The season of Starling murmurations: I came across this lovely description of one by the great 19th century poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, he of ‘Glory be to God of dappled things’ fame: “We saw a vast multitude of starlings making an unspeakable jangle. They would settle in a row of trees: then, one tree after another, rising at a signal they looked like a cloud of specks of black snuff or powder struck up from a brush or broom or shaken from a wig; then they would sweep round in whirl-winds- you could see the nearer and farther bow of the wings by the size and blackness; many would be in one phase at once, all narrow black flakes hurling round, then in another; then they would fall upon a field...I thought they must be full of enthusiasm and delight, hearing their cries and stirring and cheering one another”. Here is a relatively small murmuration at Aberystwyth pier, taken last winter. Although not as many appeared as usual, the backdrop of a wonderful sunset made it special. Conditions: Milder and cloudy. Temperature: Max 8, Min 5c.