It’s been a long, hard lockdown winter but last week when out walking near to the factory I saw a murmuration of starlings, curlews and lapwings — it seems spring has arrived.
The Altberg factory is situated on a hill overlooking Richmond in the Yorkshire Dales.
The starlings gather twice each year in spring and autumn along the escarpment that runs west from the factory towards Swaledale.
These gatherings are called murmurations, with the autumn murmuration always the largest.
Last week, while out walking along the escarpment while testing a new design of Altberg boots, which I’ve been wearing all winter, I saw the first murmuration of starlings of spring.
The birds made a whirring sound like a swarm of very large bees.
Just along from the murmuration of the starlings, there were curlews calling and drifting across the sky to land very slowly and gracefully.
A small distance further above the old abandoned racecourse there were lapwings with crested crown and wings with feathered fingers making their familiar ‘peewit’.
Lapwing. Photo: Andreas Trepte.
I've always found working in the factory to be the toughest time. From November onwards we would go to work in the dark and come home in the dark.
It was as if in November we went into a long dark tunnel and in March we came out the other end, so it was wonderful to see the murmuration of the starlings.