Where were they??
Starlings are resident birds in the UK. However, the numbers increase each Winter with the arrival of thousands more from Eastern Europe. Harder weather there forces them to migrate west in search of food. Most would have flown across the North Sea from Belgium or the Netherlands, after travelling across Northern Europe. I'm not sure where the Stoke starlings have come from - but Devon is to the East and they get some cold Winters there!From my schoolboy memory, a collective noun for starlings is 'a murmuration'. A lovely word that seems to fit the acrobatics of the large numbers sometimes seen.
Hmmm, new to American me...birds here do not migrate east-west, just north -south...thanks fpr the fill-in Anon!