Waiting for the Starlings


When you live in the country, it’s lovely to be able to lead a spontaneous life, like hopping in your car when the weather is good and heading to the beach or some place else, so when one of the mums in T’s class asked if we were interested in watching the starlings over at Rough Tor, we said yes!

Tor is a Cornish word for hill and we’re lucky to live not far from it.  After the school run last Thursday, we headed there to see if we could see some starlings. You see them a lot down here while driving home, especially in the afternoon, swarming down in flocks like bees, diving up and down like a graceful dance or an exhibition of synchronised swimming.  It’s a bit eerie actually, like a bad omen, or as my friend Kate said, the beginning of a horror story.

IMG_0109We bundled the kids in wooly hats and scarves ready for a short hike in search of starlings.  I was expecting them to be whingy and tired.  After all, it was after the school run.  But they were all excited and up for the adventure.


We weren’t planning a long hike, just far enough to be able to spot them from afar.  It was winter after all, the days are short, not to mention wet.  But we were lucky it stayed dry that afternoon.


Rough tor as always was looking beautiful, in spite the grey clouds surrounding it.


The woods nearby looked serene and breathtaking.


It was cold, so we got the kids moving to keep them warm.


Up they went like a small group of hobbits heading for the Black Mountains.


We decided this was far enough to wait for the starlings.  The kids got impatient and decided that it was more fun to run around and chase each other than wait for the birds to appear.


“Where are the starlings”  They cried.  Just wait patiently we answered.


“Where are the starlings”  They cried again.  “Look kids!”  We said, pointing to the sunset, trying to distract them and also hoping that it would take their breaths away like it did with ours.  “Oooh” they said.


“Look the starlings came!”

And there they were, dancing before our eyes.  For a while we all stood there, transfixed, just watching the appearance of thousands upon thousands of starlings hovering above the trees like bees.  It would’ve been nice to stand there longer, but the kids snapped out of the magic of the birds earlier than the adults and demanded that they wanted to go home.  So we did.  It was nearly time for tea.

Do you like bird-watching?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



  1. How magical! Although she’s still little, I’m sure this will be one of those wonderful childhood memories…friends, mother, sunset and a sky full of starlings. Strangely enough I was just looking up last week whether there was anywhere near us to watch them but couldn’t find anywhere close enough.

    • Come to Cornwall! 😉 We see them a lot down here, like I mentioned while driving etc… I did wonder if this also occurred in other parts of England. x

  2. How lovely to see all the starlings – that must have been quite a sight. Looks like you had a lovely hike too and that sunset looks beautiful 🙂

  3. Oh, how lovely! This something Olivia and I are looking forward to. I would be like the kids jumping and dancing while watching the starlings. 🙂 x

  4. I’ve not been out to rough tor in a while, it’s a great place to go exploring, my lot love climbing over all the rocks at the top. I’d never thought of going to see the starlings, I bet it was a magical experience to watch them all fly through the air. The kids look like they enjoyed their after school time running around and playing together. Thanks for linking up with me on Country Kids.

  5. When I lived in Newcastle as a student there were the most magnificent flocks of starlings that came into roost in the buildings every evening. Their perfectly in time swirling was so magical to watch. I wonder if they are still there.
    What a great way to spend some after school time when the kids will have been sat down for so much of the day.
    Thank you for joining in with #AnimalTales.

  6. what a lovely thing to do with the kids after the school run, so glad you got to see the starlings, they look magnificent and yes it is rather eerie

  7. Pingback: How to make bird watching fun for kids - Wild About Here

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