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15.11.13 Pigeons on the move

20 November 2013 | Posted in Hedgehogs

From Robert Hill:

"On the morning of 15th November, between the hours of 7.30am and 8.30am, I observed many flocks of wood pigeon totalling close on 2,000 moving in a northerly direction across the race-course in Lewes.  On the Sussex Ornithological Society website there were several reports, one estimating 4,000 birds. 


Somebody thought it may be racing pigeons being released and I wondered if you knew what might have been happening.  I have never seen so many pigeons all at once in 50 years of bird watching."

At this time of year there are large flocks of woodpigeons migrating through Sussex.

Daytime pigeon migration can be seen throughout October and November and, when they are being pushed by a cold front, these numbers can reach impressive proportions.

There have been previous counts of 70,000 pigeons seen at Beachy Head over the period 19 Oct - 5 Nov 1975 which includes an estimated 30,000 seen on Nov 2nd.

It seems that most of these birds are not British and are moving from Northern Europe down to France and Spain via the eastern parts of Britain.

On top of this our swelling resident woodpigeon population will also be seen in flocks at this time of year.

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