The Jackdaw Roost at Sunset – In Sound & Motion!

On boxing day I watched a jackdaw roost at sunset on the edge of Corfe Mullen. A couple of days later I went back with my video camera and sound recorder to try and capture some of the atmosphere.  This is what happened…

Jackdaw Roost

As I climbed up Mountain Clump hill at 4pm there wasn’t a bird in the sky. After about 15 minutes I started to wonder if what I’d seen on Boxing Day had been a complete fluke and the jackdaws were now roosting somewhere else. Maybe they move to a different roost every night? I suddenly realised how little I knew about jackdaws.

It was a gorgeous afternoon. Cold and crisp without a cloud in the sky. So I decided to set up the camera and wait. The birds behind me in the gorse were tucking themselves up for the night and a few seagulls drifted in and out of view but I needn’t have worried more birds were on the way.

I heard them before I saw them. A small flock of 20 jackdaws calling to each other as they flew in the direction of the woods. More flocks arrived. Swooping, circling and shouting there heads off as they greeted each other at the end of another hard day of foraging on the fields.

Soon the din was unbelievable and the massive flock of birds rose and fell like a roller-coaster, their fluid, rhythmic twists and turns keeping me rooted to the spot.  Staring into the pink sky with my mouth open and a big grin on my face I decided this had to be high up on my list of amazing wildlife spectacles.

Here’s the video – it’s under 2 mins long. Make sure you have the sound turned on. I really hope you enjoy it!

Vodpod videos no longer available.


35 thoughts on “The Jackdaw Roost at Sunset – In Sound & Motion!

  1. Well captured, Jane 😀

    You must be thrilled with this! A great start to the year. Mm… a tricky one for you to follow though but I’m sure you are up to the challenge 😀

  2. Hi Jane,

    Absoloutely fantastic post. Loved the video. Jackdaws can be amazing to watch when they circle like that. I hope you see some more amazing wildlife in the year to come,

  3. Pingback: Jackdaw Roost in Sound and Motion... - Wildlife and Environment Forums

  4. Thanks Shirl. Yes, I know… how do I follow that? Lots of things I’d love to film in 2009 but whether I will have the skill, time and patience is the big question. Let’s hope so… Jane

  5. Hi Joe. Glad you liked the video. They are amazing – I keep finding myself being drawn back to them night after night. Good luck with your blog this year. I will be popping in to see what you have seen. Jane

  6. I’ve never ever seen/heard a jackdaw roost – spectacular stuff, excellent filming too.

    Just catching up with all your recent posts – wonderful.
    All the very best for 2009 Jane. xxx

  7. Hi Maggie. It’s a great sound… especially when they fly right over the top of you. I was a bit worried I might get a bit “splattered” though! 🙂

  8. Jane,
    As usual your posts are very well put together. I’ve started trying to take youradvice about including more picture on my latest post! I would like to know more about how you find WordPress and also the Nature Blog Ring.
    Incidentally apart from leaving a comment on one of your posts I cant see any other way to contact you with these more general questions.

  9. Hi David. Thank you for your comment. I have replied in more depth by email. I think your latest blog post looks great. Look forward to reading your blog in 2009!

  10. Hi Doug (and Anna), Ha! ha! very funny! I thought the commentary would add an extra something… not sure what quite, but I hoped it would make it a bit more personal – it’s difficult to get that across in just photos and words sometimes. Now that I’ve heard myself though (God don’t I sound like a “yokel”!) I may not do it again 🙂 Jane

  11. I just saw your last comment Jane and wanted to say I thought your commentary sounded great – unfussy, personal and yet professional at the same time. I do quite a bit of telly and radio and hearing one’s own voice is always a shock – I can assure you you’ve nothing at all to worry about! Paula xx

  12. Oh thanks Paula that’s really sweet of you. Yes, I know what you mean. You never hear yourself as others hear you… I was on a local radio programme recently and I made the mistake of listening to it when I got home. I just didn’t recognise myself. Weird! Jane x

  13. Hi Jane, taken me a few days to catch up with your Jackdaw footage but well worth the wait. I’ve only ever seen that number of Jackdaws at Slimbridge, but this is a much better spectacle. And like a previous comment said, nice to hear the commentary. Nice posting and thanks for sharing, hope one day to see this for real.

  14. Hi Andrew. Really glad you enjoyed it. Well now that you have seen the 3D map of my Patch you will know exactly where you need to stand to see the jackdaws! Jane

  15. What a wonderful piece of film! And it reminds me that I need to edit together my film of starlings of Brighton Pier 🙂 I don’t live nearby any great roosting flocks and I really envy you for getting to see this spectacle not once but twice. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  16. Bird. I’ve got some film of starlings as well.. which I haven’t edited yet. Maybe we should both have a go at doing them and put them up at the same time 🙂

  17. Pingback: The Jackdaw Roost at Sunset - In Sound & Motion! Video

  18. Hello,

    my name is Dieter Deswarte and I’m a documentary filmmaker who is based in London. At the moment I’m working on a film that can be best described as a documentary about a story. Basically I wrote a script that is based on the memories of 5 different people who are now performing this story in the way of a chinese whisper. One part of the story talked about how someone had seen a large starling roost and was so fascinated by it, now somehow through my chinese whisper the starling flock has turned into a rook flock. So I wanted to see if I could film some rooks to contrast them with the starlings I had shot earlier this year. Unfortunately I discovered that there are not so many around anymore. Therefor I wondered if perhaps you would be interested in sharing the footage that you shot with me as it looks absolutely incredible and would like to feature it in my upcoming film.
    If you would be interested in helping me then please don’t hesitate to contact me.
    Some more information about this film and the work I’ve done before you can find on my website:

    I am looking forward hearing from you
    thank you for your consideration

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