If we are lucky, around this time of year we expect to see starlings gather and form swirling, ever-changing, delicate patterns in the evening sky. Our local birds are joined by visitors from far away places such that the murmurations swell and swell as the days progress towards deepest winter; then suddenly they are gone.
They may form delicate patterns in the sky but they are far from delicate in their habits and taste; they know how to leave their mark below. The magnificent Birds Britannica quotes from a letter to The Times describing ‘rows of starlings at 9d each’ on the wartime shelves of one of London’s most famous stores. And then, ‘tins of starling Pâté stacked high at Marseilles airport tempted me to sample this French product. I still recall the flavour, for which a taste must only be acquired after many years of subjecting the palate to torture’.
Why does this remind me of Monty Python…..