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10 thoughts on “A ‘U’ turn over Hampton Lucy, Warwickshire, UK.”

  1. Laurence Green avatar Laurence Green says:

    As an ornithologist I can certainly vouch for the silhouette as definitely not being a crow. The “wings”, in relation to the elongated heavy body, are far too short. The silhouette, given its size in relation to the cloud and ground ,would translate to a really huge, huge bird of Condor size.

    Crows have large “flappy” wings and short bodies. They are big heavy birds (highly intelligent at that) so they maximise their precious energy when flying by proceeding dead straight with no wavering on their onward path. That is why the old English saying comes about:- “To fly straight as a crow”. Also, crows do not fly that high up – to do so would serve no purpose and cost them dearly for energy spent. They are not a bird of prey, they are carrion feeders and that means easy food pickings, especially where human beings are about and discarding easy-to-get food etc.

    I am an aviation enthusiast of some 5o years plus. I know aircraft and helicopters like the back of my hand. This is definitely a helicopter. The silhouette is really high up in the sky. At that height, as said, the “crow” or any other bird would be of huge size.

    Fascinating the correspondence this marvellous photo has provoked. Love it!


  2. Laurence Green avatar Laurence Green says:

    I think the answer lies in the silhouette of the “aircraft” – it is a helicopter. The stubby sponsors / spoontoons for wheel coverings on the craft are not the large slender wings as evinced on a passenger etc aircraft. Maybe if it were hovering over the same spot for some time the powerful downdraft of the helicopter’s rotor blades may have caused this peculiar cloud formation to occur.


  3. The explanation for this formation is an aircraft circling in a holding pattern before coming in to land – probably, in this case, at Birmingham International Airport. When a plane flies through a layer of cloud made of water droplets that are supercooled, the turbulence from the wings can encourage the droplets to start to freeze into ice crystals. As they do, they grow large enough to descend as fallstreaks. The repeated pattern here is no doubt due to the nature of the wing vortices. Often, a gap is left in the layer of cloud where the droplets have frozen and fallen below. I guess if the layer is thick enough, this gap might not appear at first.
    That’s my opinion on the image. Let me know, anyone else, if you think differently!

  4. Laurence Green avatar Laurence Green says:

    I think this is a job for “Dick Barton – Special Agent” to investigate and report back!


  5. Joan H. Laurino avatar Joan H. says:

    Bazaar is the word for this one!! The bits of dark clouds are keeping in a circle. Thanks, James for taking this most unusual photo!

  6. Laurence Green avatar Laurence Green says:

    Highly peculiar! Never ever seen anything resembling this. Baffling stuff!

    Thanks, James, for the sharing of this truly unusual phenomenon.


  7. Raquel Rodríguez Navarro avatar Raquel Rodríguez Navarro says:

    Wow and wow and wow!!!

  8. Nienke Lantman avatar Nienke Lantman says:

    Lovely! Just great to see this.

  9. Adolfo Garcia-Marin avatar Adolfo Garcia-Marin says:

    Never seen before. Any explanation?

  10. Hans Stocker avatar Hans says:

    Fantastic picture! Is there an explanation for this strange phenomenon?

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