Day 295

As I arrived at work this morning and parked the car, I saw a herd of wild geese flying from the north. I grabbed my camera from my bag and all but fell out of the car in a rush to try and get them as they were going at a fair lick. I flung the camera to my eye, pressed the shutter and hoped for the best with not having time to check my settings or any of the normal niceties when contemplating a photograph. A moment later they were out of sight.

Day 295

Click on it to see the bigger version, they are amazing to see in such a big group. I’m not sure where they were going, but they were heading south, and I couldn’t tell what kind of geese they were as they were too high up. Apparently we get geese coming over here to winter and some bred here go to North Africa, so they could be coming or going. Either way it was a spectacle I’m glad I didn’t miss.

Interesting Factoid

Birds flying in a V formation are taking advantage of aerodynamics. The lead bird works the hardest by breaking into undisturbed air. The next two birds fly into the “sweet spot” where wingtip vortices form, reducing drag and producing uplift. The birds use the uplift and expend about 20–30% less energy flying. The advantage of flying in this spot results in the bird’s heartbeat being reduced and it doesn’t have to flap its wings as much. As the lead bird tires, it drops back in the formation and the next bird takes its place. Drafting off one another requires close formation, about 3 feet apart.

24 thoughts on “Day 295

  1. Sometimes, you don’t need the settings, as this photo demonstrates all too well.
    When I am out with Ollie, they fly over us all the time. He looks up at them, as they make so much noise. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Geese flying – here in the US it is Canadian geese – always heralded fall for me. We could hear their honking down on the ground. I wonder if these are snow geese (thinking of Paul Gallico’s story “The Snow Goose” here). Great shot!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The proper term is Canada goose (Branta canadensis), not “Canadian goose”. It was named the Canada goose because the first scientist to name this goose didn’t know much about this bird when he observed it in Canada.

      The Canada goose is native to arctic and temperate regions of North America which includes Alaska and northern US states. They are migrating geese and flying north and south and back again to suit their needs.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Whilst I love seeing migrating geese, it is a reminder that winter is on its way. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen as many as there are in your photograph. I usually see them when I’m driving, though, so I’m not in a position to count them.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ….er…I’m not sure if you’ve heard but it’s “flock” not “herd”…(by all means tell me to flock off for being a smart-ass)…. : P

    …(beautifully captured as usual, cheers Frag)…

    …(oooo…missed the obvious one….”Gagglerocking”…should be able to fit that in there somewhere)….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful shot! Interestingly, these animals can work together, each sharing the load to the benefit of the entire flock.

    I am told by some curmudgeonly folks that film is better than digital because it forces you to slow down and think. Would a film camera have served you in capturing this scene?

    Liked by 1 person

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