In bed, awake at midnight, I hear them calling to each other in the darkness as they fly overhead. Out in the snow yesterday, the same sounds, this time emerging from a cloud inversion. Each time I’m intrigued as to just where they’re going, up and down the valley, impressed by their sense of the collective, leaving no bird behind, checking in. Last Sunday evening a much smaller group made a real din over our house, repeatedly for about half an hour. Were they trying to find the main peloton, had they set out to find stragglers? I don’t know, but it’s a great part of the Otley soundtrack, mysterious and timeless. Best, though, is to be stood at the bottom of the fields below Farnley Hall in the autumn, when vast numbers of geese congregate, with flocks emerging noisily from all directions, serenaded by those already amongst the stubble, a bit like a music festival (Goosetonbury, anyone?).
Tip for parents: my daughter loved the film “Fly Away Home” about a family helping Canada Geese, it has a very sad beginning but is ultimately heart-warming.
http://bit.ly/3shvoMZ (NHBS book sale)
By Neil Griffin
Photos by http://www.wharfephotos.co.uk/ and Pixabay