Monday, November 14, 2011

Four and Twenty

Give or take a couple thousand.

I visited a couple of sites in Chester County, Pennsylvania this past weekend, Kirkwood Preserve and Rushton Farm with the DVOC.

We saw a number of cool things. A red fox hunting, pouncing on unseen prey in a field. Red squirrels scampering high up in the trees. And the highlight of the day, three pileated woodpeckers, their red crests glowing, backlit by the morning sun.

But the most impressive sight was a ginormous flock of common grackles. Several thousand strong. In the image above each black streak is a bird. Or two.

We had heard the chattering of the flock while we were wandering about the Kirkwood Preserve. Out of sight, they were just over the hill. It was as we were driving to the Rushton Farm that we saw them, and I snapped the image above. The flock was huge. Our caravan stopping in the road to gawk.

The birds continued on to Rushton Farm, arriving as we did, roosting all about us. We couldn't hear other birds as these birds chattered away.

Even more impressive was he sound of thousands of birds all taking off at the same time. It sounded like a truck driving by. The wings, all flapping at the same time. Very cool.

I've seen large flocks of birds before, and even blogged about one enormous flock. But I'd never been so close, surrounded by the birds. A truly awesome spectacle.


Chesney said...

You are always surrounding yourself by such that first image, it almost looks like a painting! The second image reminds me of a scene from "The Birds"..:)

Guy said...


Thanks for the great photos of the grackles. That is something I have always wanted to see.