Just before dusk falls, the local starlings have been getting together and dancing in the skies.
It’s a murmuration – albeit on a very small scale. Like most areas of the UK, our starling population has dropped dramatically in my lifetime, but we’re lucky enough to still get quite a few, and it has been very cheering to watch them assemble and dance around in the sky.
On one level it makes me sad that the numbers are so few that they can’t form the giant flocks of the past, but at the same time I think it’s wonderful that they still pursue this hobby, just as a small group. The other evening I spotted a few of them doing laps of the sky above our house, and gradually more joined in. I wonder how they let each other know what their plans are?
I stayed outside and watched them for some time, and they flew right over my head several times – I could hear their wings as they went.
If you’d like to see what a murmuration looks like on a bigger scale, this lovely video is the next best thing to being there.