When you live in the country, it’s lovely to be able to lead a spontaneous life, like hopping in your car when the weather is good and heading to the beach or some place else, so when one of the mums in T’s class asked if we were interested in watching the starlings over at Rough Tor, we said yes!
Tor is a Cornish word for hill and we’re lucky to live not far from it. After the school run last Thursday, we headed there to see if we could see some starlings. You see them a lot down here while driving home, especially in the afternoon, swarming down in flocks like bees, diving up and down like a graceful dance or an exhibition of synchronised swimming. It’s a bit eerie actually, like a bad omen, or as my friend Kate said, the beginning of a horror story.
We bundled the kids in wooly hats and scarves ready for a short hike in search of starlings. I was expecting them to be whingy and tired. After all, it was after the school run. But they were all excited and up for the adventure.
We weren’t planning a long hike, just far enough to be able to spot them from afar. It was winter after all, the days are short, not to mention wet. But we were lucky it stayed dry that afternoon.
Rough tor as always was looking beautiful, in spite the grey clouds surrounding it.
The woods nearby looked serene and breathtaking.
It was cold, so we got the kids moving to keep them warm.
Up they went like a small group of hobbits heading for the Black Mountains.
We decided this was far enough to wait for the starlings. The kids got impatient and decided that it was more fun to run around and chase each other than wait for the birds to appear.
“Where are the starlings” They cried. Just wait patiently we answered.
“Where are the starlings” They cried again. “Look kids!” We said, pointing to the sunset, trying to distract them and also hoping that it would take their breaths away like it did with ours. “Oooh” they said.
“Look the starlings came!”
And there they were, dancing before our eyes. For a while we all stood there, transfixed, just watching the appearance of thousands upon thousands of starlings hovering above the trees like bees. It would’ve been nice to stand there longer, but the kids snapped out of the magic of the birds earlier than the adults and demanded that they wanted to go home. So we did. It was nearly time for tea.
Do you like bird-watching?