Home » Solar storm may have caused Welsh bird mass-deaths
Pembrokeshire West Wales

Solar storm may have caused Welsh bird mass-deaths

THERE seems to be yet no credible explanation from experts as to why hundreds of swallows fell out of the sky dead in the Pembrokeshire village of Waterston last week.

But looking at the phenomenon globally, The Herald has noted that there have been similar incidents in other parts of the world, including in South America.

Security camera footage recorded a chilling sight that involved hundreds of yellow-headed blackbirds crashing down from the sky and dying in mysterious circumstances in Mexico.

In the aftermath of what could be described as a scene similar to a horror movie, bird carcasses could be seen scattered across a street in Cuauhtémoc city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, reported local newspapers.

Speaking of the incidents locally, a spokesperson from the county council said: “We received a call at around 9pm on Thursday, February 10 regarding a number of dead Starlings on the Hazelbeach Road, Waterston.

“Officers attended the site and there were around 200 starlings found dead on the road. The authority undertook a clean-up and removed the dead birds from site.

“There is no clear indication as to the cause of these deaths. We have reported the incident to the Animal and Plant Health Agency.”

On the same day as the mystery bird deaths, SpaceX lost dozens of satellites after they were hit by a geomagnetic storm a day after launch, causing them to fall from orbit and burn up on the same day.

Such solar “storms” are caused by powerful explosions on the sun’s surface, which spit out plasma and magnetic fields that can hit the Earth.

The company, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, said up to 40 of 49 satellites from last week’s launch were hit.

They had been due to join its Starlink satellite internet project.

Starlink is Mr Musk’s bid to provide high-speed internet using thousands of orbiting satellites.

The system is relatively expensive but can be used in places where wired connections cannot. For example, in Tonga, where January’s earthquake severed the island’s nation’s undersea data cable, a Starlink station is being built in nearby Fiji to help restore access.

The latest 49 satellites were deployed about 210km (130 miles) above the Earth’s surface. SpaceX said “each satellite achieved controlled flight” after being sent up on 3 February.

However, a day later, the geomagnetic storm hit the Earth. It is the same kind of mechanism that creates aurorae like the Northern Lights, but it can have dangerous effects too.

This storm warmed up the atmosphere and made it much denser than expected.