Have you ever seen a cluster of insects, usually tiny bugs or flies of some sort—I don’t think mosquitoes—flying, swooping, diving, and doing this as one entity? I mean it’s a ball of bugs that, from a distance, appears to be one giant creature. Yes, on warm sunny days I have seen that quite often, and I have no idea of the species. Maybe many species do it. I don’t know.
But never before have I seen geese doing it. I live about a quarter mile from a fairly large marsh. Ducks, geese, waterbirds, shorebirds of all sorts are usually there. This one morning as I was going outside, I saw them, and, luckily, saw them in time to stop moving. A flock of geese—maybe two hundred—was doing this in-air acrobatics that before I had only seen bugs do.
As one they would swoop and dive and climb and cluster and spread out. It was an amazing sight. This went on for several moments before they finally alighted on the marsh with the hundreds of geese already there. And the squawking going on, my goodness it was noisy.
Why were they doing this…charade? I have no idea. If there is a wildlife expert among you, please enlighten me. I also couldn’t tell what species was doing it. They seemed to be a smaller species. I doubt the large and elegant Canadas would stoop to such theatrics. I also think the Canadian Honkers would be too large and heavy for such quick movements. There is a smaller subspecies of Canadas. They could likely do it. Or blues, or brants maybe, or snows. Sometimes when the sun hit just right I could see lots of white, but I’m not smart enough to identify geese, not from the distance.
One autumn there were so many geese in the air, and flying in all directions, and right over my head and low—no pooping, please!—that, I swear, Air-traffic-control was necessary, but I saw no collisions. But what a sight. That time too I was just leaving my house and saw what was happening in time to stop and then watch.
One spring I came outside and saw, I swear, maybe two thousand snow geese sitting on the marsh, and OMG they were making noise. They were far enough away that my presence didn’t bother them. They stayed for three days, and, luckily, I was present when they finally took off for their trip farther north. Talk about omg—it was OMG! for the noise.
The marsh encourages birds of all kinds to visit, except in winter. The marsh is south of my house so usually, when I see something and get my binoculars, I can’t identify what I see because the sun is there too, blinding me and making dark the side of the bird I can see.
It’s a tough ol’ world, but I’m not complaining.