Monday, 20 February 2012
.....and the birds of the air........
There is something magical about the sound of geese flying, the leader calling and a follower from the ranks replying, as they constantly re-align and reposition themselves in a perfect V.
I assume the leader checks that his 'troops' are in formation by the direction from which the answering cry comes.
For this huge convoy to pass in total darkness is beautiful but quite eerie and the oddness of the sound just goes to heighten the affect.
A bird lover all my life, it is only since I retired that I have had time to really appreciate what a huge difference these fascinating creatures make to everyday life. Since becoming involved with the British Trust for Ornithology Garden Birdwatch scheme I have paid ever closer attention to sound, colour, habits and all things birdy.
I posted about a visiting woodpecker a few weeks ago, have since had my usual winter contingent of reed buntings, and today, for the first time for many years a male blackcap.
My garden is small, but i feed the birds all year round, varying what I give them according to the season and prevailing weather conditions. My reward is a hugely varied stream of feathered visitors and all it takes to gather these riches is a glance through my back door a dozen or so times a day.
Recording these visits takes only a second (I have drawn up a daily record sheet which lives on a kitchen work-surface) and I keep binoculars handy at all times.
This information is recorded weekly, then returned quarterly to BTO headquarters and thus a reliable count is kept by all the countrywide participants.
Since the lovely geese were unseen and merely doing a fly-past, not a pit-stop they will go unrecorded except here.
There are so many lovely creatures in our world, it's a pity they get less attention than the not so lovely ones.