Friday, 8 October 2010

700 migrating Brent Geese over Shadoxhurst

First image shows an unaided eye view as the Geese flying south high overhead.

Perhaps there's nothing more stirring in nature than the sight of migrating Geese heading south in Autumn. But I now know there is something better, and that's when it's the first time you see it happening over your own back garden - miles away from where these birds should be. (at least I thought they followed the coastline on migration).

I still I have to pinch myself as I write this, but today, at 1.15pm on clear skys and a south easterly wind, a broad front of Brent Geese moved south at perhaps 1000 - 200om height, flying directly over the garden. I grabbed my camera and wife Sian to witness. I then changed a lense and a card in seconds - took a few pictures in seconds ... and then gone in seconds! Luckily the second wave flew over perhaps 5 minutes apart, again at a great height and they too were soon flying south into the sun.

I believe these Brent Geese are nearly at the end of a 2500 mile journey from Siberia. They've flown south directly over the Thames and Medway estuaries, and then as a short cut, over Mid Kent, Ashford, Shadoxhurst and beyond. With a clear sky and South Easterly winds these Geese could probably view Dungeness or the Rye Bay on the horizon. My guess is that these birds are on their way to the Sussex marshes of Pagham and Chichester or further south west still.

I hope this post gives encouragement to anyone who can't make it to the coast, where the more dramatic bird migration sightings are seen. You just never know what's flying over your own door step!

Brent Geese flying south directly over the garden

Brent Geese as close as I could get with a 500 mm lense.

The birds seemed silent and flew on shallow wings with just the faintest of wing beats

The first flock had 4oo birds the second flock 300 and seperated in time by 10 minutes.

A last close look before flying into the sun - I very rare site over Mid-Kent indeed!


Picturit said...

I saw several of these in Devon, at the estuary at Northam Burrows. These are great captures.

Wilma said...

Very impressive flocks. We see something similar, although in smaller numbers, with the Canada geese that summer here and farther north as they mass up to migrate south. It can be very heart-stirring to see. You really caught the spirit of the migration in your photos.