Recently I’ve been very busy with school work and a couple of other things but that hasn’t stopped me from getting out and about. One wildlife spectacular that I have been observing in my local city centre is a pied wagtail roost. In Lichfield city centre, as it gets dark, all the nearby pied wagtails group together to form a roost for the night.
Not only does this happen in my city centre or with pied wagtails but they take place everywhere and with other bird species too, like starlings. They are really worth looking out for as they are fantastic to watch. The noise they make when they’re settling down is incredible. If you watch all the individual birds closely you’ll see how they’re all trying to get their own spot, then settle down for the cold night ahead.
There are many reasons why they gather in our towns and cities like this. For example by roosting here they are less vulnerable to predators and in rural areas temperatures can be several degrees above those in the open countryside. This can be a difference between life or death to a small bird in the winter.
You’re most likely to see these roosts in the trees right outside the shops. So next time you’re in town at night or just as it’s getting dark during the cold months look up at the tress and you’ll be in for a real treat!
Here’s a video I got of the pied wagtail roost in Lichfield city centre.
For the last few years, during the winter months, I have observed and watched a pied wagtail roost in my city centre. This year though I decided that I wanted to film them as they’re so fascinating and lovely to watch. So I headed down to Lichfield city centre at about 3:00. First of all I got a few shots around the shopping precinct then I got ready for the pied wagtails to start turning up.
At 3:56 the first few arrived and were calling from the shop roof tops. This continued for the next 20 minutes until there were big flocks sitting on the roof tops. This was great to watch and the sound was amazing but it got better, as suddenly all the birds fled and were nowhere to be seen then a sparrowhawk flew above my head. Unfortunately I was too slow to film it. It was great how everyone was getting on with their shopping and just above them one of natures dramas was unfolding.
Once everything had calmed down the birds returned and started collecting in one of the trees. This was at about 4.30 when it was almost dark. The noise got louder and louder and more birds started turning up. As I looked closely at what every bird was doing it was very interesting. Some were preening, some were fighting for a place and others were just arriving. As the noise got louder more people started to notice and look up.
By about 5:00 everything had calmed down. Here’s the video I got.