Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Where do the Geese Spend Their Day?

We live in a rural area, up one side of a valley at the bottom of which runs a tidal river (further up-stream, past the sluice gates it's not so tidal after that and becomes freshwater - I've never worked out how that works, I'll be honest).  To the south-east, around ten miles away, is the sea between Harwich/Dovercourt and Walton-on-the-Naze.  Between those two seaside towns is an area of marshland.

Each year, at some point in August, we find ourselves being woken up or disturbed by a familiar noise.  It's the honking of geese as they fly overhead from the marshes to the river.

This year, there seem to be more geese than usual and they come across in the morning towards the river and they're a fantastic sight.  They come over in waves, as though they're aeroplanes on a bombing mission.

I've tried in the past to take photos of them using my little Nikon, but by the time I've got them in frame and depressed the shutter, they've gone, or they're blurry.

No more though.  My new Canon camera has a sport mode where I just press the shutter button and it takes shot after shot after shot until I take my finger off.

These two photos were taken one evening just as dusk was starting to fall and the geese were flying back from their day's activities towards the marshes, where we assume they settle overnight.

Greylag Geese, according to my husband but I think some of them are Canada Geese

One 'Battalion'
I've often wondered where they go during the day.  Is it up-river to Dedham, or further afield?

As it turns out, it's neither.

The week before last I took my camera with me when I popped down to our town so I could have a wander and click what took my fancy.  There's a bank with a path that runs behind the Co-Op supermarket, giving views over the centre of our little town, across to Suffolk and down-river to Harwich and Felixstowe (unless it's overcast we can see the cranes of Felixstowe dock).  I walked along, watching some swans gracefully swimming by and then I saw them.

Waddling out of the water onto the mud bank
When I looked to my left, this was the sight:

I think I mentioned there have been a lot of them this year!

So, that's answered my question of where they go during the day.  Just down the road, onto the river, with the trains going past behind them.

Last Wednesday I dropped DD1 off at the train station so she could get the 7.02am train (she has a music activity before school on a Weds) and then drove to the shop so I could pick up something I needed for DD2's lunch and as I walked back to my car I heard some geese in the distance.  I stopped and looked up and then watched as they flew across the car park, very low.  So low in fact that I could hear the sound their wings made as they flapped.

It's a very special sight to behold and I must remember to appreciate that the area where I live gives me the opportunity to see them on a regular basis.

(PS.  I tried to make the photos bigger, but they made the layout skewiff, so if you click on a photo, they'll come up much bigger).

1 comment:

  1. I love that very first picture - the others are nice too, but I love the first one best! xx