Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Unusual flocks of black and white sparrow size birds

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Unusual flocks of black and white sparrow size birds


    Wasn't sure if this is advanced or not, but here goes... I would like some help to identify some birds I've seen out and about in Brum, and I am convinced they are not native birds. I wondered if anyone else had come across them? You'll have to forgive my ignorance if this is a really obvious one, I'm very new to all this!

    I first noticed these little guys last christmas, gathered in a HUGE flock in a tree in the middle of Birmingham city centre one evening shortly after dusk.

    They not only look different to any birds I've seen, but they behave and sound different. They are very acrobatic and fast, and they have a high pitched twittering a little like a budgie or similar. Also they flock in much bigger groups than tits, wagtails, sparrows or similar.

    Since then I've seen them in several other places - parks etc, and this evening a big gang of them were on the feeder in our garden, again at dusk, in the pouring rain.

    They are about the size of a sparrow, with a long tail with about three distinctive verticle black and white stripe. Colour is hard to tell really, a bit like a coal tit/ great tit? Grey, black, white, maybe a little yellow or green? Sorry, don't have a photo as it was too grey and rainy to come out well. The most distictive thing is the noise and the way they move and flock together.

    Any ideas anyone? I am really intrigued by these little guys, would love to find out more.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Long Tailed Tits


  3. #3
    Senior Member mafting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Sounds like Long-tailed Tit. Their calls are distinctive, a high thin 'see-see-see' and another that is a rapid series of little clicks or tuts.

    They are usually in groups of about 6-10, and do visit feeders.

    But your "huge" flock in a tree in town just after dusk sounds a lot like a roost of Pied Wagtails, which characteristically roost in trees under street lights in the middle of towns. They make a lot of twittering noises, but don't hang off feeders. Long-tailed Tits wouldn't been in a huge flock, or visible after dusk, as they tuck up for bed in the middle of thickets in small groups.

    So it sounds like you saw two superficially similar, but different, groups of birds.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007



    These will probably be Pied Wagtails which seem to have a liking for roosts in well-lit areas - around Norwich they are (or have been) in the city centre, out of town retail parks, service stations and Cantley beet factory for example and behave in very much the way you have described The roost in plane trees in Brigg Street (sheltered on 3 sides by 3-4 storey buildings) peaked at nearly 1600 birds in Feb 1999 apparently largely oblivious to the large number of shoppers below (per Justin Lansdell)

    David Russell

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    apparently largely oblivious to the large number of shoppers below
    Not enjoying a bit of target practice?

Similar Threads

  1. Black and White duck/loon, large round white spot
    By junponline in forum Advanced Bird Identification Q&A
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: February 14th, 2012, 10:01 PM
  2. Sparrow size bird with black and white barred tail at Seasalter beach
    By Cherrian in forum Beginner Bird Identification Q&A
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: June 12th, 2011, 01:29 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: October 31st, 2010, 08:01 AM
  4. White Throated Sparrow
    By darrenjhughes in forum Britain and Ireland Rare Birds
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: April 17th, 2009, 06:09 PM
  5. white-throated sparrow
    By Jon Barber in forum Britain and Ireland Rare Birds
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 6th, 2008, 12:35 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts