Nov. 26, 2023 under overcast skies, wind SSE at 4MPH with gusts, temp 41F; sunset time 4:14PM

On Crow Patrol with first looks along Merrimack Street and then up to rooftop of parking garage with incoming flight streams from SE. these flight streams bypassed the B&D roof area and went on the area around the National Grid substation. Image at 19 minutes post sunset time.

Moved to center of the Duck Bridge as massive flight streams were arriving from the east and downriver with loud vocalizations starting about 20 minutes after sunset time. By 30 minutes after sunset time, quite a buildup of Crows perched in trees on east side of Duck Bridge. In typical form, the growing numbers burst into a momentary flight out over the Merrimack River, with the Rt. 495 Bridge in the distant background, and back into the trees. Image at 32 minutes post sunset time.

At the same time large numbers of Crows converged into the trees along the river, and we experienced the same loud flight bursts over the river. Image at 33 minutes post sunset time.

It was quite a sight to observe so many flight bursts on both sides of the bridge and out over of the river. For 250+ yards, in the trees west of the New Balance building, the Crows were perched in a final, final staging location, and these crows also made flight bursts. This is all part of settling in around the overnight roost. It is an impressive sight with the fading light against the flowing Merrimack River, the distant cityscape, and the uplights on the Casey Bridge. Image at 40 minutes post sunset time. Dazzling flight action as the overall numbers continue to increase in the roost!

Note on counts/estimates: we are now using improved methods for counting the large number of Crows while streaming, staging, and in the roost. For all images, we use both a modified open source counting software program, as well as a hand count approach, while outside next to the roost, to carefully document our observations and to significantly increase reliability and accuracy of the presented numbers. Please refer to our new roost counting guide on main page.

The Canon mirrorless cameras with the RF 50mm f/1.2 lens and the RF 28-70mm F2 excel in low-light conditions, blending versatile focal lengths with an ultra-wide aperture. Both focal lengths work extremely well in very low light conditions, while the f/1.2  and F2 aperture settings and other manual camera settings ensure exceptional performance in low light conditions, offering stunning clear, and aesthetically pleasing images, making them ideal for the challenging very low light conditions around the overnight roost.

Remember to check out the latest Crow Patrol Podcast with John Macone (Merrimack River Watershed Council):

Photo gear used for most outings:

Canon EOS 80D with Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS 

Canon EOS 80D with Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (Infrared)     

Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless with Canon RF 28-70 f/2 L IS USM 

Canon EOS R6 II Mirrorless with Canon RF 50 f/1.2 L USM 

Sony AX700 4K HDR Camcorder

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