Monday, 24 November 2008

Hundreds of pied wagtails!

Pied wagtails flock

I was returning from my lab today and as I passed a corridor adjacent to the courtyard, I heard the sound of birds chirping. I looked out of the window and saw hundreds of birds jumping up and down the branches of the 4 trees outside.

Pied wagtails flock

I went outside fully expecting it to be goldfinches or some other finches, but to my astonishment, I saw that their tails were wagging up and down in true wagtail style.

Pied wagtails flock

I went closer and confirmed that they were indeed pied wagtails! Hundreds of them…so many that I didnt even dare start counting!

Pied wagtails flock

There numbers were so high that they appeared to be more birds on the tree than leaves!

Pied wagtails flock

I have seen pied wagtails in the university campus before, but I wouldnt have guessed in my dreams that there were so many in the whole of Bristol!

Pied wagtails flock

Unfortunately, today being a cold and dull day, I had thought I wouldn’t be able to go lunch time birding and thus didn’t take my camera along!

Pied wagtails flock

I was getting desperate for a camera and suddenly remembered that my phone had one!

Pied wagtails flock

…and thus you see the really blurred images. Yet, I must say, it was about 4:30 PM on a dark winter evening and the light was really poor. It was dark other than the light shining through the windows of adjoining buildings. Considering that, my phone did an alright job. while I was clicking away , there were plenty of students going up and down, but hardly anyone seemed to even notice the birds until they saw me looking up with the cameraphone in my hand!

Pied wagtails flock

Anyway, this is the first time I have seen pied wagtails flock to roost. I hadnt thought they flock at all. However, they do roost – some references can be found

here and here and is also mentioned in the RSPB description.

I hope they are there tomorrow again, I`ll be taking my camera along for sure!

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