Exaggerated Starling Numbers

Subject: Exaggerated Starling Numbers
From: Milburns <>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 22:13:30 +1000
All though this year I have been seeing larger than normal Starling aggregations along Drake Brockman Drive, Holt but during the last weekend the flocks flying to roost have been significantly larger than anything that I have ever seen in during my time in Australia. The largest waves were about 100m across, numbering of the order of 1000+ birds. On Saturday night at least 3000 birds flew over while I was retrieving the laundry. In a miniature way it reminded me of the enormous winter flocks that used to pass over the (Old) South Wales coast in response to extreme weather in continental Europe. One late December day in 1977, while counting Teal and Wigeon at the Loughor Estuary in Dyfed, I witnessed a flock of Starlings heading west that took over 1 hour to pass over me. My estimate was that this flock exceeded 100 million birds and since, this Hitchcockian experience, I have always felt a little uneasy about starlings ever since.

The Milburns
42 Bundey Street
ACT 2615

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