Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Low fast flying object

Crows in a treeWalking along a street, I was rudely woken from a day dream by an odd sight. In front of me 'something' suddenly appeared, flying silently just a few centimetres above the ground and then, in less than a second, it was gone again! The 'something' was brown in colour, tiny (maybe a few centimetres across) and moving very quickly. It is not the sort of thing you see every day and I admit I was baffled.

I tried to see the object again and was able to glimpse 'it' several more times. Indeed, 'it' flew past again, twice, nearly hitting me. I say 'it' but I quickly realised that the 'object' was actually two things. It comprised one House Sparrow chasing another at high speed. I suspect it was a territorial dispute of some kind.

As a birder, I've seen birds behave like this before. What took me by surprise was how close they came. Clearly they were more interested in their dispute than in my presence which would, normally, have made them keep their distance. However, if they hadn't returned, I might still not know what I was looking at.

Someone with less experience of natural history would be forgiven for being totally baffled by this odd sight. Of course, many people may not have even noticed it. Most people pay little attention to their surroundings, particularly in familiar locations. So when people DO notice something unusual, but natural, there is a higher probability that they will consider it anomalous.

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