Hawk kestrel manoeuvres in the park: Thousands of starlings form the shape of a giant bird of prey in spectacular dawn sight

Swooping low in the evening sky, tens of thousands of starlings combine in perfect harmony as they gather to roost.

In an astonishing natural display of formation flying, they took the shape of a bird of prey looming in the skies above Taunton.

Normally at the mercy of a kestrel or a deadly sparrowhawk like the one they appear to be mimicking, this swift-moving flock of starlings, known as a murmuration, finds safety in numbers.

Wings outstretched as they come home to roost, tens of thousands of starlings combine in perfect harmony to soar like an eagle over a dusky evening sky

Dr Andre Farrar, of the RSPB, explained the phenomenon, saying: 'Just as fish swim in shoals for safety, starlings flock to confuse predators such as sparrowhawks, buzzards and peregrines.'

Despite speeds of at least 20mph, mid-air crashes are apparently rare, thanks to the starlings' amazing spatial awareness and quick reactions.

British starling numbers are thought to have halved to 4million in recent years, but there were plenty on show in this extraordinary image captured by photographer Geoff Hall who watched the birds swoop and swirl over the Somerset landscape.

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