SIGN UP

Birds That May Fly In Skein Formation?

Avatar Image
Togo | 17:15 Sat 05th Jan 2019 | Twitching & Birdwatching
37 Answers
Whilst out filling the bird feeders this morning I was delighted to spot a flight of birds in the brilliant V, skein, formation. Now these were not geese or indeed birds that resembled a wildfowl
wing action. More a Gull or Tern wing shape, faster beat, and the lead positions were changing very quickly. I did not have chance to grab by "bins" as they were moving pretty fast. We have a very good "bird sanctuary" a few miles away and they were headed in that direction. They came in from A northerly direction, over the sea. I wonder if anyone has any idea what they may have been.

Answers

1 to 20 of 37rss feed

1 2 Next Last

Avatar Image
Lesser black backed gulls sometimes fly in skeins when flying to roost.
17:50 Sat 05th Jan 2019
It’d be interesting to know Togo. I’ve just googled and all it says is that ducks, geese and other birds do this, it just doesn’t say anywhere what those ‘other birds’ might be. I thought it was just ducks and geese.
Could you see what colour they were, Togo?
Question Author
Fairly high Tills. Higher than when the Geese fly in, and faster. From my vantage point dark undersides giving me more of a silhouette. As I say didn't get chance to grab my glasses. Very distinctive Gull/Tern wing shape, fast wing action, but looked in sync. Captured my attention for about a minute or so. Can't recall ever seeing such before.
Question Author
Ethandron, agree. I am contemplating a trip to Conwy Bird Reserve and ask around. Great place by the way. Intriguing to witness, but I know that some sea birds do such, just thought that we could narrow it down.
Lesser black backed gulls sometimes fly in skeins when flying to roost.
Been to Conwy many a time Togo, a great place..as is the food served in the cafe there :)
Question Author
It was early morning Melv, and they came in from the open sea. I think that Sand Terns also fly the skein, but they mainly head for Norfolk.
Question Author
Another very distinctive feature was that 2/3/4 in the side columns switched very quickly, without breaking the V, and the dozen or so birds behind and the lead flyer kept position.
The gulls would have been roosting on the surface of the sea.
There's a big roost near me, where they roost on reservoirs.
Just a wild guess.
Could they be Godwits ?
Perhaps they were ordinary birds following the natural paths of least wind resistance, like cyclists do. (BTW Godwits. Lol!)
Question Author
Think not Chip. No long bill, and slender body. Honestly know enough about birds to recognise Terns or Gull like birds and their flight characteristics to go that far with ID just not enough time to get the Bins and look closer at the plumage. Definite wing shape of seabird I would say.
Saw some LBB's yesterday evening near a local lake where they roost. They were flying in a loose skein, there were about 20 of them.
LBBs do the rapid interchange thing I have seen oystercatchers flying in skeins but over water. Gannets do it too for short distances. Where did you see them as some possible options are more likely in certain areas.
Arctic skuas?
Question Author
Still got an open mind on this. May make a call(as I mentioned earlier) to the local Bird Sanctuary and ask around. It was not a loose formation Melv……..very tidy, perfectly straight lines and height was uniform the full length. Tight formation too in terms of distance from the bird in front or behind. Been out yesterday and again this morning hoping to see again. No Luck.
Pleas do let us know if you do get a positive ID on the birds TOGO, I know how bugging that can be.
I've seen a couple of high fliers myself a couple of times lately, what I can't ID but too little to go on so far but hopefully they'l be closer next time.
Shags (cormorants) fly in a V formation.


1 to 20 of 37rss feed

1 2 Next Last

Do you know the answer?

Birds That May Fly In Skein Formation?

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.