Avoiding People – Getting Close to Nature
I find it strange that in a matter of weeks it has become normal to avoid each other and keep our distance. I have just been out for my daily walk and met a family coming towards me. Instead of carrying on walking towards each other, we all started looking to see where we could move out of the way. One of the children found a gap in the bushes and the whole family nestled in there while I quickly walked past. We said ‘hello isn’t this strange’ and went our separate ways.
Once down on the estuary I encountered a group of Brent geese close to the shore. I stopped to watch them and as they seemed unperturbed by my presence, I got my ‘phone out to make a video and slowly crept closer.
Is it just me or is wildlife getting less apprehensive of people - perhaps because there are far less of us around to disturb them? Or maybe I have more time to stand and watch?
Anyway, as I stood and filmed, the geese drifted towards me and carried on feeding. I have never had such a close up view before and it was very humbling to be so close to these beautiful birds with their chocolate dipped heads and necks.
It is incredible to think that these pale-bellied Brent geese will soon be flying away to breed in the arctic tundra in Canada, Svalbard and Greenland via a food-stop in Iceland (not the supermarket). I hope they find all is well with their far-northern breeding habitat after their long flight. These geese are only small, not much larger than a mallard. I still can’t comprehend their strength and intelligence of being able to navigate and fly so many miles and then return again in autumn.
Brent geese are listed Amber in terms of their conservation concern. There are only a few places in the UK where they congregate. Knowing this makes the time I spent with them even more precious.
The prospect of summer coming is very heartening and I could hear a skylark or two singing in the sand dunes across the water. A brilliant white little egret stood quietly waiting for fish near the shore. There were also wigeon whistling to each other on the pools of water and maybe because I was out before the usual dog walkers - there were more turnstones than usual foraging among the seaweed covered stones. (These are the little birds moving around by the shore at the end of the video clip).