Those birds were on TV yesterday, flying around in huge flocks in Gujo Hachiman – a town in Gifu, a bit north of our country place. According to the announcer they were bramblings (アトリ in Japanese), which seemed about right, except that I thought they had a crest on their heads… Anyway they were flying around in these huge flocks – some 900,000 said the local expert – making an amazing whooshing noise. Our flock might not have been quite that big but there were certainly enough of them. Migrants from the Asian continent apparently, so we won’t be seeing any more for a while once they head back for the summer.
This is the avatar I use on various places on the web - you might possibly run into it somewhere.