Baldwin’s Birds


by John Baldwin

Having mentioned a few times in my previous articles the honking of the Canada Geese passing overhead en route to the South Branch at the end of our road, I thought that it was about time to follow up on them a little more. This I did, and spent a very enjoyable two or three hours or so in the cold, on a sunny afternoon, by the side of the road near the river, until it started to fade and I felt that I was cold enough, and had enough pictures, so left them to it! But, that wasn’t the end of my Canada Goose day, because I knew from listening to them, whilst at home, that they tend to take off around four-ish and fly north westerly towards the Rideau River. Where exactly, I was about to find out, as I tried to follow their flight path, and headed towards the river, and a small boat launch area. There weren’t any geese evident here, but, as I took a quick look across the river, whilst looking into the setting sun west of me, I could hear the faint chatter of – you guessed it – the geese! Ah ha!

Once more back into the car and then westwards towards Burritt’s Rapids, spotting a few geese on the water through the shore-side trees. But, with no safe place to stop, I targeted the car-park at Lock 17,where I caught up with them! Super! I pulled up and parked and stepped out to quite a noisy reception, as the birds sat out on the water chattering, and some later arrivals landed. By this time, the sun was very low and the reddish pink light of the sunset was rapidly waning. I actually took some video shots with sound track, as a record of them all, and, as my camera battery showed signs of giving up for the day, I too did the same, and left the geese to their night on the water, where they are probably a lot safer from their predators than they would have been on the South Branch.

Next morning on my way to breakfast with friends, I stopped by to see if they had flown south during the night. Well, they hadn’t, and another day later they have followed their routine and flown across to the river again. As I write this, at around four in the afternoon, a now familiar sound has just reached my ears and a large flock of geese has just passed overhead heading north west to, presumably, Burritt’s Rapids to spend yet another night. Of course, I am assuming that they are the same birds as yesterday, but maybe I’m wrong and the others have already left us. I can but guess at the answer, another of Nature’s mysteries!

Look after yourselves and stay well,

John Baldwin


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