Starling Roost Okehampton Camp, Okehampton, Dartmoor National Park

Starling Roost Okehampton Camp, Okehampton, Dartmoor National Park

Okehampton is a major Dartmoor gateway town located on the north west border of the National Park. A road climbs from the centre of town to Okehampton Camp. This army camp sits below the highest ground in southern England and is where you'll see vast flocks of starlings roosting in the trees that fringe the camp. Just before roosting, these flocks of starlings form dense, black clouds that move acrobatically in the air. Known as a 'murmuration', in the right conditions, watching starlings roost is an exhilerating experience.

To see the starling roost, head for Okehampton Camp. We've positioned it on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location. Once you're at Okehampton Camp, there are plenty of areas from which you can watch the roost. We've watched from pretty much every angle now but would recommend the parking bay right next to Okehampton Camp or the high ground east and south east of the camp by the road that crosses Moor Brook and swings past Moorgate Cottage. The parking bay by the camp is low down. The high ground east and south east of the camp gives you a much wider field of vision. It can get very busy and the acrobatics last for a while so you can switch locations when you're there. Refer to the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map for detail. Moor Brook, Moorgate Cottage and the roads are clearly marked on that map.

We've watched the murmuration on dozens of occasions between December and March. The starling clouds were small over Winter 2013/2014 when it was very wet and stormy. The dense clouds of starlings pictured in the photo gallery were captured in the middle of February 2012. We'll carry on posting information here as the years roll by but if you have any further information on the roost and timings when best to see it then please contact us and we'll share the knowledge here. Many thanks.

Recent visits:

18 February 2012: huge, dense starling clouds.

28 December 2013: small starling clouds.

20 January 2014: small starling clouds.

15 November 2014: raining, no starling clouds.

3 December 2014: cold and sunny, no starling clouds.

4 February 2015: snow, small starling clouds.

14 February 2015: small starling clouds.

2016/2017: some of the trees around Okehampton Camp have been cleared which will presumably affect the roost.

18/19 January 2020: big starling clouds after a period of dry, cold weather. Nothing like the size of the starling clouds before trees were cleared (eg 18 February 2012).

1 February 2020: small but very active starling clouds over Okehampton Camp. Rained between the big starling clouds of 18/19 January 2020 and the 1 Frebruary 2020 visit.