Winter Harbingers?

Though it may be August, and the sky (fleetingly) blue, these local starlings have already donned their winter plumage and started gathering together. Maybe a sign of a cold, hard winter? I don’t know, but as a winter lover I can live in hope.
Looking up at them, the words of Dire Straits came to mind:

And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles

They can always fly away from this rain and this cold

You can hear them singing out their telegraph code

All the way down the Telegraph Road

They can always fly away from this rain and this cold. Or they can stay, if they want, in their winter plumage, hustling me for chips on frosty grey days.

6 thoughts on “Winter Harbingers?

    • As an avowed lover of the winter season I look forward to its arrival (in fact my favourite half of the year arrives with Autumn), although I’ve seen a change since I was younger. More rain, less snow. Still-the transformation is there.


    • I didn’t know about them being specific to the UK. Here murmurations are very much specific to starlings-they begin to gather together in Autumn and Winter for warmth and protection. We used to see great flocks here in my town but, as for so many birds, their numbers are falling. There are places in the countryside where you can go and watch this great spectacle-thousands of birds moving much in the manner of a shoal of fish. Quite a sight to behold. By the way-my poem These Hills I Know began when, as a postman in late autumn, I turned a corner and disturbed a great flock of starlings looking for food in the grass.

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