Pied Wagtails – Watch with your ears, not your eyes

It occurs to me that ‘birdwatching’ is a bit of a misnomer. Because only one part of the experience is visual. The audio is at least as important, and there are good birdwatchers who are blind. They hear all they need to know.In that spirit this blog is mis-named too, because I want people to experience all their senses when out in nature.

You don’t need to be in an obviously ‘natural’ place for this either. Every winter in York hundreds of Pied Wagtails roost in the trees on Parliament Street. I’ve written about this before HERE and HERE.

Once the leaves are off the trees it’s easy enough to see them all up there amongst the branches. But as numbers mount now, in late Autumn, it’s still very easy to ‘spot’ them. Because they make quite the noise when massed together, as you can hear in this video I took last night:

As with last year, there’s all manner of exciting building going on below. But that doesn’t stop the wagtails for one moment.

Every now and again there will be something that startles them, and birds explode from the trees. But once they settle down, it gets much quieter. But never silent.

Later in the year I’ll try to get some proper video of them one evening/morning to give a real sense of the spectacle.





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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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