We nearly didn’t bother going, it was getting late on a Sunday afternoon, it was cold out and looked a little cloudy and the idea of sticking a good film on, lighting the fire and staying cosy was winning the battle against ambivalence. They both had school the next day and I was back at work, and more to the point, who’s to say we stood a chance to find what we were looking for, the moor didn’t look so big on the map but we could easily miss it …… But we went anyway…. the three of us piled into the car to wander 5 miles in thick deep mud and flooded bridle paths under a bright winter blue sky, stopping to snack on biscuits and crisps. Toby brought his bird book and kept shouting out facts about starlings, all the while we kept looking up hoping to see something. After a few hours we bumped into a man and his wife who were also glancing to the sky occasionally, we got talking and realised we were on a similar mission and stuck together. More people soon came into sight and were gathering on a small ridge, it felt like we were in the right place at the right time. We clambered up on the ridge with about twenty other people and waited…. and waited…
Nobody was really counting, but as the flocks merged into a swarm, the number of starlings swirling around in front of the sun was estimated to be in excess of fifty thousand. A scattered black mass of birds broke up, gathered and fell apart again in front of us over and over as we huddled together to stay warm.
A few days later I asked Rufus (4) what the best bit of the weekend was, his answer gave me the title for this post 🙂