For the purposes of this post, I’ve interpreted the word “flock” as three or more of the same species. In photographs which I have taken of “flocks” in the true sense of the word, the birds are so small and far away as to look like specks of dust on the lens!
Summer is the time to spot seabirds which migrate to our shores to breed.
A truly amazing place to watch seabirds is the Isle of May, off the coast of Fife in Scotland. Carefully regulated day-trips in small boats are organised from the seaside village of Anstruther. (Weather Permitting!)
The Isle of May is home to an incredible array of seabirds, with up to 200,000 nesting in a good year.
One sunny summer afternoon there, I photographed Guillemots, Puffins, Kittiwakes, Terns, Gannets, to name but a few of the species we saw.
A trio of Razorbills posed nicely on the edge of a cliff:
From April to August there can be as many as 40,000 pairs of Puffins on the Isle of May. Puffins feed on Sand Eels, as you can see here:
A good time to see species which normally live far out at sea, is in the depths of winter when they move into warmer coastal waters .
I zoomed in on a large flock of Eiders just offshore in the North Sea to focus on these three males:
Whilst at the other side of the country, the West, we enjoy the spectacle of many thousands of Whooper Swans which fly down to us from Iceland to overwinter. Up to a couple of thousand come each year to a reserve near us. Sometimes you hear their wingbeats before you see them:
Here are a few of the many on a frozen lake. (Our ice must be warmer than that in Iceland):
This post was inspired by Lisa’s Weekly Bird Challenge: Flocks of Birds.
(I hope she agrees with my definition of how many birds it takes to make a flock!)