Flocks are my weakness.
I love to watch the grandeur and sweep, the beauty of wings in flight, the triumph of nature that thousands of birds represent.
So though I'm not happy that the days are getting shorter, the weather colder, the skies cloudier, I'm thrilled that this is the one time of year when I see huge flocks in Pittsburgh.
The excitement begins an hour before sunset. Outdoors I look up to see groups of twenty to forty birds all flying in the same direction. They're American robins and they're heading for the roost.
The robins keep coming, the groups get larger, but they will not land here. On and on they come... and pass me by. It hardly looks like a flock, but they're moving together intent on their destination.
They look like pepper in the sky.
(photo by Tom Pawlesh of American robins circling the roost in Carnegie last winter.)