environment and prevent their numbers from falling.

And there are origami stations for kids to make and decorate their own star that hangs from the ceiling of StarlingsRoost.

Lucas said, “It is a real pleasure to open StarlingsRoost on Brighton Palace Pier today, not only to celebrate our local Starling murmur that brings so much joy to the city, but also to highlight the dwindling numbers of these incredible birds and like all of us can help them survive in the future.

“Simple measures such as feeding garden birds in winter, buying organic fruit and vegetables and raising awareness will have a positive effect on our local star populations.”

Anne Ackord, CEO of the Brighton Pier Group, said: “Brighton’s Starling murmurs have been popular with locals and visitors to the city for decades, so it made sense to invite a local group of passionate Starling enthusiasts and photographers to come every winter evening to watch the murmur, partner with the pier to honor these special birds, and the result is the StarlingsRoost.

“We hope the public will enjoy our new free exhibition, learn about starling protection, help raise awareness, and share photos and videos of starlings on their social media platforms.”

Local StarlingsRoost photographer and co-creator Alex Bamford said, “Like many people in Brighton, the bleak winter months are a delight to watch the murmur of the starlings.

“It’s great to see Brighton’s Palace Pier celebrate this natural wonder.”

The opening ceremony of StarlingsRoost was also celebrated by Tim Squire of the Sussex Ornithological Society reading the poem “Starling” written by Rob Cowen, accompanied by Brighton musician Ben Walker.

The #StarlingRoost is also supported by Brighton media veterinarian and animal rights activist Marc Abraham OBE, photographer Paul Cahill, artists Steve Geliot and Louise McCurdy, Phoenix Art Space, Brighton Photography Gallery, Latest TV, the designated urban biosphere reserve The Living Coast as a Bird Aid wildlife sanctuary in Sussex, to which a percentage of funds raised through refreshments and picture sales by StarlingsRoost will be donated.

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