Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Heading north

During my walk Monday morning, I saw a small flock of what I at first thought were geese flying northward. Later I wondered if they might not be grues cendrées (common cranes). They must be returning from their wintering grounds in southern Spain. There were seventeen big birds winging silently above me, not a honk to be heard. Luckily, I had the telephoto lens on the camera.

They certainly look like geese to my untrained eye, but I think they're probably cranes.

Later in the afternoon I saw another small group going in the same direction. I don't know if it's early for returning migrators or not. It sure has been warm. I didn't even build a fire in the wood burner yesterday.

The classic "V" formation, or maybe in this case, the "check mark" formation.


  1. Wow. What a great catch. I rarely have the right lens on for events like this. Those are really big guys.

  2. Superb spot Walt...
    and great captures!

    They are Grus grus all right...
    The Grus Grus website said that there was a huge movement of them over your way...
    as well as Tours and Amboise, yesterday...
    isn't that noise wonderfull!!
    All grueing away at each other...

    And yes, it is early for them, but the weather has been perfect for the past week with the wind blowing from the SSW....
    but there are still plenty to the south of us, keep watching!!

  3. Just noticed that you said they were silent...
    most unusual, even with a small group...
    no wonder you thought, at first, they might be gooses!!
    Were the second larger lot grueing?

    And keep calm amid the chaos that is your house this week...
    all will be wonderful when he's finished...
    cranes bring luck!

  4. Stunning pictures! I love the light effects especially on the first one. The legs would be a bit long for geese! P.

  5. Beautiful Walt. We have thousands of snow geese down from Canada every winter. I've always wanted to take a good picture of them when they fly over but was never successful. You've given me encouragement to try again.

  6. I heard that cranes have been flying over my cousin's garden in Atlanta. Must be travel time for lots of birds now. There is a nest with two bald eagle babies in Rome, GA where Lewis grew up. I've been watching them on a web cam- so much fun!

  7. Spring is on it's way!!! I will keep my eyes out for migrating birds in my area. Nice photo.

  8. stuart, I'm now experimenting with an old water bottle belt for carrying a second lens. It works like a fanny pack, but has a huge padded (insulated to keep water cold) cylindrical receptacle attached that's exactly the right size for a lens. Of course, the telephoto was already attached to the camera when I took this; the wide angle was in the carrier. I would not have had enough time to change out lenses as the birds flew overhead.

    tim, yes, they were silent. But yesterday I saw (and heard) a much larger group way off to our north.

    pauline, I thought the same thing.

    ron, oh yes, try! Do you have a zoom/telephoto lens?

    evelyn, I'll bet!

    mary, thanks!

    1. That's a great idea. I should be so prepared !


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