What’s That Big Bright Thing in the Sky?

Dear Readers, although December in London was decidedly milder than usual (with 31st December being the mildest ever recorded), it was also decidedly dismal, with lots of rain and heavy grey skies. Couple that with the shortest day of the year, and it was a recipe for general misery. However, although today was cold we also got sunshine, and it feels as if all the birds are celebrating.

The starlings are clicking and singing away at the top of the whitebeam, as if in celebration. They have already cleared out two suet pellet feeders, and are decidedly fed up because I’m having my lunch before I refill them.

And then the goldfinches fly in. They are remarkably speedy for such small birds. And look at that fine red face! This bird is in full breeding fettle already.

And when I look at the twigs on the whitebeam and the hawthorn, I can see that there are buds already.

I can’t believe that the birds have missed the berries on the whitebeam. All the rest are gone.

And so it’s cold, and crisp, and altogether more wintry today. Long may it continue. It’s bracing, but definitely good for the soul to see the sun peeping through, and a few hints of spring.

5 thoughts on “What’s That Big Bright Thing in the Sky?

  1. Anne

    In our topsy-turvy world, it feels like spring here after the rain! We haven’t yet experienced the searing heat of summer and already the days are getting shorter. I enjoy your observations.

  2. Liz Norbury

    In the last few weeks, thousands of starlings have been swooshing over the main street in Penzance every night, presumably on their way to roost at the RSPB nature reserve at Marazion, which is where these murmurations are more usually seen. The birds must be higher in the sky than they look, because they’ve come out as disappointingly faint black dots in the photos I’ve taken (admittedly with my phone rather than a ‘proper’ camera).

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      I haven’t seen a proper starling murmuration for years – they used to roost on the islands in St James’s Park, and you could sit on a park bench and watch them flying in from the four corners of London. They used to roost in Leicester Square as well. What a shame that they were booted out. We have so many starlings in East Finchley now that I suspect we’re on the way to a mini-murmuration, fingers crossed!


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