We were delighted to see so many people taking the opportunity to witness the wonderful murmuration of Starlings at Little Asby near Orton on Saturday. It was another spectacular display on a crisp and clear evening. 

The popularity of the spectacle has seen a lot of additional visitors arriving on the Common so if you’re planning a visit please can we offer some advice on parking and how to get the best views of the murmuration without disturbing local wildlife or damaging sensitive plant life. 

Much of the Common is designated as a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which also covers the verges of the road within the common. The map shows the boundaries of the SSSI designation (green area) and the location of the Starlings final roosting place. (click map to download/view as PDF)

 

If you plan to come and see the murmuration, you can avoid damage to sensitive areas of the common by parking outside of the SSSI boundary (i.e.) before reaching the first cattle grid coming from Orton direction. See image below.

If you are not travelling in a full car, you might consider meeting with others in Orton or Ravenstonedale and coming together in full cars. (then you can enjoy the local hostelries on the way back!)

Could we also request that you remain near the road rather than walking across the moor to Tarn Sike and the Starling roosting site. Common Snipe & Jack Snipe roost in this area and it’s important that they are not disturbed and flushed unnecessarily as too much disruption will have a detrimental impact on their numbers and breeding success. 

If you do park within the common please park on hard standing near the little bridge on the common, or by the tarn rather than using the verges.

For a detailed map of the area and SSSI boundaries please visit:

http://magic.defra.gov.uk/MagicMap.aspx?startTopic=Designations&activelayer=sssiIndex&query=HYPERLINK%3D%271007193%27