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Friday, 30 September 2016

The geese at low tide

Over the Labour Day weekend, Canada geese returned to our shores and fields from their summer excursion to the north. Here they will fatten up in preparation for their journey south which usually begins in late December. 

Somehow, they have marked their internal calendars to return to Prince Edward Island when the fields are ready to be harvested. Soon, they will flock to the fields in our neighbourhood after the crops have been removed. We hear them before we see their V configuration in the sky. We are often drawn outside to watch them.

Not leaving anything to chance this year, we decided to spend some time watching the geese at low tide in the harbour at Summerside.

 

There they feed on seaweed which is abundant and fresh at low tide. Camera at the ready, I walked in the red mud flats, amid the pools of water near the geese. Along the way, I saw some sandpipers on the beach 

 

and blue herons take flight.

 

Although I was anxious to capture the geese in flight, I did not want to disturb the flock.

 

Later, rather than approach them, I stood on shore opposite their preferred area and observed them for an hour. There were hundreds of geese in the mud flats out to the channel through the harbour.

 

While I was there, a vessel, either a Canadian Coast Guard or Fisheries Patrol vessel came into the harbour. I hoped the birds would take flight, but even those near the channel ignored the vessel as it cruised in the bay. 

 

Some geese moved around the bay during that hour,

 

in small flocks, often noisy as they flew. When stood, they faced into the southerly breeze, 

 

stood on one leg, with the second leg tucked under their upper bodies. Often their heads were tucked down as well. They showed tremendous balance and strength.


On occasion an argument broke out, with one bird noisy and aggressive towards another,

 

 neck extended, to nip at the other. Arguments didn't appear to last long but bullies are not limited to the human species.

 

The time passed all too quickly as I watched, feet wet, camera busy. Next time I'll bring my rubber boots and a tripod.

 
 

22 comments:

  1. Noisy messy things most of the time, but I really like to see them flying overhead in the V formation. Hundreds of them around here, in the cornfields, and even on the lawns outside the hospital yesterday.

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    1. I love to see and hear them. I know I'd complain if they landed on our lawn though.

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  2. Haven't noticed any geese leaving Alberta yet. I'm sure they'll start departing in October though.

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    1. They leave there earlier than they leave here.

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  3. We have Canada geese here year round. They aren't a much loved bird, so it's probably best they are ubiquitous.

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  4. We have some that are too lazy to fly south for the winter. Silly birds.

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    1. Who wouldn't want to fly south? Silly birds indeed.

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  5. In reply to your comment on my blog about the pool, I think the idea of a dog swim is terrific, I am going to suggest it to the pool manager for next year!

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  6. What a wonderful, wonderful day. It would have been heart balm for me - despite the wet feet.
    Thank you.

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    1. It was a great day,EC. Wish you could come with me next time.

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  7. I once had a goose (not a Canada goose) lower his head and come at me like that. I turned and ran, screaming! It's quite intimidating. Great pictures! :-)

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    1. Lol. That would be frightening, Jan. They must be able to nip very hard.

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  8. The low tide gives plenty of gifts to those birds. What a paradise!I love to see them flying and flapping!

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    1. It is joyous to watch them, Tomoko.

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  9. Oh, such great photos! Nature is just spectacular! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Thabk you, Angela. It was a joyous time!

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  11. Beautiful images we used to have a flock of Canadian geese that appeared in August and stayed most of the winter. It was always an amazing sight and sound as they flew inland to feed in the fields. Sarah x

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  12. I love these creatures. I could watch them all day.

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  13. ah you write beautifully the whole story of their journey ,thank you for this lovely sharing
    enjoyed these wonderful photos so much

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post, baili.

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