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Last Updated: Monday, 2 October 2006, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Twitchers set for starling skies
Starlings above the derelict West Pier in Brighton (pic from RSPB)
Tens of thousands of starlings come together in huge clouds
Bird watchers are being invited to marvel at the wonder of up to 45,000 starlings swooping over the Sussex coast every evening at dusk.

A month-long event has been organised by the RSPB at Brighton seafront to show people the spectacle of the "swirling flocks" gathering to roost.

Spokesman Dan Parkinson said volunteers would be on hand to answer questions.

Starlings first roosted on the West Pier in 1987 after the hurricane blew down trees they had previously used.

However, breeding numbers have declined in the UK by 82% in the past 40 years.

The RSPB estimates there are about 737,000 breeding pairs, down from an estimated four to seven million pairs between 1968 and 1972.

The RSPB's Aren't Birds Brilliant! event runs from 1730 BST every evening up until 15 October, and then from 1630 BST every evening until 29 October.




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