Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Starlings' pier show on display

Starlings over Brighton's West Pier

The viewing screen on the seafront shows close-up images of the birds

A mobile viewing station has been set up to help bird watchers view the daily spectacle of a vast flock flying in formation over a pier in Brighton.

Up to 40,000 starlings perform an aerial show known as murmuration every evening over the city's derelict West Pier, where they roost for winter.

The RSPB's viewing screen on the seafront shows the birds close up.

Starlings feed up to 20 miles from their winter roost, returning at dusk in a swirling cloud-like formation.

'Mesmerising experience'

The flocks are at their largest in December as starlings arrive from as far away as Scandinavia to join their native cousins.

Chris Woolner, RSPB South East project officer, said: "Brighton is famous for this amazing spectacle of nature and people come from miles to watch.

"It really is a mesmerising experience and when you stand on the pier as the flock sweeps towards and around you fell like you are part of it."

The pier, which has been hit by two fires, storm damage and more than 30 years of closure, provides the birds with a safe roost away from predators.

The RSPB's Date With Nature project will provide a viewing screen and bird experts to answer questions at on the seafront every evening until sunset until 20 December.

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