Two young women, Liberty Smith and Sophie Windsor Clive, experience something not seen by many while exploring the River Shannon via a canoe. After reaching an island and standing on the shore, they caught a flock of birds on video that turned out to be a murmuration of starlings. But, this flock was not a small one and it provided them with a rare opportunity to see the organized flying patterns of these wonderful birds.
To the sounds of piano music by Nomad Saul, viewers of the astounding video the girls uploaded to the YouTube channel called IslandsandRivers can see the flock move like a black blanket across the sky over the lapping water and treetops. It then sweeps apart almost in half only to come back together and then move in swirls and waves.
Sometimes the starlings crash together like the waves of the waters beneath them. Toward the end of the video, as the girls are rowing away from the island, there are so many starlings that the blue-gray color of the sky is almost blotted out completely by the birds.
Liberty and Sophie are not mere amateur filmmakers. They are currently independent documentary filmmakers who work out of New York and London. On their website, www.islandsandrivers.com, they list water, meeting people, making things and bike rides as sources of inspiration. They have won awards for short documentaries and they have collaborated on projects for a diverse range of organizations, including schools, museums, Film London and October Films.