Calculation

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I know that they’re noisy and messy, but I’m fond of starlings. At this time of year I’d usually be thinking about taking a trip to a roost site in the hope of seeing a murmuration, but unless I hear of one very close to home that’s not going to be happening this winter: by the time our current Covid restrictions are lifted, the birds will be moving into their breeding season, and won’t be murmurating any more.

We get quite a few starlings in the village during the winter (though not enough for a murmuration), and they’re enthusiastic customers at our garden feeding station. At first sight this looks like a defensive posture, but actually the bird was gathering itself for take-off, and calculating its trajectory towards the peanut feeder hanging about five feet above it. Adult starlings are spotty in the autumn, when they grow their new plumage after moulting, but the spots wear away fairly quickly, so I think it’s quite likely that this is a first-winter bird that has only recently achieved its adult plumage.

I’m still in “new year: new me” mode at the moment, and the quarter hour or so I spent, well wrapped up, sitting on the patio watching the birds in the garden was an interlude in quite a busy day. My biggest achievement was a successful iOS upgrade, moving my Mac from Catalina to Big Sur, and in the process – it would seem – solving the issues I’ve been having with Lightroom over the past few weeks. R is certainly hoping that the Lightroom Situation has been resolved, because then he’ll never have to hear about it ever again.

This evening we watched the final episode of The Queen’s Gambit, which we’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I’m really quite sorry that it’s over.