Thursday, 19 November 2009

Went to Brighton today

Back in February read an article about the flocks of stirlings coming to roost on Brighton pier at dusk. Since then it has been an ambition to go over and watch. Today was the perfect day, after the storms the skys were clear and the wind was calmer so I hopped into the car and went. Decided not to take my 'big' camara suspect it would be to hard to get a worth while picture. My 'little' camara is always in my bag.

Got to Brighton parked near the seafront with time to wonder around the town before dusk. There are two piers in the town one active with amusements on the end even in November the place is alive and busy. The other is just the ruined end standing alone in the water un-attached to the beach in its own way very beautiful. Anyway walked along the front and up toward the shops and the famous lanes. Met an artist Mervin selling his black and white portraits on a steet corner he also had a fabulous picture of the ruined pier was hard walking away from that.

Finally the day wore down and over toward the sea a small flock was playing in the sky, time to head for the seafront. By now I was very near the active pier and so was a growing flock of stirlings. Admission to the pier is free I wondered up on the left hand side watching the amazing show of birds swirling around in formation, swooping as a group toward the sea, which was churing, and back up into the sky. Coming closer and closer to the pier then out to sea and spreading out coming back togather in a ball of flight, smaller flocks flew in to join the main group and other groups split off flew toward the beach and then back out to the main flight. The formations undulating in rytham with the sea. Birds would fly under and over the pier but the main action was on the left (east) side near the amusement area. Sometimes a group would fly along the length of the pier lower than i was standing and it was possible to see into the formation and grasp the whole 3D structure of the group.

The whole time the sky from the horizan up provided a back drop to the action with the dark dull sea churning and meeting a beige coloured sky the beige turned yellow then orange and green and finally blue broken only by streaks of white cloud.

The birds were settling, silent in flight, their chatter could be heard from beneath the pier floor especailly close to those areas with solid floor rather than the main pier planks. The sun was setting so I cut across the pier to take a couple of shots with my bag camara. Out over the wrecked pier swirled a big black cloud, more birds obviously coming in to roost there for the night. This was a big group and seen from a distance the patterns and formations they made were magical watched them for perhaps half an hour until the sun was gone and the last now much smaller group slipped out of sight.

It was the perfect day to go and watch this fantastic sight. Amazingly only one other person even seemed aware of the action she joined me early into the show and we enjoyed it togather from then on going our seperate ways at the end in the early dark.


  1. WOW Zoe, what a gorgeous sunset xxxx

  2. Hi Zoe, sorry I missed you. The "active" pier is called "the Palace Pier" and the "wrecked" one is the "West Pier". Next time eh!

    Feb pic by the way.

    Burnice x

  3. this is one gorgoues sunset hun loved reading all about it too love cheryl xxxx

  4. wow lucky you looks fab

    liz xx

  5. Great photo Zoe and what wonderful descriptive writing. It is quite poetical. Think you missed your vocation hun! xx

  6. What a fantastic evening that turned out to be Zoe. Love the sunset photo and would love to see the bird ones. Have really enjoyed reading your narrative

    X Hilda

  7. Sounds amazing Zoe. We have flocks of birds doing this over our house in the spring but they are very noisy, although the show is something to watch. They can be very messy though!!


  8. How wonderful that must have been Zoe. Love the photograph of the gorgeous sunset xx


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