Sadly, not much painting to report this week, but on a happier note, I’ve managed a few trips out into the countryside with my camera. This week’s highlight has to be my most recent visit to Ham Wall in the Somerset Levels to  once again witness the natural spectacle that is the Starling Murmurations. This time, being February, the light was much better than early January, and although biting cold, the sky was a beautiful peachy, pinky, purply colour. I was lucky this time to hear the talk given by the RSPB guide, so I came away with a better understanding of why the Starlings behave in this way. We also saw a Marsh Harrier scouring the reed beds for prey as we waited for the starlings to appear out of the distance.

At first they seem like  feint clouds in the far distant sky…then you realise its not a cloud, but a mass of starlings. More and more ‘clouds’ appear from all directions, and as they fly closer, it becomes clearer that what you are looking at is a massive ‘swarm’ of birds. These ‘clouds’ merge together over about 15 minutes and then they begin to gather and swirl, making patterns in the sky as they decide exactly which spot they want to choose for their night time roost site. It is such a breathtaking sight… Here are some photos – some of my favourite so far!

Marsh Harrier over golden reed beds  (centre of pic about 1/3 way down)
Starling murmurations (dark cloudy shadows at the foot of the hills just above the trees)
Murmurations in front of Glastonbury Tor
Starlings in action…!
WOW!! My favourite shot!
Starling Murmurations from Ham Wall.

Its difficult to top a trip like this, but with an hour to fill this afternoon, I coaxed my hubby away from his laptop and we went for a wander along Clevedon’s Sea Wall…it was beautiful! This is what we saw..

Clevedon Sea Front
Clevedon Sea Front – looking towards Weston

So, the paint brushes have had a few days off this week, the camera has been working overtime…it all builds on inspiration for new paintings…its all good and its reinforced in my mind that I love where I live!
Mandi 😉