River of wings

It starts with a drip, a drop, a splash

as a handful of starlings zoom past my window,

causing me to glance up from the computer screen.

I get back to work, but then

the trickle becomes a stream

and holds me, mesmerized.

Pulses, waves of flickering, fluttering birds,

hundreds, then thousands.

I cannot help but marvel,

following them with my eyes as they streak past,

just one tributary of a giant river of wings,

following them with my mind

to the nearby reedbeds

where they will join, and dance.

Thousands upon thousands coordinated

in breathtaking choreography

until on some secret signal

they descend to the reeds to roost.

Outside my window the river slows to a trickle

For a while, small flocks of stragglers whizz by

just drips and drops as darkness falls.

Sleep tight, little birds.

Out in the rain

Its been a week of grey, dreich weather and I’ve not been outside enough.  I’d been on a few short damp walks around the lanes and down to the estuary, but I was starting to get that feeling….too much time indoors, not enough exercise. A sort of ‘meh’ feeling.  That way when I can’t really be bothered to do anything, even though I’ve got 2 weeks off work and could do all those things I don’t have much time to do…paint, read, cook, tidy up the house, tai chi….but no, instead I was definitely mooching around aimlessly, spending a lot of time doing not much.

So I took myself off to a nearby nature reserve, Leighton Moss, and spent a happy, damp two hours walking through the reedbeds and watching the birds.  I saw lots of pintail; elegant chocolate, cream and black ducks,  one of my favourites.  And plenty of shoveller, teal, tufted duck and egrets.  Heard a strange whistling sound from all directions  and realised it was teal talking to each other. 

 And then small groups of starlings started appearing from all directions, flocking together, zooming around the reserve gathering members until there were maybe 30,000 birds.  30,000!  After putting on an aerial display they disappeard down into the reedbeds for the night; safety in numbers while they sleep.

It was damp, drizzly and grey. The light levels were low.  It would have been ever so easy to stay indoors.  I’m so glad I didn’t.