Tuesday, 22 December 2015

21st December - Guildford, Surrey

I work in Guildford, and at the back of the car park there is a good expanse of woodland.  I have worked here on and off for over 20 years, but since about 2008 I have noticed the substantial corvid roost that occurs in the winter.  In that period there was a time when the birds disappeared but for the last three winters the birds have returned.

I normally witness the sounds and the mass of birds in the air as I arrive around 7.00 am during December to January, by February the mornings are lighter and the birds have gone before I arrive.  Over the last few weeks though with the heavy overcast conditions the birds have been starting to roost earlier in the afternoon.  Today I left around 16.00 and as I walked out I could hear the jackdaws continually calling as they wheeled around in the air above the trees at the back of the car park.

I decided to drive down to get closer, and was able to video the birds as they moved from being settled in the trees to back out flying once again.  As well as the Jackdaws there were Rooks and Crows, although the latter in not so large numbers.  

Here is the first video, and if you listen carefully a Song Thrush, an early songster in this crazy weather.

Having finished I turned back to the car, and as I reached the door the noise level increased and the birds all took to the air, showing the true number of birds that were in the roost, quite amazing.  I struggled to get the camera out again, and just managed to capture the atmosphere as the birds continued to call and fly around in circles.

This gathering of birds may not have the magical feeling of the pre roost sky dancing of the Starlings but in its own way it is very impressive.  These are much larger birds, and so much more noisier both in the sound of there calls and their wings as they wheeled around above me.  I am glad I have finally been able to capture the event.

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