Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Canada geese are gathering by the hundreds on Lake Victoria.

Walking by the river recently we saw (and heard!) the most interesting display. The geese were floating peacefully when suddenly they began to honk, louder and louder in a great crescendo of sound. One of them stretched up on his legs in the water and flapped his wings with great strength. Others also began to beat their wings, causing a great stirring and splashing of the water. Slowly they lifted off and formed their noisy V across the sky.

This in itself is not unusual, as it seems to be a regular autumn rehearsal before they head to warmer places. What we had never noticed before was that the birds who remained began to honk vociferously as if cheering on their comrades. This cacophony of encouragement lasted for a short time, and then the whole scene repeated itself, again and again until the river lay empty and silent except for the low chatting of those who had stopped to observe.