Saturday, 9 October 2010

Too Many to Count - but What?

Just on our way back home from our morning walk when I spotted a large flock of birds flying across the village. A rough count gave somewhere between 150 and 200 in that group, all flying silently due south. Then another group, then another and another. Some groups with less birds but one with a good 500 all heading in the same direction. A short while later quite a few seemed to flying back, lower, towards the coast and I think some were landing in a nearby field. It was almost unnerving to see so many birds but not a single sound from any of them.

I managed a few blurry photos. The sky was completely overcast and the lighting wasn't very good even for 7 in the morning.



To me they seemed the usual sea birds, type unknown, I often see but I have never seen such large flocks before. Were they migrating or just coming inland to scavenge on the fields?


  1. That must have been quite a sight, John, and as you say rather eerily unnerving, like silent swaths of motion! Their silhouettes do look like seabirds. At least they weren't murders of crows ganging up for Hallowe'en. Now I'll have scary dreams ;)

  2. Good Morning Glo. I just stood there with my mouth open. I had never seen so many birds flying together. Even those flying low were completely silent, not even a wing beat to be heard. Many years ago they used to say that seeing many sea birds coming inland was a sign of rough weather out at sea. Now-a-days they come inland and follow the farmers when they are ploughing or to visit land fill sites looking for scraps of food.

  3. I can imagine the experience would be jaw dropping! Especially the number of birds coupled with the complete silence. I bet you wondered if you were still dreaming! Interesting how their behaviour has been thought to predict weather conditions, and it makes sense ~ as you say they have adapted to changing conditions. If that many birds landed on a farmer's field, I think he could kiss his crop good-bye!

  4. A large flock like that round here would almost certainly be Black-headed Gulls John. We get big numbers, especially now, coming inland to the fields and lakes. Always a spectacular sight to see, especially such large numbers.

    Winter evenings, large numbers roost on the warehouse roof where I work. Great to watch the comings and goings, depending what shift I'm on.

  5. I've seen the Black-headed gulls in small numbers in the past Keith and these seem the right size and shape but I have never seen such a vast number before. Spectacular is the right description.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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