Friday, November 26, 2010

Just Passing Through

Fall in the backyard was gracefully peaceful and still about a week ago. The rare and intermittent scurry of a gray squirrel across the dry leaves, and in the distance, the piercing cry of the blue jay were all that I heard as I stood on the deck.  The wind and twirling leaves had slowed their dance.

This peace was temporary, because abruptly, the sound of 1000 weak squeaky hinges, accompanied by one thousand hyperactive blackbirds descended into the coral and gold tapestry above my head and landed all about me while maintaining continual noisy conversation. It was like a mass of fans had just been released from a concert.  There were so many that at least a minute passed before the bulk could land.  Hundreds would move on to make room for the newcomers from across the river.  More and more came in  dark spotted waves of motion landing on every branch and below all of the trees scrappng in the leaves and chattering in high pitched screeches like excited girls at a Justin Bieber concert. 


Then with the precision of a well choreographed dance team they all rose like a whisper just at tree level and streaked around like black ghosts to the front of my yard.  I grabbed my camera and headed out the front door trying to capture this ephemeral phenomenon.  A huge number had landed just across from the driveway under the pine trees at the front.  I quietly approached, although the noise they made was so loud my footsteps would have been buried and I was a gray giant.  I took one step and then two getting closer.  They became quiet, sort of.  My camera and photographic skill does not do justice to this migration.


In an instant, with the unexpected precision of a shotgun going off, they all rose at exactly the same time, all clapped their wings at exactly the same instant and the boom caused by the synchronous  percussion of the movement of their black wings in the air actually startled me.  It did sound like a gun going off!  They screeched and without looking back moved high into the trees in the next yard.  I could hear them renewing their girlish silly conversation an acre away.



If you click on the photos ...you 'may' get the gist as the photos in large size appear a little sharper.   (Maybe they were looking for Justin?)  

9 comments:

slommler said...

That is awesome! Beautiful colors too!
Hugs
SueAnn

Brian Miller said...

how cool is that...

lakeviewer said...

I've experience this phenomenon and it is so gripping. Usually this swarm lasts a day or two, then the birds are gone.

Celia said...

This is one of things that always brings me out the door to gape, such a sound, loved the pictures.

Hilary said...

They're wonderful. What a thrill to see them in such numbers.

Beverly said...

I saw them!!!

My word verification is wingerip....can you believe it?

Dianne said...

I love when they swarm like that!! it's magical
your photos are lovely yet your description of the even is even more delightful :)

One Woman's Journey said...

Hundreds have landed in the field in front of my cottage. It does not matter how quiet I try to go outside and take an image - they scatter.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow---you saw/heard a big bunch of birds, didn't you???? Reminded me of the movie, "The Birds"... Did you see it???? I saw it when I was young--and it was quite scary....

Glad you got to see those migrating birds... You got a couple of great pictures of them...
Hugs,
Betsy