A Murmuration of Starlings

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Starlings having a whale of a time – this display over Israel was caught on camera by Amir Cohen/Reuters

When starlings gather in large numbers, they are often photographed performing amazing aerobatic displays, forming shapes in the sky. The collective noun for a flock of starlings is a murmuration.

There are some weird and wonderful collective names for groups of just about anything. Some of my favourites are: Parliament of Owls, Pandemonium of Parrots, Squabble of Seagulls and Prickle of Porcupines.

However, back to the starlings. These birds are of particular interest to me because when I was trying to think of a name for the farm that was to feature prominently in my debut novel – the name I chose was Starling Hill.

I have to confess to not knowing what a starling looks like. The only birds I can confidently identify are robins and seagulls. And then there are those little brown birds in the garden, but I’m not sure if they are sparrows or thrushes, or maybe even tits. Apparently starlings aren’t indigenous to the UK. The ones that winter here are from Scandinavia.

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Starlings photographed at sunset in Aberystwyth by Keith Morris

Anyway, the name Starling Hill stuck. When it came time to choose a name for my three book series, the Starling Hill Trilogy seemed like an obvious choice. A lot of the action in the books takes place at the farm, so it is almost like another character. I think it comes through in the stories that I absolutely love this area where I live and setting the novels here gave me the chance to share this love.

The next and final instalment of the series is due to be released on 5 February…Carved in Stone brings to life more romantic adventures for the women at Starling Hill and their friends.

The murmuration of starlings is on its way:

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Short Stories

There Was a Time and The Christmas Sweepstake – both available FREE on the Affinity website

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