Thousands of starlings gave quite a show when they swooped and soared to avoid a peregrine falcon at their roost in Aberdeenshire.

The early evening aerobatics, known as a murmuration, were captured by wildlife photographer Ron Macdonald, who was out photographing the mesmerising displays on Monday evening.

With the Aberdeenshire dusk sky as their backdrop, the birds twist and swoop, seeming to fly from all directions.

Scientists believe starlings may form murmurations to protect themselves from predators, with safety in numbers. 

But on this occasion one starling meets a bitter end, with the predatory falcon returning to the woods with its prey in its talons.

Mr Macdonald also captured a wonderful still of the murmuration, which Nature of Scotland Awards account praised as a "stunning image".

Starlings fly to Britain in winter to escape the relative cold of the European mainland and gather in flocks of up to the hundreds of thousands in the sky.

They are most commonly spotted just before dusk in November.

The flocking also allows the birds to exchange information such as good areas to feed and to stay warm in the night air before they settle down in their roosting site below.

Also known as the common starling or European starling, the birds tend to roost in sheltered areas such as woodlands but they are also known to use reedbeds, cliffs and even man-made buildings and industrial structures.

Posting the video on social media, Ron Macdonald said: "Starlings under attack by a peregrine yesterday evening at their roost in Aberdeenshire.

"At the end look out for the falcon dropping down to the wood with a starling in its talons."

One twitter user said: "Absolutely amazing, what a sight and sound that must have been."

Another added: "Fantastic! Great filming, Ron."

A third thanked him for sharing the incredible footage.