A murmuration

The steady thwap and thwump as the fork dug into the deep brown soil rang out over the patchwork of the allotment. Working down the plot the green of grass, dandelions and other small plants gave way to the rich brown of recently turned over soil, ready for the vegetable seeds to be planted. Beyond the fences the parcels of greens, browns and yellows, of polytunnels and vegetable beds, not only provide a place of escape for people, but a haven for wildlife. In the three months we have been digging there have been waxwing feeding on berry bushes amongst the snow and fieldfare, song thrush and various species of gulls flying over.

The newly dug allotment!

Easter weekend, and despite British ‘summer time’ having started it still feels like we are in the midst of winter, with the snow only just having melted, and a bitter easterly wind still ravaging the country. Undeterred the birds are in full song, goldcrest, dunnock, song thrush and blackbird all singing from the ivy hedgerow surrounding the allotment.

Waxwings feeding 

As the sun drops pale yellow and pink streaks stretch across the deepening blue sky. Whirling above the allotment and across this canvas, is one of the best wild displays of nature. A black swirl of starlings, undulates across the darkening sky, moving as one creating shapes and patterns. A murmuration.

A rush of air and wings as the groups swoops low, before heading up again. When one moves, with lightening quick reactions the rest follows. During the last few moments of dusk this party plays out, before the flock dips one final time, piling into a tree or bush. A reassuring chorus of twittering greets you as you walk past such roosts before finally all goes quiet…and its time to sleep.

A murmuration of starlings over Thetford

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