We've been hearing them squawking overhead for the last few weeks, but last week, we checked out the flock gathering at the school. While sights of the field inundated with birds is common, normally there might only be between a dozen to a hundred birds landing at once. Never have we seen a flock of thousands of birds landing at once. It was quite a treat, standing in the midst of such commotion.
The flock was quite uniform - I saw only a single ring-billed gull and a blue morph as part of the flock.
|ring-billed gull - it walked around for a few seconds with its wing spread, though with no apparent sign of injury|
|blue colour morph|
In a world where it seems every species is in decline, it's comforting to see some wilderness finding success in spite of humanity. Snow geese are increasing at the rate of 5% per year (Wikipedia), giving hope that our children's children might be able to enjoy this form of wildlife.
At one point, something spooked them, and we felt the wind of thousands of beating wings frantically ascending at once. There was no point in trying to dodge the bits of mud and mostly-digested grass dropping off their feet as they took to the skies.
And like the snow that falls around our city, it can disappear quickly, leaving only a bit of sludge behind.