Friday, 22 February 2019

What an exhibition!

Murmuration Stones I by Ruth Gibson
This is a good time of year to see one of Nature's great spectacles in Aberdaron - great swooping flocks of starlings called murmurations, so named because of the eerie sound of thousands of wings flapping in unison. We can often see the starlings from the conservatory at Manaros wheeling over the open fields, which is what inspired Peter to take these photographs of the power lines behind Manaros.





During Autumn and Winter, hundreds or even thousands of starlings gather together in huge flocks resembling an airborne school of fish, that twist and morph in an almost hypnotic dance. It is believed that the huge flocks give the birds safety in numbers from predatory birds such as hawks. The huge flocks tend to gather in birds from miles around who then roost together overnight for warmth during long, cold winter nights.

The ability of these tiny birds to perform such acrobatic swoops and turns while in such tight formation is truly impressive, and likely thanks to their split second reaction times. Unfortunately these starlings flew off in the wrong direction for Peter to capture their flocking behaviour, but we found this video by Dylan Winter on YouTube to give you some idea of how spectacular it can be -

By coincidence, Peter was at an exhibition at Plas Glyn y Weddw in Llanbedrog the other day, by the artist Ruth Gibson, that had several works inspired by Murmurations. Ruth works in ceramic media and has created a number of beautiful plates and chargers with themes of the natural world. It's well worth checking out her work if you are passing the gallery, or see her website at www.ruthgibsonceramics.co.uk.

Murmuration Bay II

Murmurations

Murmuration Wave

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