Tuesday 20 May 2014


The weekend was sunny and hot (22C) with clear blue skies. Summer's here! On Sunday I was greeted with an amazing cacophony at the top of the garden. There are usually pigeons and blackbirds nesting in the holly trees but this was much more. I got the binoculars out and confirmed my first reaction - this was a whole nursery of starlings!

I love starlings. They are so much fun making elaborate and inventive song with clicks and squeaks and mimmicking car alarms and mobile phones. They are noisy and squabble a lot, but they always seem to be having fun. They are so beautiful with all colours shimmering through their mainly black and grey spotted plumage.

I watched and listened to the activity in the trees. Adult birds swooped in with beaks full of worms, their arrival causing the decibel level to rise sharply. More adventurous youngsters had left the nest and balanced precariously on outer branches. With their fluffy baby plumage they looked twice the size of their harrassed parents.

In the afternoon I was startled as the whole flock rose from the trees and swirled about the sky. They were joined by others from the spreading oak tree in Billy's field and created an acrobatic display for a few minutes - a flying lesson for the babies I suppose.

We haven't seen many starlings for a few years here so I'm really pleased to see this colony doing well and looking forward to some of those clicky, babbly, songs again.

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