Monday, 26 January 2015

Jan 26th Norwich

I am at Norwich Station, but I'm not here for a train. I am here for another wildlife spectacle that I have only discovered on Saturday as Dad and I was returning home from a terrible game at Carrow Road (terrible if you are a Norwich fan like me). While walking past the station, we saw the last part of this event in question. Today, I wanted to see it from the beginning.

Pied Wagtail
I arrived at 3:30pm to wait at a London plane tree next to a public entrance to the station. The evidence is clear that what I'm looking for was using this tree during the night with small white droppings on the ground under it. An hour passes and the light begins to fade, when finally the bird I'm after appears. A lone pied wagtail flew over me and the tree and was heading to the Riverside multi-story car park. At this point, Dad joins me to watch hundreds of wagtails gather on the roof of the car park. Then we notice more birds behind us on the Norwich Station building.

The wagtails on the car park roof suddenly erupts and were flying towards the London plane tree with others joining it. We hurried over there only to find they weren't on the tree but on the roof of a couple of pizza resturants over the road. The sight was starting to attract a few locals and we exchanged on what we knew about this secret gathering. It appears they do come to this tree when it gets quite dark. And about 5pm, they began to arrive onto the tree from the roof. A handful to start with, but soon there were a few hundred huddling together within the branches.

Why are they here? I think it is because the tree is next to a lamp light on a brick stack. This is probably providing vital heat for a small bird at this time of year. The other reason why they gather in large numbers is because they communicate to each other. You can hear these black, white and grey, tail wagging birds calling in unison. "Chesick, chesick, chesick", the tree was full of noise. Eventually, the noise grew to silence and the event was over. The wagtails had gone to sleep. Another of Norwich's secret wildlife spectacles was finally revealed to me. It may not be a starling murmuration, but it was just as good.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post Sean! Just proves wildlife is all around us we just need to open our eyes!