Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A gathering

Another anniversary of sorts today; but first ............

One of natures greatest spectacles to witness, in my opinion, happens every year about now. Thousands of Starlings gather, and swirl around in the skies just before sunset, as they drop into their roost sites.
An amazing spectacle; and it's FREE!

Of course there are other birds that do this, but it seems the Starlings get all the limelight.
Well, how about a few thousand European Golden Plover, swirling around in the sun.

They don't confine their gatherings to dusk; they'll do it all through the day.
And when the sun is shining .......... what a spectacle!

In winter they can usually be found out in fields, an estuary, or on a wet nature reserve somewhere, often associating with Lapwings.
A little bit smaller than a Lapwing, at 28cm as opposed to 30cm, but a group of them can sound just as vociferous as a group of Lapwing.
They belong to the same family group; Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

When they all suddenly take to the air, that's when the magic begins.

They swirl around in the sky in a seemingly tight formation,

and then drop back down again, into their noisy groups.

Flying gold.

And on the subject of 'flight', an interesting titbit I found on the BTO website.

"A question about the flight speed of Golden Plover, (now known to be up to 60mph), during a shooting party in Wexford, Ireland, prompted Sir Hugh Beaver, (then chairman of the brewery), to found the Guiness Book of Records in 1955."

I did a shortish video of some the other day; runs for about three and a half minutes.

Hope you enjoy it.

Oh yea, the anniversary.

Well, it was 4 years ago today, that I had my heart attack.
Now I enjoy every day that I wake up in the morning.

Enjoy your day.


  1. It doesn't seem four years, It probably does to you.

    This is a spectacular and fitting celebration. They are great in the sunlight.

  2. Cheers Adrian. I remember it well. Sitting there in agony, about this time, wondering what the fuck was happening.
    The Plovers are a delight to watch.

  3. As you say, a great spectacle to see...and they're much prettier than Starlings!
    And here's to many more enjoyable days...stay safe....[;o)

  4. How times flies. Would have said it was only a couple of years.
    Looks to be a brilliant, though deafening spectacle.

  5. Cheers Trev. Yea, not quite as noisy as Starlings either lol

  6. Thanks John. Yea, a sight worth seeing.
    Time certainly does seem to race away as I get older :-)

    1. And I've yet to be covered in Plover crap. Starlings are wee devils for shitting on you as they fly over to join the murmaration.

    2. Adrian, I think Waxwings are the worst for that. The berries they eat go straight through them.
      Never stand under a tree or bush with them in. :-)

  7. HI Keith Well that is something to celebrate. You have given a second chance after your heart attack and I am sure you are grateful for every new day. Great shots of the Plovers and wonderful to see the video. I have eventually got my blog up and running again last night but as I am birding in Scotland I will not be blogging until next week. Sending you a 'Hug' as it is National Hug day.

  8. My goodness Keith is that really 4 years ago already. That time has certainly flown by.
    Yes the Golden Plover are amazing to watch, lovely birds.

  9. A great bird, and even better in flocks like this, great series Trevor.

  10. I bet that was a ass tightening moment, when you had your heart pain, great post and stay well Keith.


  11. neat little tidbit on the guiness book of world records. :) sweet little golden guys. and congrats on 4 years of survival - may it be many more full of good birding and good days.

  12. Thanks Margaret. Enjoy Scotland.
    Didn't know it was 'hug day', so ta! :-)

    Thanks Roy. Yea, time does go quick these days.

    Thanks Dave. A great site to watch.

    Thanks Peter. Quite a moment. All the more so because I didn't realise it was a heart attack until the paramedic arrived.

    Thank you Theresa. Every day is a good one now; although today has been hit and miss. Moved the washing machine ready for a new one, and got a water leak! lol
    Good old Trevor to the rescue though.

  13. Brilliant on the video Keith. I totally agree about the way Golden Plovers shimmer in the light but I also love the call of the plovers in flight and whush of the wings flapping as the flock flies over your video captures all the sounds. I really like all the images but the last one in flight is really really good.

  14. Thanks Doug. I spent ages watching these birds. Fantastic sight.

  15. Don't have an other heart attack, please. The best of photos, is the Plovers, the best.

  16. Hope to enjoy several more decades of your inspirational photos yet, Keith. Maximum respect to you!

  17. Keith, good on you! These are wonderful images! I saw a news item on the Starlings recently. Quite a spectacle!

  18. Thank you Bob; I'll try not to lol

    Thanks Phil, very kind of you.

    Thanks Robin. Nature provides great, free entertainment for us.

  19. What a breath-taking sight, Keith. Well done.

  20. Well done on all fronts. I wish you and them many more years. The colours and patterns are wonderful, thank you for this and the videa!

  21. Choy Wai, thank you. It was a great sight to see all those golden birds flying in the sun.

    sweffling, thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.