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Wow -fire balls in the sky?

(38 Posts)
MamaCaz Fri 10-Aug-18 08:06:24

Yesterday evening, I saw the most wonderful optical illusion.

There had been rain, the sky was dark and there was a lovely rainbow.
That in itself drew our attention, because for a rainbow you need sunshine, and from our viewpoint there was no sign of sunshine (obviously, it was behind us, on the other side of the house, but largely obscured by cloud anyway.

While gazing in wonder at the rainbow, something amazing happened: balls of fire, like screwed up balls of burning paper, appeared from nowhere, crossing the sky between us and the end of the rainbow. Dozens of them, each one flickering with yellow, orange and gold!

This only lasted for about ten seconds, I guess, and it took me most of that time to work out what was causing this illusion: Birds.
I don't know what sort of birds they were, but the sun's rays catching on their bodies and wings was what created this.

I have never seen anything like it - it was breathtaking!

OldMeg Fri 10-Aug-18 08:45:36

It’s aliens!

MiniMoon Fri 10-Aug-18 09:47:34

Wow! Do you know what breed of birds they were?

MiniMoon Fri 10-Aug-18 09:48:44

Sorry, reread your post. I wonder if they were starlings going off to roost.

ContraryMary88 Fri 10-Aug-18 09:49:45

The chances of anything living on Mars are a million to one they said.

And still they come.....ooooooo ooooo ooooooo.

Scary, are you still sure they were birds?

MamaCaz Fri 10-Aug-18 09:58:15

Unfortunately, they were so well disguised by the 'fire' effect that it was impossible to tell what sort of birds they were, and there was no way of gauging how far away they were, so I couldn't even guess their size.

I watched a while in the hope of a repeat performance, but by the time more birds flew across that same bit of sky (only minutes later), whatever combination of factors had created the illusion had gone, and all I saw was a black bird silhouette. sad

Bathsheba Fri 10-Aug-18 10:00:49

Sounds fantastic - in the literal sense of that word, I mean smile. If only you'd been able to video it!

MamaCaz Fri 10-Aug-18 10:03:30

In the ten or so seconds that this lasted, I just had time to focus on the whitish flashes within the balls of fire, and work out that it was a reflection from the wings as they rose, so yes, I am sure they were birds - though they could have been alien birds, I suppose, rather than our usual Earth type grin

HootyMcOwlface Fri 10-Aug-18 10:05:46

Or flying saucers disguised as birds!

MamaCaz Fri 10-Aug-18 10:13:38

Bathsheba, yes, if only - I thought the same myself, but I am glad I didn't miss any of it by rushing in to try to get my phone. There is no way I could have got it (and set it to video) in the time that this lasted.

ninathenana Fri 10-Aug-18 10:50:57

My guess would be starlings, their pllluma can be iridescent in certain light.
I'd love to have seen this.

ninathenana Fri 10-Aug-18 10:52:14

My stupid phone "plumage"

Eloethan Fri 10-Aug-18 11:29:49

That sounds fantastic.

goldengirl Fri 10-Aug-18 12:22:07

What a wonderful sight that must have been. How lucky you saw it

Fennel Fri 10-Aug-18 12:25:49

Fantastic indeed! You can get some wonderful skies at times of storms, the clouds are full of electricity.

SueDonim Fri 10-Aug-18 13:17:50

How amazing!

Blinko Sat 11-Aug-18 09:13:44


AlieOxon Sat 11-Aug-18 09:40:14

Wish I had seen this!

janeainsworth Sat 11-Aug-18 09:46:03

Meteor showers Mamacaz?
I'm hoping to see them tonight. It was cloudy here last night.

janeainsworth Sat 11-Aug-18 09:47:04

Sorry just seen your post Blinko.

Blinko Sat 11-Aug-18 10:16:59

Thanks for the link, Janea. That was my first thought. I've never seen birds that shine in the sun....

Luckygirl Sat 11-Aug-18 10:46:23

How wonderful - isn't it brilliant when things suddenly come together in such a beautiful way.

We are very lucky to have huge windows round our living room and a distant view - every might the sunset is a joy - and every night it is different. Very exciting.

When I am running my singing group each week, people keep breaking off to get up and look at the sunset!

Luckygirl Sat 11-Aug-18 10:46:49


Eilyann70 Sat 11-Aug-18 10:48:43

Years ago DH and I, lazing by a hotel pool in the Med, were entranced by the lovely blue birds flying over - until we realised they were pigeons with their plumage reflecting the blue of the pool! Romance gone! (And no we hadn't been on the G&T's!)

EmilyHarburn Sat 11-Aug-18 12:01:57

MamaCaz thank you for sharing this experience. How wonderful nature is. Such a beautiful description. it will stay with me. Thank you