... in a murmuration of starlings

Published on 17 Jan 2020
Starlings

I had cause to go to the municipal rubbish dump today. Immediately on opening the car door I searched for the source of the clamorous bird chatter that soared above the roar of the yellow machines scraping up the mounds of slightly offensive smelling rubbish. 

There it was. Every branch of a tree silhouetted against a thick mist was studded with the dark shapes of starlings. I stood entranced. 

I marvelled at the cacophony and wondered what the birds were communicating to each other. No doubt their whistles and clatter have been analysed by someone but for me it looked like a gathering - a murmuration - a family gathering - perhaps to rejoice in the birth of their Creator! In truth I suppose they were synchronising their flight plans for one of those astonishing aerobatic displays. 

It struck me then how fortunate I was to chatter and murmur over this wondrous festive season in my own family gatherings; and yet how very tragic so many folk aren’t able to do the same - the poor, the lonely, the refugee, the sick, the homeless. The murmuration of starlings reminded me to count my blessings and cease all imaginings of hardships.