Country diary: starlings put on a show, but not for Instagram

Slapton Ley, Devon: I wanted to be away from the chatter and the bright, intrusive screens held up between world and eye

Agnès Varda said that we all carry landscapes. As I stood alone on a small stone bridge, clouds shedding their pinks in the dimpsey and the valley clotting to iron blue-black, thousands of starlings came to roost in the reeds around me.

Here below France Woods, at the back of the Ley, I was well away from other people. I know full well that they too come to the reserve to press their hearts against the loveliness of the birds’ nightly gathering, but I wanted to be away from the chatter and the bright, intrusive screens held up between world and eye.

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