Sunday, 7 April 2013

Geese and Curlew

The pair return, or perhaps new Greylag Geese coming in to feed and check out the local nesting site potential.  The fields have been busy with geese, ducks and Curlew, all calling and talking over each other - a hauntingly beautiful sound-track and my 'background' music whilst working!

The Curlew's call particularly is a wonderful sound - just pierces the air and builds up in a huge warbling, ringing scale, leaving you feel elated.

They are clearly pairing up and I've seen what look like squabbles (I imagine over females or territory).

It doesn't take much before they're all up into the air, taking flight for a reason I cannot see, but something spooked them.  The geese fly a short distance and then land and resume feeding.

Something I've never seen before when geese are in flight is whiffling.  This is when they come in to land from a great height and involves the bird twisting and turning to spill air from its wings and thus lowering its speed prior to landing.  

This is a beautiful image of a Greylag Goose whiffling!

Image courtesy Brian MacFarlane

It is so whiffled that it looks like it is flying upside down - an incredible display of mid-flight acrobatics

1 comment:

  1. whiffling, now thats a term to wonder at!! Sounds like me after a glass of wine! ;0) I've been enjoying your previous posts too. Looking forward to spring arriving eventually over here in the are you faring?


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