Darling Starling

With Lesley Williams

Romantic gestures can come in many guises. Some people favour flowers and some find that chocolate makes their partner happy. My husband knows that I buy flowers for the house on a regular basis and I don’t have a sweet tooth, so for him to come up with something that makes my heart beat a little faster takes rather more effort.

‘Let’s go to Aberystwyth’ he suggested. ‘Why not – we have no other plans and it’s a lovely drive up the coast road around Cardigan Bay’ I replied.

It was a beautiful day – warm enough to sit on the seafront – it was then that Simon told me that we were there for something special.

He’d brought me to Aberystwyth to see a starling murmuration. I had mentioned some time before that I really wanted to witness the sight of thousands of starlings performing their amazing flight sequence before roosting for the night, and he’d discovered that Aberystwyth Pier was one of the best places to see this display.

Aberystwyth Pier is not the most picturesque it has to be said – it has been enclosed and is home to the ubiquitous amusement arcade and a rather seedy bar. At the end of the pier there is a small outdoor seating area – we settled down and waited for the performance to begin.

Just as the sun began to set a few starlings began to gather over the pier, they came in groups of three or four birds at a time joining together until there were literally hundreds and hundreds moving as one.

I don’t have the words to describe the display and can only suggest that if you Google Aberystwyth Starlings you will find lots of videos.

It was incredibly moving and I got quite emotional as I watched, absolutely enthralled until the birds finally went to roost under the pier.

Who needs flowers when you can have starlings, darling.

These photographs are by kind permission of Dai Roberts.



All Articles