Saturday, 30 January 2016

Flocks and Herds

A couple of hours out in the patch today turned up nothing new for the patchwork challenge, but plenty of interest nonetheless.

At the end of winter the large flocks of birds tend to break into smaller groups or pairs - last weekend I recorded fieldfares seemingly in pairs and many solitary redwings. I don't normally observe this until March and wondered whether the clement weather was triggering pre-migration behaviour.

This weekend though, the opposite was true. Aside from one singing skylark hanging noisily in the sky like a tethered, floating music-box, the birds were behaving exactly as they should at this time of year.

A mixed flock of at least a hundred thrushes, a smallish group of ground-feeding redpoll and a group of twelve pied wagtails were all trumped by a herd of precisely 12 bullfinches.

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