Friday, November 30, 2012

Soaking It In

I spent time out Cockerham way today, much of it taking in the spectacular sight and sounds of the grey geese and Whooper Swans, with another huge count of swans and this time many thousands of Pink-footed Geese. The count today - 11,000 Pink-footed Goose, 570 Whooper Swans and 15 Greylag Goose. 

They were packed tight today, the large, heavy, quarrelsome and hyperactive Whooper Swans to the fore and the slow, purposeful, marching, feeding grey geese to the rear. The main action centred upon the previously soggy depression in the peaty-black field, the dip in the ground a minor landscape feature which now before our very eyes changes to a sizeable pond, to later bear a passing resemblance to a muddy lagoon. 

Pink-footed Goose and Whooper Swan

Every so often a noisy farm vehicle would pass by, a prompt to quieten the swans, causing a number to stop feeding and check everything was OK, always leaving others to continue feeding; there are always enough lookouts to ensure a quick escape if needs be; a tried and trusted system of some millennia. 

Whooper Swan

If the swans are sensibly wary the geese are impossibly fearful; anxious and permanently on edge, hardly daring to relax and feed, the same transitory farm vehicles sending the birds off in waves of panicky flight to further away. 

Pink-footed Goose

Pink-footed Goose

 Greylag Goose

After such noteworthy spectacles the mundane birds of Cockerham Moss are something of an anti-climax: 30 Chaffinch, 10+ Tree Sparrow, 6 Redwing, 4 Skylark, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Kestrel, 1 Little Egret, 1200 Starlings. 


Plenty of waders on the fields at the Gulf Lane end - 240 Curlew, 330 Lapwing and 40 + Redshank. 


That’s another day done on Another Bird Blog. Log in soon for another day somewhere.

This week Another Bird Blog is linking to I'd Rather Be Birding, Stewart's Photo Gallery, and Weekly Top Shot so take a look there too.


eileeninmd said...

Wow, amazing numbers of geese. What a cool sight to see, Phil! I would have love being there to see the geese and the swans. The starling shot is beautiful, the colors are gorgeous. Great post and photos. Have a great weekend and Happy Birding!

Kay L. Davies said...

Interesting behavioral differences between the geese and the swans, Phil, and your starling and curlew photos are both much detail and colour on the starling, and the curlew on the wing.

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...Yup I am still alive ; )
Wow that bunch of Geese,and Whoopers is probably what the crowds look like at the front door of our Walmart on Black Friday ( which I am sure you have heard of) !! : } There sure are some pretty crazy people over here haha!! Sure glad I am not one of them!!; }
I like that photo of the long white necks all at attention..that's pretty cool!!
That must be quite a beautiful and noisy sight to see that field full like that ,I have never seen anything like that!!
You know the names of those waders would have made good names for a few of Santa's Reindeer ; }
Crazy Gracie

Paco Sales said...

Que bella estampa la del estornino amigo mío, y mucho tiempo sin pasar a visitarte aúnque te sigo muy d ecerca Phil, un gran abrazo para ti amigo

Gary Jones said...

great post Phil, there is nothing better to see or hear than a large flock of geese taking to the air!

Gary said...

Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

TexWisGirl said...

wow! huge flocks! love the starling portrait, too!

Black Jack's Carol said...

This was a fascinating read. Thank you! I've always thought people underestimate the beauty and intelligence of Starlings. Your photo was particularly wonderful!

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, I knew it was your starling as soon as I saw the thumbnail on the Camera Critters meme. Those colours are fabulous, Phil.

Rebecca said...

I'm not a fan of starlings, but that photo is beautiful! Great shot!

Anni said...

My goodness!!! I don't think I'd ever want to leave this area. Such a sight to behold. And the count...just boggles my mind. Terrific captures. And the lone've managed to capture its iridescent colors! Marvelous.

Thanks for linking up this week at the Bird D'Pot. Have a glorious week ahead!

news said...

Hi Phil: A real privelige to see so many Geese & Swans Bt&I spent nearly 2hrs just watching the interaction between the two species what I call birdwatching All the best JWB.

Larry said...

Great post Phil. Those large flocks of waterfowl are always intriguing aren't they? And noisy too. I love all the in-flight shots you took but I must say, the shot of the European Starling is simply gorgeous! Wow!

Rohrerbot said...

I had to blow your pictures up to see all the detail. These are not at all common around here...well except the super common Starling. I'll be going to a preserve like this in about 3 weeks and I can't wait to see all the birds! THanks for sharing your fun with us. Chris

bettyl said...

Such lovely birds to see. Even the common ones are wonderful to watch.

Modesto Viegas said...

Very good captures!!!

Island Rambles Blog said...

very beautiful and interesting shots, I love the vast diversity of birds we share in our world. There sure is a large group of birds resting there. cheers

Choy Wai Mun said...

What a sight! You are lucky to have such a high concentration of waterbirds to enjoy. Great images, Phil.

Anonymous said...

WOW, amazing shots... I'm always in awe of those who can shoot birds so successfully... Thank you for sharing on Weekly Top Shot #59!

Wally Jones said...

Spectacular numbers of geese and swans! Really nice images all around. The geese in flight is special.

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